House gets a facelift, family gets a home
"This dream of ours would not have been possible without all you of you."
Josh and Deb cut the ribbon to their new home on Saturday, June 24 at a home dedication attended by more than 50 Habitat volunteers and supporters.
"This is a home, it's not just a house anymore," said Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow at the dedication, welcoming the family to the community.
"I just feel blessed," Deb said.
Faith is a cornerstone for this family. Deb and Josh each moved to Waukesha in 2008 to attend New Tribes Bible Institute, where they met before marrying in 2011. Josh is currently employed as a delivery driver while he works toward his goal of becoming a pastor.
"I think for me it's just security" said Josh, when asked what having a home mean to him. When Deb was 6 months pregnant with their first child, they had to move out of their apartment with only a 30 day notice.
Four years later, Deb was pregnant with their third child. The family was living in an apartment with a month-to-month lease, and they didn't want to be in that position again. Besides, their apartment was too small – two bedrooms, one bathroom and a shared laundry space. It was time to get a place of their own but they couldn't afford a traditional mortgage on Josh's income.
They applied for homeownership through Habitat Waukesha, but decided to keep their options open as well. Josh had applied to churches all over the country but turned the decision over to God. One night he wrote in his journal, telling God "where ever you want to put me is fine." When he finished writing, he returned a missed call from Habitat Waukesha's Executive Director. After getting off the phone, he "told God I need to get a jacket" because they would be staying in Wisconsin.
Josh began working on his house right away, learning construction skills from Habitat's faithful volunteers. "It's been very rewarding," he said.
Because she was pregnant, Deb put in most of her sweat equity hours working in the Habitat ReStore, painting, doing yard clean up and similar tasks.
The house, built in 1918, was completely renovated by Josh and Deb alongside Habitat crew and more than 75 volunteers. The inside was completely renovated, including moving a staircase to add a bedroom and bathroom on the second floor. The outside of the house received a facelift as well, with new siding, windows and doors.