SECOND CHANCE FOR MOM; CHILDREN WIN
It’s been said that there are no second chances. Don’t tell that to Michelle Barnes. The Erie mother of three knows well about second chances. The Greater Erie Area Habitat for Humanity gave her one.
Michelle was accepted into the Habitat for Humanity program during the Spring 2011 application session. She eagerly got started on her sweat equity hours and her budget classes. For many families, coordinating scheduling, finding childcare and learning budgeting are major challenges. For Michelle, it was all of these things and more. In late 2011, there were some changes at her place of employment making it impossible for her to meet the program requirements and with a heavy heart, voluntarily withdrew from the program; leaving with an option for re-application in the future. Little did we know that her 2nd chance would come but a few short months later. With improvements to her work schedule, she felt that she could complete all the requirements. A smile on her face, she came to the office and asked for consideration of a re-instatement. She fulfilled the re-instatement consideration requirements and was welcomed back into the program. Joyfully, she went about getting her sweat equity done, focused in on improving her finances with the budget coach knowing that this was a real opportunity for her children to grow up in a home of their own. Michelle grew up knowing love and knowing struggle. In her words, she didn’t “want the kids to see the projects as a crutch”. With her commitment and dedication, her family earned the opportunity to partner with the faith community in the building of her own home in the summer of 2012. Her home will be forever known as “The House that Joy Built”. And, if you ever have the opportunity to meet Michelle, you will know that JOY fits her so well… a smile on her face and gratitude in her heart.