Meet Betty Jo – A Habitat Homeowner

“Partnering with Habitat for Humanity of Williamson County to become a homeowner has provided me with the opportunity for a better life for me and my 5 children.  I was born and raised here Georgetown and I have worked for the City of Georgetown now for 30 years.

In 1999 I was living in subsidized housing, working multiple jobs and struggled as a single mother of 5 to make ends meet.  The neighborhood was noisy and there were constant parties, drinking, vandalism and break-ins.  Our apartment was broken into more than one time and what few items we owned, like a TV was stolen.  People would park right outside my door, play loud music and drink and throw beer bottles – one of them threw a bottle right through my daughter’s bedroom window.   I remember the first night we moved into our Habitat house.  It was so quiet.  Home has given my family the relief from the stresses of dangerous living conditions so we could focus on what’s next, not just what’s now.

My kids back then were constantly being bullied, picked on and beat up by other kids who were always in trouble or in gangs.  My youngest son was only a toddler when a car drove by and was shooting BB gun bullets up and down the street and my oldest son jumped in front of him to block the BB bullet and was hit in his leg.  There were times when we did not have enough money to pay for milk and I would have to use water in the kid’s cereal.  Having an affordable mortgage also allowed me to provide healthier meals for my family.

Being exposed to these conditions, I worried constantly about the safety and future of my kids.  I knew we needed to make change, but I could not afford it.  Then I found Habitat!

In 2000, I a completed all the requirements with Habitat to purchase my new and affordable house in Georgetown.  This was the first critical step towards a better life.  My original mortgage payment with Habitat for Humanity of Williamson County was $250 less that my rent.  This savings allowed me to stop working multiple jobs on top of my full time job with the city and spend more time with my kids and do more for my community.  I have always believed in and taught my children the importance of paying it forward and over the years I have been able to volunteer with the Georgetown Soccer Association and Victim Services.

Moving into our own home has provided me with a sense of security and ease – knowing that my children could grow up in safe neighborhood and not be afraid all the time has meant everything!  I am so proud to say that all of my children graduated from Georgetown high school and are living successful adult lives – and I don’t know if they would be where they are today if had not found Habitat.

I am about one year away from paying off my mortgage with Habitat and it is such a blessing to have this one asset to leave my children.

Being a homeowner has not only provided a strong roof over our heads and a solid foundation under our feet, it has given us a safe, stable and affordable place to call home.”

– Betty Jo, Habitat homeowner in Georgetown

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