The Antilla Family

Rachel Antilla has been waiting for the day that her American dream will come true for her family. Her dream is a simple one.

“For me it’s having a safe place for my daughter to grow up and a place where we can make life long memories,” said Rachel.

Rachel; her husband, Chris; and their nine-year-old daughter, have always called Oregon home, but they’ve not always felt at home.

“It has been difficult to find a place that feels like home when you rent,” said Rachel. “You can’t paint, put too many holes in the walls and you just feel as though nothing is yours.”

Besides the usual issues with renting, the Antilla’s current residence, a duplex in southeast Portland, lacks proper insulation and has soft spots in the floors that leave them feeling like they could fall through.

That’s why Rachel couldn’t help but cry for joy when she received the phone call telling her she’d be selected to be a Habitat for Humanity homeowner.

Rachel grew up in a family that celebrated Thanksgiving and Christmas each year with big get-togethers and she always hoped to take over the hosting when she had a place of her own. So far, she’s not felt able to extend hospitality to her friends and family because of their duplex’s small size and safety issues.

“I have memories of having my birthdays at my house growing up,” she said, “and I want my daughter to have those too.”

Their new home at Southeast 171st Avenue and Division Street will give Rachel the ability to have guests over, as well as to plant a garden and maybe even hang a porch swing. While they likely won’t move in until spring of 2014, they’re making plans now, especially her daughter, who is planning what color to paint her room.

“We are just so very grateful to be [given] this chance to own our home,” said Rachel. “There are just no words to describe how I feel about this opportunity, and [all] I can say is thank you.”

You can provide a hand up to local families, like the Antilla family, by making a donation now.