'Finally nice to call a place ours,' Habitat hands keys over to deserving family
BARRIE -- Tara Graham and her children, Isabella and Dylan Rayner have moved eight times, but now, they finally have a place to call home.
With tears in her eyes, on Wednesday, the family was given the keys to their Habitat home in Barrie.
Graham has been waiting for these keys for nearly two years in what she calls both an emotional and rewarding journey, but with the help of Habitat for Humanity, and putting in work to make it possible, the day has finally arrived.
"We set out unable to purchase our own homes, and we feel that its never going to happen," said Graham. "And then all of a sudden, this door opens up that you never thought could open again."
Graham's daughter, 16-year-old Isabella, says this move is one of the most meaningful things she's ever experienced.
"It's one of the most meaningful things that's ever happened to our family," says Isabella.
"We've always had each other, but never a place that was ours. So its finally nice to call a place ours."
The day was filled with both smiles and happy tears; as the family toured their new place, Graham's 12-year-old son Dylan says the first thing he wants to do is paint his room.
Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit organization that works to alleviate pressures of the affordable housing crisis and help hardworking families become homeowners.
Habitat for Humanity Huronia CEO, Robert Cikoja, said, unfortunately, the affordable housing crisis is an issue that continues to grow.
"The price of rentals has probably skyrocketed almost 150 per cent in the last five years," said Cikoja.
Today, he says they are happy to celebrate the organization's 44th family to get the keys to their new home, adding it's the best part of what they do.
This year Habitat for Humanity is celebrating 25 years of helping families locally, like Tara and her children.