Jessica Nelson has been dreaming of this moment for 5 years. Walking onto a yard that is hers with a front porch to watch the birds, sun streaming through the trees and neighbors who stop by to welcome her to the area. Jessica is Dorchester Habitat for Humanity’s 65th Homeowner who will live in the blue home at 204 Lake Drive in Summerville along with her 11 year old son and 8 year old daughter.

“I want my son to learn how to use a lawnmower, and have the freedom to play outside with other kids,” she said. “My kids are so excited to have their own grass, I brought them here and all they could do is stare at it.”

Jessica thanks her grandmother for the lasting experiences she had growing up that she now wants to share with her children.

“My grandmother raised me from three weeks old, my mother gave me to her,” she said. “She died in 2014 but I know she’s here in spirit and is proud of all I’ve accomplished. Thanks to her I grew up in a house where I had my own bed and yard, but at our apartment the kids are always starting fights or picking on each other.  I told myself that it’s time to look for something better because I don’t want my kids to grow up thinking it’s okay to fight.”

Jessica worked to clear up her credit score before beginning the 425 sweat equity hours required by the homeownership program. She was able to complete these hours at the construction site and in the ReStore thanks to her manager at East Coast Bedding who let her be flexible with her schedule. She tries to set an example for her kids with the hard work she’s put into building this home.

“I would use it as motivation for myself but also for them to do well in school and just keep trying,” she said.

Now she feels like it was all God’s timing for her to move into her new home now when she works only a mile away and has formed new habits that help her save money and stay out of debt. Although she didn’t have prior building experience she said she will miss coming out on Saturdays to build with the group.

“The greatest part about it was coming here and working with Bob and everyone else,” she said. “Sometimes they were hilarious and sometimes they were serious. It was a nice family.”