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Habitat makes local family’s dream come true

By Staff | Sep 13, 2015

Jesus Garcia and Maria Meza are the new owners of the Faribault County Habitat for Humanity home.

A?new set of keys. A million decorating ideas. More space. All of these things may be reasons new home owners have a smile on their faces.

But, one Faribault County family is smiling for a different reason.

They are smiling because they are the most recent family to be chosen to live in the Faribault County Habitat for Humanity home.

Jesus Garcia and Maria Meza, of Blue Earth, and their two children Jasmin, 17, and Horatio, 14, will be the owners of the latest Habitat project in Faribault County.

“This is like a dream,”?Meza says. “I did not ever expect to have our own house.”

The family, from left to right, includes Maria Meza, Jesus Garcia and their son Horatio.

Garcia is employed at Crown Tonka, in Winnebago, and Meza is the cook at El Tio restaurant, in Blue Earth.

Prior to finding out that they were about to become home owners, they had been living in a two-bedroom apartment in Blue Earth.

“We are excited. We have been putting our money toward rent all these years,”?Garcia says. “Now we won’t have to.”

The extra space of a home is also going to be a welcomed change for these four.

“I think Horatio is excited to have his own room,” Habitat for Humanity executive director Staci Thompson says.

Horatio agreed and added that he’s also excited for the extra space the family will have in the basement of the home, which, he says, will be a great place to play video games with his friends.

And moving from an apartment with two bedrooms to a house with three bedrooms means Horatio and Jasmin will finally have their own rooms.

“If a family has a boy and a girl we make sure they get their own bedrooms,”?Thompson explains. “But, if it’s two girls or two boys they share.”

While the children are excited about their own rooms, Meza is excited about a different room in the home the kitchen.

“As a cook I’m very excited about the kitchen,”?she says.

And the first time she saw the kitchen she felt very blessed. Her future kitchen is much more spacious than their current one.

Garcia was happy to hear of all the space they will have in the backyard.

“There’s a lot of space for a garden,” he says. “Now we can plant a few things but with this backyard we can plant anything we want.”

While the family is excited about all of the space and potential of the new home. They are most grateful for the freedom living in a home will bring them.

“With a home you can plant anything you want in the yard,” Meza says. “Trees, plants, flowers, anything.”

Same goes for the house.

“When you rent, you have to ask to even change the colors of the walls,” Garcia adds. “Having a home is a real freedom.”

Thompson says Habitat for Humanity hopes to have the family completely moved in before the end of the year. However, there is still much to be done on this project which began quite awhile ago.

“It took quite a bit of time,”?Thompson says. “The application process itself can take more than 30 days.”

The home was donated by Rick and Barb Ristau and was moved last winter from it’s original location to the new location on 10th Street.

“We have been searching for the right family since,” Thompson says.

She adds that after coming up short on their hunt for a deserving family, she began to ask around if anyone knew of anyone who would be a good fit.

One day she was in El Tio restaurant and asked Ismael Martinez if anyone knew of a deserving individual.

“And, he did,”?Thompson says. “So Jesus and Maria applied and they were the ones.”

Now the house has been moved, the family selected, but there is a little more to be done before they can settle in.

“We are hoping to have you in your home by Christmas,” Thompson told the family.

She reminded them that was a goal, not a promise. But, hoped they would make it happen.

“That would be a very, very good gift,”?Meza says. “We are very lucky.”