“Well look at God! We could walk to church if we have to.”
Those are the words Arlene Armstrong exclaimed in 2005 when she learned her new Habitat Home would be built right down the street from her family’s church.
Armstrong learned about Halifax Habitat for Humanity while visiting a friend. Her friend was heading out to help build a Habitat home and Armstrong decided she, too, would like to volunteer to help. Month after month, and home after home, Armstrong continued to help with Habitat projects. A year into her volunteer service, and after watching many families take the keys to their new home, Amstrong decided to apply for a home for her family, making new memories and enjoying a fresh start.
Persistence pays off.
Armstrong’s application wasn’t approved right away, but instead of giving up, she persisted. Her application was finally approved and in December 2005, the team of volunteers and builders broke ground on that special plot of land nearby her church. By February 2006, she and her family were moving into their new home.
Paying it forward.
After years of living in cramped housing, Armstrong said owning a home blessed her spiritually and emotionally. She said it provided the stability, safety and space that her children desperately needed.
Armstrong has always aimed to be a good role model for her children and advocates for “paying it forward,” especially helping someone else who lives in the community. She teaches her children to look for opportunities to serve and to help others.
“I have taught my children that their reward is in heaven. I tell them, don’t expect anything back for what you are doing. God allows you to help. It’s a blessing,” she said.
Since learning of the program so many years ago, Armstrong has continued to volunteer for Habitat. She has passed 10 years of faithful service and has led five other families to Habitat, families who now also own their own homes.
“If they are willing to try, I’ll help those who help themselves,” says Armstrong. Her words nicely reflect the Habitat mission.