By Taylor Battle, Public Relations Intern
Maria Porras is a mother who only wants the best for her children, and for her that meant providing them with a safe and stable home. Maria, who previously lived in Chapel Hill for 14 years, was tired of renting an old trailer that needed constant maintenance. She knew that renting was not providing her the opportunity to save for her children’s futures, and that is why she decided to apply for a Chatham Habitat home. Owning a home now means she has an investment in something that will increase in value, and give her the opportunity to better plan for her children’s futures.
“A blessing,” Maria says, is what her Habitat home means to her. It was one of her dreams that she has been able to achieve. She has many fond memories from the time when her home was in construction. She loved when the volunteer groups would come and they all prayed before starting work on her home. She remembers writing inspiring messages on the ceiling before the insulation was installed. Overall, she remembers being very happy during the process. When the foundation of her home was poured, Maria said, “it was a sign from God that He always takes care of us, and it was reflected in each of the volunteers that came out to help.”
Since moving into her home, Maria says she loves everything about it. “I picked it all, so it’s perfect. It’s my dream house.” Her home is filled with plants, big and small, inside and out. Her daughter Ashley tells her she has a problem with collecting too many plants. Maria says it started with one and exploded from there, but she loves all of the plants and doesn’t see a reason to stop collecting. She loves her neighborhood and says that all of her neighbors are very nice.
Maria’s advice to future homeowners is to stay persistent and not to get discouraged by the process. She claims that many potential homeowners only see the negatives and the obstacles they might face. Maria says to remember that “this is a goal for you and your children to give them a brighter and better future. Set more goals and be persistent with achieving those goals, because ultimately this is a dream and it requires hard work.”
Now that Maria has achieved her dream of owning a home, she has many new dreams for herself in the future – but for now she is focused on her children. Her goal is to save money for her daughter to go to college in the next few years. She says that if either of her children decides to go to community college she will need to pay the tuition up front, and she wants to have that money saved up so they don’t have to worry. Maria says that she “always has direction from God to help her,” and that she can make her own plans. But, “He will always put me on the path I need to be.”