Local families set to receive Habitat homes in 2017

By Katie Harris
The Surveyor

Thanks to the help of the care-a-vanners, and others who have helped with the Habitat for Humanity homes, such as the AmeriCorps, who were in town over the summer, the Loveland High Geometry in Construction Program, who worked on two of the houses on campus, and everyone who supports the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Berthoud, three families are set to receive homes in 2017.

Jamie Boller found herself unable to afford her rent on a single income after her fiancé tragically passed away three years ago. “His death was sudden, and I didn’t have time to plan,” she said. “My son has a heart condition and everything just became too overwhelming.”

With nowhere else to go, Boller and her son and daughter moved in with her grandfather in Campion. “The house is really cramped, and there aren’t enough bedrooms so we have to share,” she said. She applied for a Habitat home and was accepted. She’ll receive the first home scheduled to be completed in January 2017.

Gladys Erives will receive the second house under construction sometime next spring. She and her two children’s lives were turned upside down after their basement was destroyed in the 2013 flood, shortly after which she and her husband divorced and, unable to afford the rent individually, each moved to new locations. Currently Erives is living in an apartment in Loveland with her children.

“Oh my goodness,” said Erives’ 18-year-old daughter Arleth. “Going from a farm house to an apartment complex, trading in peace and quiet for the sounds of cars and traffic all day long, you can’t imagine how excited we are to have a place that’s our own again.”

Arleth, whose family lived in Berthoud for 17 years before the divorce, said she is also excited to be back in Berthoud, and closer to her job at Berthoud Vision for Life. She said she hopes to enroll at Front Range Community College next year. Her mother Gladys is a housekeeper at Hampton Inn in Loveland.

Boller, who works at Great Clips in Windsor, said she’s just excited to be able to stretch her legs in her own bed. “It’s funny, because we don’t call it home yet,” she said. “We all call it the Habitat house. It makes me laugh every time my kids say it, wondering when reality will sink in.”

Boller said her 13-year-old son is especially excited to have his own personal space again, separate from his 8-year-old sister.

Both families, along with Francine Jabalera and Christopher Szydlek, who will receive the third house sometime next summer, have been helping at the job sites frequently, and at the ReStore. Arleth said she and her brother help by picking up trash, and Boller said she and her children pick up nails, put up siding, paint and sweep. “Anything but using the nail gun.” she said.