There's No Place Like Home
The Imact of a Safe, Secure Place to Live
August 3, 2011
For a single mother of two working three jobs while putting herself through school, finding out that the apartment she rented was being sold was not welcome news. Finding a place where her daughter, Emily, who was born with Down syndrome, could live wasn’t easy.
"There just weren’t a lot of options for a single mom with two kids, one who is in a wheelchair,” says Christina Ryan.
Financially stressed in one of Canada’s most unaffordable housing markets, Christina turned to Habitat for Humanity Calgary. She attended a family information session, applying for a home with a zero interest mortgage that would be geared to her income.
later, Christina received the news that she’d been hoping for — Habitat for
Humanity Calgary had matched her with a home they were planning to build.
"After meeting Christina, we knew that the hand up of a Habitat home would empower her to do many of the things that she was not previously able, while substantially improving the standard of living of her and her daughters,” said John McMahon, Habitat for Humanity Calgary Faith Coordinator.
In 2008, Habitat for Humanity Calgary had completed a fully accessible home for the Ryan family in the community of Evanston in Northwest Calgary.
Now, Christina no longer has to carry her daughter and wheelchair up and down stairs as she had to at their apartment building, a task she says she wouldn’t be able to do now that Emily is almost 12 years old. And the affordable mortgage payments allowed Christina to purchase a vehicle with a wheelchair lift.
"We can now do more things and go more places as a family,” she says.
Christina has also found professional success, opening her own photography business and regularly lends her skills to her local Habitat for Humanity affiliate that made it all possible.
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