BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — The cost of living continues to rise and economic experts warn of a recession hitting in the next few months. Despite this, one group is helping a woman move forward financially.
At a time when it’s getting tougher to afford a new home, new beginnings are on the horizon for Sophia Thomas as she gets the opportunity of a lifetime.
“If I can do it, you can do it,” she stated.
The longtime Baton Rouge resident stood proudly at the site for what she calls her ‘American Dream.’
“This is my home,” she said. “Something that I’ve worked so hard to accomplish, and I’m just so excited,”
What was just a slab of concrete at the beginning of the day, by the end, resembled her soon-to-be home.
“We’re getting ready to finish this wall by the end of today. They will build all of the walls and raise them, which is truly amazing in one day,” stated Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Lynn Clark.
“I joined the Habitat program about a year and a half ago and they have been so helpful in helping me get my finances together,” said Thomas.
Clark said on average, there are about 6 to 7 hundred volunteers overtime for their women-build projects.
“The house has three bedrooms, one and a half bathrooms, and 1,150 square feet of living space, so it’s a wonderful house,” she explained. “It will sell for the appraised value.”
They had all hands on deck as the ladies worked to change lives one house at a time, including Thomas who became visually impaired over the past few years.
“I was making my income and it’s now slashed in half,” Thomas says. “So it’s a big difference, but I’m here and I’m still ready for the challenge.”
“Last time I saw, interest rates for houses were over 7%. For those of us on a limited income, we really need help in order to afford a decent place to live,” Clark said. “We sell the houses at 0% interest, so that makes the mortgage really affordable for people who are really hard working but just don’t make enough to afford a house. “
Thomas said she can’t wait until her humble abode is completed.
When asked what the first thing she would do when it’s all done she said, “We love to cook and celebrate. This will be a great celebration.”
They’re hoping to finish this project at the beginning of next year.