For Jeremy, his childhood started out with constant change. However, with a healthy dose of hard work and perseverance, he was able to find stability in his Habitat home. The son of an Army member, he spent his childhood moving from house to house in places like Virginia, Germany, and Washington before finally ending up in Marshall, MN. When he was 21, he moved to Mankato and attended South Central College to become an Emergency Medical Technician.
After getting his certificate, Jeremy worked as an EMS for one month before he decided that the job was not for him. He worked all over before he landed a job at the state hospital in Saint Peter, where he worked from 2003 to 2013.
Then Jeremy’s life took a turn for the worse. He became an alcoholic, he lost jobs, and his credit dropped. He decided to turn his life around and quit drinking in 2015. As part of his recovery, counselors he worked with had him create a 5-year plan. He put down that he wanted to buy a house, which was something he saw as almost unattainable.
Jeremy pushed himself to meet those goals, working two jobs to save as much money as he could. However, he used it all in 2017 to hire an attorney and fight for custody of his young daughter, Gillian. She will turn 5 years old this June.
Jeremy started to work towards his goal of owning a home once again, but it was harder to save with a little girl to take care of and spend time with. However, he wanted to get into a house even more than before. He wanted to provide a stable home for Gillian to grow up in, someplace to make lasting memories.
Banks were not able to help him, because of his poor credit. He didn’t qualify for government aid and it seemed that he got denied anytime he tried to seek financial support.
His luck turned around when he ran into a former neighbor who is a current Habitat homeowner. She faced similar credit problems but was approved for our program and encouraged Jeremy to apply. He went home and filled out our pre-application, without much hope that he would qualify. He committed to filling out the full application and was initially denied because of debt. The board recommended that he work with our finance manager to learn more about credit debt and money management.
“[That] was a key piece to get to home ownership,” Jeremy claimed. After working with our team, Jeremy paid down his debt and was accepted into the Habitat homeowner program.
His next step was completing the 200 hours of “sweat equity” that Habitat requires as part of the program. He spent almost all his free time in the ReStore, he mowed lawns and maintained lots, he worked in his new house and finished painting, he spent hours helping fold and address our last newsletter.
He was anxious to get in and was very hands-on with USDA and the final steps of the approval process. Jeremy closed on February 19th with Habitat and became the proud owner of a new home, just over 5 years from the start of his 5-year plan.
Jeremy wants people to know his story so that they realize they can achieve homeownership as well. He said, “It wouldn’t have been possible without being accepted into Habitat.”
We are glad to help Jeremy create a stable home for Gillian and reward him for his sacrifices and hard work. We hope that you join us in wishing him the best for his future as a homeowner!