Mom and son in front of lake

Jessica's Family Story

Homeownership a 'Dream Come True' for Mom and Son

See Images from Jessica's Home Dedication Feb. 24, 2024!

Jessica's Home Is Our 3rd Interfaith Build for Unity

As a single mother, Jessica struggled to balance the demands of her job with the need to care for her 7-year-old son, Bryson. When she learned “he was acting out in school,” she decided to sacrifice her career, even though she knew leaving her job would entail a significant pay cut. “I’m not going to lose all those years with my son,” she says. Fortunately, she quickly found a new position, but the salary was much lower.

Jessica and her son couch-surfed and lived in motels until they found their current residence. When this apartment came on the market, Jessica was quick to pursue the lead, but after moving in, she “slowly learned why we could afford it; our newly rented home was actually falling apart.” Their 290-square-foot studio apartment has numerous safety issues, electrical hazards, and holes around the window panes that create significant temperature fluctuations in both the summer and winter. They also experience seasonal rodent issues, and their apartment was broken into during broad daylight.

Determined to provide a stable and safe living arrangement for her family, Jessica applied to Section Eight housing but became disheartened to learn the amount of time families could remain on the wait list. A coworker and current Pikes Peak Habitat homeowner told Jessica about Pikes Peak Habitat for Humanity. On the day she received the news that her family had been accepted into the homeownership program, Jessica says, “It was almost like a big change instantaneously because I can put a different kind of attitude and my best foot forward now and not be so negative about what I’m going to come home to. I know there are better days ahead.”

Mom pushing son on swing

Since being accepted into the homeownership program, Jessica has also witnessed a positive change in her son’s attitude. As she starts her journey to homeownership, Jessica feels that “Slowly but surely my life is getting back together after a really hard 7 years.”

As a future homeowner, Jessica will spend 200 hours of sweat equity, or volunteer time, helping to build her home and her neighbors’ homes alongside Pikes Peak Habitat staff and volunteers. She will be following in the footsteps of her grandparents, who built their house in Kansas. Excited to continue this intergenerational legacy of hard work, Jessica is not only looking forward to learning what goes into building a house, but also being able to see her completed home one day and say, “I did this.”

Thinking about the completion of her home, Jessica and her son are excited to have a “healthier and happier way of life” and “a stable place to make memories.”

Sharing her appreciation for the opportunity to collaborate with Pikes Peak Habitat and our partners to make homeownership possible for her and her son, Jessica said, “None of this would be possible without [all] of my sponsors, volunteers, and employees of Pikes Peak Habitat for  Humanity. You are making our fairy tale a dream come true for this mom and little boy.”

Read about the 3rd IBU kickoff, where Jessica shared her story.

Boy on playground

Watch a video of Jessica's son sharing what he most anticipates about his new home!

Boy at bottom of slide

About the Interfaith Build for Unity

In a time of division, uncertainty, and fear, Pikes Peak Habitat for Humanity is working together with our community to build homes, unity, and hope. While El Paso County is home to a diversity of political opinions and theological beliefs, one thing we can all agree on is that everyone deserves a safe and decent place to call home.

Since 2021, Pikes Peak Habitat started bringing together congregations, groups, and communities from a variety of faith traditions, spiritual practices, and beliefs to volunteer, side-by-side, to build affordable homes for families in El Paso County. In March of 2022, Pikes Peak Habitat and our valued partners came together to celebrate the completion of the first Interfaith Build for Unity (IBU) home. The second Interfaith Build for Unity is currently underway. IBU volunteer days are a time of celebrating tolerance, cooperation, and love for one’s neighbor as volunteers come together to help make homeownership possible for a local family.