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Schultz family on the couch

Chasing the Dream of Homeownership

Posted on April 14, 2023

Chasing the Dream of Homeownership:

The mission of Fox Cities Habitat is to ensure that everyone has a decent, safe and affordable place to live. We had the opportunity to meet up with Alexis, who is currently in our Homebuyer program, to discuss how a new Habitat home can create a brighter future for her and her children.

A Place to Call Home

Alexis Schultz is a single working mom with three beautiful children; Nevaeh (8), Josiah (7), and Alayah (2). Alexis and her children were born and raised in Appleton. They are a tight-knit family who love spending time together enjoying movie nights, baking cookies, and taking trips to the park.

They have never had a place that they could truly call home. “I’ve always wanted a place to call my own, but homeownership seemed like a distant dream that would not come true,” Alexis explained.

Alexis with her son

Alexis faced many challenges throughout the years, mainly finding safe and affordable housing. She was unable to find a home for her family of four that she could afford while still managing the expense of food, fuel, and other necessities. The home they were in had mold in the downstairs bathroom and was not properly insulated, allowing cold air to come through making it extremely difficult to heat. Those two things alone could cause damage to the health of her children. There was no sense of safety and comfort in the environment that they had previously lived. Alexis never felt that she could let her kids outside to play without the constant fear of something happening to them. Alexis was always interested in owning a home, but did not think it would be possible as a single mother of three children. She continued to search for an affordable living situation, but she was unable to find a place that accepted housing assistance.

Alexis heard about Habitat from her neighbor, who introduced her to the program and encouraged her to apply. After learning more about Habitat and the process, she became confident that it was something she could accomplish. Beginning the process brought Alexis both nerves and excitement. Alexis said, “When I heard I had been accepted into the homebuyer program, I couldn’t help but to cry tears of joy because my dream of homeownership was about to come true.”

Their house is currently in the process of being built. Alexis is well on her way to completing her required 300 hours of sweat equity towards her new home. Sweat equity is the unpaid labor invested by homeowner partners in building their own and other Fox Cities Habitat houses. This has been expanded to include homeowner workshops, community service, working at the Appleton Habitat ReStore and other work that may serve the Affiliate or improve homeowner skills. Sweat equity increases the personal stake of each family member in the home, fosters partnership with Fox Cities Habitat and is a key principle of Habitat in building partnerships across economic, racial and national divisions.


What Home Means

Alexis is happy to have first hand experience building her home. She is so proud of herself for putting in the work to provide a safe, stable environment for her children to grow up.

The definition of home is different for everyone. For Alexis, home is “a place where happiness and laughter never ends. Thanks to our new home, I’m more confident than ever that my children will be able to chase their dreams.”

Schultz daughters

As a family, there is a lot to look forward to. Instead of being afraid to go home, going home is something that will now bring comfort. They will have a yard that they are excited to play in and to create lifelong memories. They are looking forward to hosting birthday parties, having family gatherings, and celebrating the holidays together.

Neveah, Josiah, and Alayah already have plans on how they want to decorate their rooms and have ideas of all the fun activities they planned to do together once moved in. Neveah wants to decorate her room with her favorite colors, black and teal. Josiah wants to decorate his room with all his favorite Pokemon characters. Alayah wants to decorate with all things Mickey and Minnie Mouse. Alexis is excited to be able to decorate a space that is officially considered home.

Throughout this process, Fox Cities Habitat changed Alexis’ outlook on a lot of things. She now believes that anything is possible if you are willing to put in the work. Alexis is proud of everything she accomplished through this process that has led her to where she is now.

Author: Olivia Clark