A New Home for a New Beginning

How the Flores family is building a brighter future for themselves through homeownership.

*Names changed to protect family’s confidentiality

Nora Flores and her three children—Kyle (18), Lucas (14), and Jacqueline (8)—currently live in Park City, IL. Nora’s face lights up as she describes how her children enjoy skateboarding and playing volleyball and how much she values spending time with them. She states emphatically that “I will never push my kids away until they decide they want to move after finishing college. I’m always going to be here for them.”

Her family is Nora’s driving force in her desire to own a home of her own. She’s built a community of friends and support systems in Lake County and so badly wants to stay in this community, but never thought it would be possible for her to find a path to homeownership. “We’ve never had a home of our very own”, she shares. “Every family deserves a home.”

Originally from the Philippines, Nora moved to Nevada in 2007 where she sought to provide her growing family with new opportunities. After she and her husband divorced in 2010, Nora was looking for a new beginning and moved to Park City, IL where she had a friend, Sandra—another single mom—who became a support system as she established a new life in a new place on her own.

Nora has worked tirelessly to provide her three children with the best possible life. She works full-time as an Office Administrator while also picking up part-time work as a private caregiver on evenings and weekends. When detailing her work schedule, she pauses and reflects that, “it’s hard to be a single mother—sometimes you feel guilty when you’re working and not spending time with your kids, but you have to be strong and work hard for them.”

“It’s hard to be a single mother—sometimes you feel guilty when you’re working and not spending time with your kids, but you have to be strong and work hard for them.”

She beams with pride as she describes how her oldest, Kyle, makes it possible for her to work enough to keep them all afloat. “He helps so much with the younger kids. He cooks, cleans, puts them to bed, and teaches them how to do all these things so that they can be independent, too.” In addition to the importance of supporting each other, Nora has made it clear that she expects all her children to get as much education as possible. “This is the key to a better life.” She smiles widely as she shares that Kyle “is going to attend College of Lake County before going on to a 4-year university. He’s interested in computer engineering.”

Nora shares that she and her children currently live in a relatively cramped 2-bedroom apartment in Park City where her boys share a bedroom and she shares a bedroom with her daughter. While the apartment has provided her kids with a safe place to live, she knows that owning a home will give them something more.

Nora first learned about Habitat Lake County’s Homeownership Program through her boss, but she didn’t think she would qualify due to a low credit score. Even so, she decided to contact our Director of Family Services, Eunice, and was thrilled to learn that her credit score and history didn’t disqualify her.

Since enrolling in the Homeownership Program she has raised her credit score, made progress in paying down her student loans, and taken classes in budgeting, home maintenance, and more.

“In our current apartment, it can just be very loud which sometimes makes it difficult for my kids to sleep and complete their homework. They’re so excited to have more space and a backyard!” Now, every time her kids pass the address where their new home is to be built, they ask to get out of the car so that they can walk around the property and make plans for where a fence can go, what kind of garden they’ll have, and what trees will need to be trimmed when they move in. “They can’t wait!” Nora exclaims.

Nora’s eyes fill with tears when asked what home means to her: “Everything. For me it’s everything. I want to give my family a comfortable house so that they can think, ‘this is my home’! Home is safety and learning to be responsible. It’s the best gift I can give to my family.”

Gift the Gift of Home

Stories like Nora’s are only possible because of the generosity of our community of supporters. Whether you want to volunteer your time or make a gift, learn how you can be a part of bringing more families in Lake County home!