Maria Ramirez-Leon is hoping to be home for the holidays.
Thanks to Habitat for Humanity of Hall County and various partners, she and her family are looking to become the newest residents of Copper Glen, a developing Habitat subdivision off Baker Road, near Candler Road, in South Hall.
“It’s been quite a journey to get here,” Ramirez-Leon said during a dedication ceremony and house blessing Sunday afternoon. “And it wouldn’t be possible without everyone here, so thank you.”
She said she doesn’t know yet when she and her family will be able to move into their home.
“There’s a couple of things they have to touch up and then (there is) one last walk-through to make sure everything works,” Ramirez-Leon said. “Hopefully, we’ll be in by Thanksgiving.”
Work began in October 2015 on the 21-home Copper Glen, Hall’s first Habitat subdivision, and several homes now dot Tall Pine Way, the main road through it.
Securing a home in Copper Glen is no easy feat, and the process often takes several years, officials have said.
Prospective homeowners have a stringent application, plus they must meet income guidelines and show they can make mortgage payments.
Also, they must complete “sweat equity” hours, helping to build other homes. Plus, they must attend Habitat activities and financial and homeownership classes.
“Whether you raised a hammer or you raised a dollar, every last one of you helped build this house and are helping making a monstrous change for the Ramirez family,” said Ann Nixon, Habitat for Humanity of Hall County executive director.
Ramirez-Leon said she heard about the program when her father was diagnosed with heart failure and was unable to provide for her siblings.
“I went from just living with me and my daughter to having to take care of seven people,” she said. “It was really hard at first. We had to move in with my dad, who was living in a two-bedroom apartment. … We had no other options.”
A family friend told her about Habitat, and she applied for the program. Going through all the steps needed to get a home for the family has been worth it, Ramirez-Leon said.
“It’s been a blessing,” she said. “One of the biggest things everyone wants to get is their own home.”
Her sister, Monica Ramirez-Leon, agreed.
“It means so much to me that we can be able move into the house,” she said. “All this hard work that my family put in, that Habitat … and so many volunteers put in … has been a mesmerizing experience.”