Habitat Homeowner: Creating a 'Forever Home'

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The day Corinne Frechette and Matt Arnold received the keys to their Heritage Oaks home five years ago marked the end of a significant journey.

“That day proved the impossible can be made possible,” Corinne says.

She said that owning a Habitat for Humanity home is a “big path”. From the time she and Matt began completing their application, to fulfilling their sweat equity commitment, to opening the door of their new home, she would ask herself, “Why am I more deserving than all these other families that need an affordable home?”

While her hope is that more families will benefit from the Habitat mission, she answered her own question by simply determining to work hard and do whatever was necessary to ensure her children didn’t ever have to worry about having a place call home.

Corinne experienced homelessness numerous times during her childhood. She understands the monumental negative impact this can have on young ones who experience the insecurity of not having a secure place to live and grow.

Corinne shared that the Habitat journey is almost as amazing as moving into their new home. “Matt and I changed significantly. It proved that no matter how hard something is, we can do it!” She says that their self-esteem has grown tremendously. “A lot of people think we (and other Habitat homeowners) were just given a home. No, no, no! We worked hard! We poured our heart, souls, blood, sweat and tears into this effort. This is a dream come true for us!

“Before we even knew about Habitat, Matt had always said he someday wanted to build a home for us. Habitat fulfilled that dream for him! He learned so much during construction, and now he’s always looking for ways to improve our home.”

Inside their home are numerous photos on the wall of their construction progress as their home was being built. It’s a constant reminder of the path they took. “Every day I walk out the door to go to work (she’s been employed at Grocery Outlet for 13 years) I am reminded of how fortunate we are, and how grateful I am. We love our home, our neighborhood and our community.

“During our five years in our home my faith has strengthened, especially in myself. Our lives have changed exponentially. This truly is a ‘forever home’ for us.”

Lorraine Larson