In 2014, the Hubbards were a young family in a difficult situation. Ryan and Marty were already struggling to make ends meet. Their son, Jamari, was eight years old, and they wanted to give him every opportunity to succeed. But their difficult situation became critical when Jamari was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. He would most likely require the use of a wheelchair for the rest of his life.
They were living in an apartment that they could barely afford. Still, Ryan and Marty knew if Jamari was to have every opportunity to succeed, he would need a house as a home. “That was the main reason we decided to get a home… because we wanted to give him the opportunity to live an independent life with his disability.”
The apartments available to them were not handicapped friendly. They could not install a ramp outside of their unit. They could not alter the interior to add features to help Jamari live independently, like handrails or an accessible bathtub. Jamari needed a house customized for his needs, and Ryan and Marty were determined to get it for him.
They applied for home loans through mortgage companies and banks but were turned down. They simply did not have what was needed to secure a large enough loan. Their faith was tested. They were discouraged. Their hope was fading. But they would not give up on providing their son with the best possible future.
“With the mortgage companies and the banks, we did apply to some of them, and we were turned down. We got frustrated. We got disgusted… we got down on our faith… and something told us to go ahead and apply for Habitat because all they can say is yes or no. We went ahead and listened to God and applied.”
When they got the news they had been selected to build and own a Habitat home, they felt incredible relief. Their faith was restored. They had hope! “Our life changed a lot. It really strengthened our faith! When you have God in your life, you pray about something, and God tells you to step out on faith, you do it. It makes you realize you are not alone,” says Ryan.
Though the process was not easy, it was all worth it! Ryan said, “There is nothing like working hard for something. You take pride in it. And to not only work on our home but get to help the others work on their homes, it was just such a great experience. It was really inspiring!”
Six years later, the Hubbard family is thriving. Jamari can get around his home with ease. The Hubbards have a one-year-old baby, too!
“Thank you for the time you put in and your dedication. There are not many words I can say of how I am feeling and how I felt at the time. Habitat for Humanity, the all-around program, is just a blessing to people… We still love the home as much as we did as we were building it, as much as we did during the dedication, and when we first moved in. We are just blessed because of volunteers and donors!”