Meet our families
Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity (GSHFH) opened its doors in 1987 and has provided affordable homeownership to 73 families.
Antonia purchased a four-bedroom, two-and-a-half bathroom Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity (GSHFH) home in Holyoke, Massachusetts, in February 2024. Her four youngest children will move into the house with her.
As survivors of domestic abuse, Antonia wants to show her children it’s possible to break the cycle of abuse and give back to the community that helped them escape their situation.
“First, I want to say thank you to God, my family, my church, and all those who supported me. By God's grace, I was placed in situations where I had no choice but to depend on others to get back on my feet after losing everything due to domestic violence,” said Antonia. “It has been a hard road, but I made it. No, we made it, my family and me. God is good! He has blessed me tremendously, especially with my family, and the opportunity to partner with Habitat for Humanity to help make my dreams come true.”
To see Antonia's dedication ceremony held Valentine's Day, Feb. 14, 2024, click below.
Meet Ireydiza and Juan
Ireydiza and her husband Juan purchased a three-bedroom Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity (GSHFH) home in Holyoke, Massachusetts, in January 2023. The couple has two young children. Several years ago, the family was happy, healthy, and dreaming of buying their first home. Then tragedy struck. A workplace injury disabled Juan, the breadwinner. Following several surgeries and two strokes, their dreams were put on hold. Juan was unable to return to work. Ireydiza left school to be the sole breadwinner, create time to care for her young children and recuperating husband.
“He has a permanent handicap placard at the age of 33. He lives with chronic pain every day of his life,” Ireydiza said. “The stroke left him with chronic migraines, which he now gets Botox for every 12 weeks to help alleviate the pain. He is unable to walk or stand for a long period of time, and he has a weakness on his right side.”
Despite the pain and struggle, Juan gives back where he can. Whether it’s playing with his children, sharing his story on social media to bring awareness to strokes and the symptoms, or supplying food to the homeless, Juan is determined to make the best of his situation.
To see Juan and Ireydiza's dedication ceremony, which was shared with Jennifer, held Monday, July 18, 2022, click below.
In October 2022, single mother Jennifer purchased a three-bedroom home in Holyoke, Massachusetts. She moved in with her three teenage boys. After becoming a teen mom, Jennifer said she struggled to earn better than minimum wage. With her mother’s help, she went back to school and became a certified medical assistant working at a local doctor’s office. In doing so she achieved financial stability and overcame many of the obstacles facing a young mom. But, she wanted more for children.
Since divorcing her abusive husband, Jennifer has strived for a safe and decent affordable home. In her recent apartment, her two youngest sons shared a bedroom and bed. Looking for a sense of privacy and space, the youngest boy slept on the couch. Additionally, the neighborhood was in a very unsafe area. It had several vacant buildings, homeless people, drugs, and vehicles were frequently vandalized.
“I see so much better for my children and I want to be able to provide them a forever home – a place where we will feel safe, stable, happy, and accomplished,” Jennifer said. “We want a place to create beautiful memories for many years to come.”
To see Jennifer's dedication ceremony held Monday, July 18, 2022, in conjunction with Juan and Ireydiza's dedication event, click below.