A back yard where the kids can play. Space for a garden. A bedroom for each of the kids. These are just a few of the simple things that Billy and Tabi Stockstill and their family are looking forward to when their Habitat for Humanity home is completed later this summer.
The Stockstill family has lived in Junction City for almost nine years and purchasing a home with an affordable mortgage didn’t seem possible until the family applied to Habitat for Humanity in 2018. “After cutbacks at work, we had moved in with Tabi’s mom. Six people in a two-bedroom house is rough, but we would have been in a hard place without her generosity,” Billy explains. “When we were accepted into the Habitat program, we were pretty excited and eager to get started. It meant that the kids would have more room and a true home of their own.”
The family has partnered with Junction City/Harrisburg/Monroe Habitat for Humanity since early 2019. During that time, Billy and Tabi completed their budgeting and finance classes. Their volunteer family advocate, Deanna, says, “They now have a very good understanding of their finances. They will do well with making mortgage payments on their new home.” (Habitat for Humanity’s financial vision is to break the paycheck to paycheck cycle so many families face when their housing is unaffordable.)
In addition to money management classes, the family has completed well over 500 hours of “sweat equity.” The older children volunteered at the Habitat ReStore in Junction City, while Billy can be found almost every weekend building alongside the volunteers who are constructing the house. And all the children eagerly painted their bedrooms, choosing the colors that spoke to them. At Habitat for Humanity, sweat equity is a new homeowner investing in their home or one for another family. It’s not a form of payment, but an opportunity to work alongside volunteers who give their time to bring to life a family’s dream of owning a home.
Groundbreaking on the energy-efficient, 1040 square foot home was in early September 2019, and later that month, more than 60 women came together to raise the walls of the house in the annual Women Build event. In the year following, the house has been built with volunteers from throughout the communities, who build alongside the family. In addition to the volunteer builders, community donations and corporate in-kind donations are crucial to keeping the costs of building low, a key to creating a home with an affordable mortgage.
Dedication of the Stockstill house is scheduled for mid-September 2020, and the family will be presented with the keys to their home during the celebration. Billy and Tabi are excited for that day. “The people at Habitat are some of the kindest people we have come to know. To put this experience in a nutshell, it has been life changing and we are blessed to have a group of people like this helping others in need.”