Moving into an affordable Habitat for Humanity home meant Mirel Eremia could return to school and train for a new line of work. Today, he runs his own recreational vehicle repair business, his wife is a supervisor at a factory, and their eldest son is weighing his college options. For a family whose first Canadian home was a cold, cramped apartment, their Habitat house has been, in Mirel's words, "a real blessing.”
He and his wife, Dana, came to Canada from Romania with their two children. Both parents were trained as engineers, but couldn't find work in their professions. For living space, all they could afford was a 500-square-foot rental unit. "It was difficult having four people in such a small apartment,” says Mirel. "There was nowhere to put anything and nowhere to go for quiet.”
The family moved into their Habitat house in 2005. It wasn't long afterwards that Mirel decided to go back to school and study to become an RV technician. Apart from relieving financial pressure on the Eremias, the Habitat home also gave Mirel a quiet place to focus on his schoolwork. Having graduated, he says that starting his own business was like a dream come true. "I love it,” he declares. "I was meant to do this.” Proud of her husband's success, Dana was not to be outdone. She studied hard to move up the ranks and earn a supervisory position at the factory where she works.
Mirel says their oldest son, Andre, is in his last year of high school and following his parents' lead: "He often closes the door to his room to keep his little brother out, so he can study.” While they all enjoy having their own private spaces, the most popular spot in the house seems to be the kitchen. "There was no room to store groceries or prepare anything in our old apartment,” Mirel says. Now they cook every day—traditional European meals. The family is eating healthier and saving money in the process. Mirel is grateful for their new home life. "Our home is warm and we have food in the pantry,” he notes. "It's a beautiful thing.”