“We’ve had many early mornings and many long nights,” said Michele Baker. “We’ve learned things together."
The single mother of four is talking about the lessons and skills she’s picked up during the process of applying for and eventually receiving a Habitat for Humanity home.
Baker works at a hotel in downtown Oklahoma City and has put in 300 sweat-equity hours, gone through the application process and taken the necessary steps required to be a recipient of the home. She admits it wasn’t easy.
“I’d given it a try several times and didn’t quite get accepted the first couple of times,” said Baker. “I wasn’t going to give up. I tried and kept trying and finally I got a letter saying to come down to the office and they’d be willing to work with me.”
On Thursday, Baker closed on her new home. The five-bedroom, two-bath house is a dream come true for the family.
“We have more room than we’re used to,” said Baker. “I’m not used to having a garage and all this space.”
Everyone in the family will have a room to call their own. It's a big change from the small apartment the family was living in.
“We made do with what we had,” said Baker.
This holiday weekend, the family plans to move all their belongings out of storage and settle into their new home.
The family’s home is the 800th home constructed by Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity. Baker said the project brought countless people together, most of them women, many of whom she now considers close friends.
The nonprofit said more than 150 women helped construct the home as part of its 2015 Women Build.
“They taught me things I never would have imagined,” Baker said. “This process has taught me to not give up and to keep trying. Things will happen. Just don’t give up on what you want.”
For more information of Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity, its services and homes, click here.