Dreams become reality during 3-day Blitz Build
Amanda Hobbs hopes she hasn’t cheated herself.
She wanted to wait until her new house was finished before she drove into her driveway for the very first time, but she was so excited she just couldn’t hold off.
“Every Friday we drive out there,” said Hobbs, describing the construction site where her home is being built. “It’s exciting. Overwhelming, in a good way.”
Come August, Hobbs will be moving into her brand new home near Lake Arrowhead in Stafford. In the meantime, hundreds of volunteer hours – including many from Hobbs – will go into constructing the home. The majority of the work will be completed in an intense 3-day “Blitz Build.”
“We’re excited to do this,” said Tom Carlson, Executive Director at Greater Fredericksburg Habitat for Humanity who manages a Homebuying Program for people like Hobbs, who is an Army Veteran. “To help a Veteran family out is really important.”
Rappahannock United Way helps fund this Homebuying Program at Greater Fredericksburg Habitat for Humanity to help more people like Hobbs become financially stable and achieve their long-term dreams. Some people don’t realize that a Habitat home is not a free house. Hobbs will pay an interest free mortgage. It’s still a loan. It’s still a payment. Future homeowners like Hobbs also go through a vigorous selection process, must complete 500 volunteer hours of “sweat equity” and complete a dozen training classes in budgeting, understanding your credit, establishing a will, home maintenance and more. It’s a process that takes 18-24 months to complete.
Hobbs was ready to give it her all.
“I was living in a mobile home in North Stafford and the house was falling apart,” said Hobbs, who works full time as a Head Start paraprofessional in Stafford County and is also pursuing a degree online to become a middle or high school math teacher. “When I bought it, it was in pretty bad condition but I fixed what I could. The more years went past, the more things would deteriorate. The roof was leaking. Pipes would freeze. We had a heater under the sink many winters.”
As Hobbs began searching for a better place to live, she realized everything in her price range needed lots of work. That’s when she came across Greater Fredericksburg Habitat for Humanity’s website and learned she might qualify for their Veteran’s Build.
“I turned in the application and had no clue if I was going to get picked or not,” said Hobbs, who said others describe her as bubbly and always happy. “Of course I was hopeful.”
When a dozen people showed up on her doorstep with balloons, cookies and the initial agreement, she was speechless.
“I just kept saying thank you over and over,” said Hobbs. “I couldn’t believe it. I called my mom and screamed and cried.”
Rappahannock United Way funds programs like this in our community because they give people the resources they need to make lasting changes in their lives. These programs teach people how to establish important budgeting and saving habits and build stability when it comes to their finances.
Hobbs said the budgeting class impacted her the most.
“It’s been very useful,” said Hobbs, who was required to turn in her budget for evaluation on a monthly basis. “We learned about living within your means. Being able to save up money so you don’t find yourself in a hole. It’s prepared me for the house. I have a beautiful savings account now.”
This year alone, Rappahannock United Way is funding seven different local programs to help more than 2,500 people in our community improve their income, align spending with savings and secure stable housing.
As groups of local volunteers construct the home for Hobbs, every worker will have the chance to sign their name on the inside of the walls before they’re sealed up.
“It’s really, really awesome,” said Hobbs, who is grateful for every volunteer helping make her dream home a reality. “There’s gonna be a lot of crying. I don’t think there are enough words. Thank you just doesn’t feel like enough.”
Want to help more people like Hobbs make their dreams come true? Donate to Rappahannock United Way today so we can continue to improve thousands of lives right here in our community.