Adela Diez and Olga Perez have traveled a long road to their pretty new home on Acorn Park Lane in Pittsboro. Adela is from Venezuela; her mother Olga was born in Cuba. In 2002 Adela moved to Vero Beach, Fla., and, later, to Miami. “All of my family was here,” Adela says “My three (adult) daughters and my mother, who moved here 22 years ago. Also two of my brothers.” But the biggest reason for the move, she says, were the deteriorating politics in Venezuela. “I did not like what was happening. It was not nice for me. All of my family was in the U.S. I’m very happy here. It’s not easy in Venezuela. The U.S. is home now.”
And home now is a tidy two-bedroom, two bath house on a cul-de-sac with a dozen other homes built by Chatham Habitat for Humanity. On Oct. 10, Adela, her daughter Carolina, granddaughter Nicole, 17, and Olga – four generations of Adela’s family – gathered with a small crowd of friends, neighbors and Habitat staff and volunteers for the dedication of their new home. Olga, 91, walked up the front steps with two family members assisting her. The new house will be easier for her; a wheelchair ramp is being built on the side, and the doors are wide, enough to accommodate a wheelchair. One bathroom will be equipped with a zero entry shower stall that will be easy for Olga to use.
It will be a good life for them, near Carolina and her children, in a cul-de-sac where children ride bikes and play, and you’re as likely to hear Spanish as English. Adela has found fulfilling work with the English as a Second Language program in the public schools – a job she loves.
The home was built as part of a three-year commitment by the State Employees Credit Union Foundation to build a Habitat for Humanity home in each of North Carolina’s 100 counties. Because of overlapping jurisdictions of some local Habitat affiliates, 104 homes will be built.
In late October, Adela, a woman with a warm smile and a ready embrace for all, and her mother, Olga, will move into their new home. It will be equipped to make Olga more comfortable, with easier access and a more serene neighborhood. Their extended family will be nearby. As Jana Reid of the Pittsboro office of SECU said as she presented Adela with the keys to her new home, “We are celebrating the dedication of so many people who have made this Habitat for Humanity home possible.” Reid said the house is a symbol of the shared values of SECU and Habitat for Humanity: People helping people. As for Adela, after much hard work, she and her mother will have a safe, healthy home of their own.