This couple is ready to start work in entry level positions. They have chosen in-demand industries that can’t seem to attract enough workers. While every community is desperate to welcome people like Jacey and Darius, affordable housing is a real barrier.
Jacey is graduating this Spring with her Bachelor’s degree in Education and has been accepted as a substitute teacher at two regional school boards. Darius is just launching his career as a plumber’s apprentice in the Township of Muskoka Lakes and commutes a total of 4 hours a day for this opportunity.
This young couple is on their way to a promising life together. After years of struggling with student debt and persevering to meet the demands of their training, they’re ready to put down roots.
Jacey and Darius come from families who “worked hard to ensure we had a roof over our heads.” Jacey never thought the search for suitable housing would be such a challenge. Currently, the couple lives in student housing with three roommates in a ‘high crime’ neighbourhood. There are broken windows and mould in the cupboards. But the biggest worry is that they won’t have a place to live after graduation when Jacey is no longer eligible for student accommodation.
For this couple, the options are limited. Jacey says, “There’s a big unknown for us moving forward. Finding housing isn’t easy, and it’s so expensive. We’ve looked at apartments throughout Muskoka, and we’ve applied to the District of Muskoka for social housing. Our Plan B would be to move in with Darius’ parents. We’d be closer to Muskoka, but that would mean a very overcrowded living situation.”
Jacey’s dream is small-town living and work-life balance. Already regular volunteers, they look forward to continuing the tradition and becoming contributing members of their new community.
They were beginning to lose hope when the call came from Habitat for Humanity came.
Hours apart from each other, Jacey was at her parents’ home and Darius on a job site when the couple was given the news. But the joy could be felt across the miles. They had been selected for the Habitat Affordable Rent-To-Own program and a safe and decent home in a community they love.
“Thank you so much for this opportunity. We will not let you down.”
Darius, who joined by phone, couldn’t contain his excitement. “I just ran up to my journeyman and gave him a big hug!” Jacey, momentarily at a loss for words, added, “Through all our struggles, this means we can grow together. And we do not take for granted all the hard work you at Habitat for Humanity have done. You’re amazing people. Thank you so, so much for this opportunity. We will not let you down.”
About Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North
Amalgamated in 2014, Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North is a not-for-profit organization working toward a world where everyone has a safe, suitable, and affordable place to call home. Habitat for Humanity brings communities together to help families build strength, stability, and independence through affordable housing. With the help of government organizations, charitable foundations, local businesses, individual community members, volunteers, and other Habitat partners we provide a solid foundation for better, healthier lives in our service area, in Canada, and around the world. Our region serves communities across central and northern Ontario, including North Simcoe County, Muskoka, Parry Sound, Nipissing, Greater Sudbury and Cochrane. Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North is an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity Canada, which was established in 1985. To date, across Canada, Habitat for Humanity has helped thousands of families in need of a hand-up. Across the globe, Habitat for Humanity has grown to become a leading global not-for-profit working in more than 70 countries. For more information, visit www.habitatgatewaynorth.com and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.