The Martinez-Cruz Family

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The Martinez-Cruz FamilyElia Martinez Cruz is a hardworking, single mother living with her two children Alex , 16, and Velia, 7, in a three-bedroom trailer they rent. Their trailer is very old and needs many repairs they cannot afford on their own. There is mold in some areas, and the windows and doors need replacing. It is hard to heat the trailer in the winter due to the old windows, and in the summer it gets unbearably hot. The bedrooms are all very small and do not have enough space to hold clothes and toys. The plumbing in the bathroom is frequently clogged, and the bathroom ceiling is falling apart. Unfortunately the bathroom has also become the laundry room. The kitchen is very small, and they don’t have enough room to store extra food.

They would love to have something they can actually call their own. Elia is worried about her children’s safety living in the trailer because it has been broken into more than once. She has been trying hard to make a better life for her family, and she saw a flier for a homebuyer fair at Portland Community College where Habitat for Humanity had a booth. A Habitat homeowner was volunteering at the booth and convinced Elia she would be a good applicant to the program.

Since being accepted Elia has been working hard doing sweat equity at the ReStore and on other homes. She is excited to be a part of the Rivergate project in north Portland, and is looking forward to being a first-time homeowner.

“It’s hard and expensive to keep moving with out any stability and owning a home will make everything about our lives better,” Elia said. “It’s something I will take care of and it’s something I can leave my kids one day.”

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