Local family moves in to new Habitat for Humanity home
By Angie Purdy
Building a neighborhood from the ground up; that’s what is taking place on North Fourth Street: one house at a time; one family at a time. Robin Francis and her two boys, Joshua, 15, and Caleb, 13, are the recipients of the seventh Berthoud Habitat for Humanity home. Robin received word she was the recipient of her home in December 2014. The dedication took place in Jan. 23, and now she is dwelling in the comfort of her own home.
The news of being the newest family awarded the Habitat for Humanity home was a much-needed turn of events in their lives. In March 2012 Robin suffered a brain injury while putting up a fence to keep their goats in and the T-post pounder came back and hit her in the head. She did not realize right away she had suffered such an injury.
Robin had gone to work the next day and co-workers noticed she wasn’t making much sense. She ended up going to the doctor and being diagnosed with a brain injury. Instead of taking this traumatizing diagnosis as a bad thing, Robin said, “my whole personality changed. I live in the moment. I don’t worry. I am forgetful, but I’m happy.”
Not only did she have that personal tragedy in 2012, but in September 2013 the rental property she lived in was damaged in the flood. It only affected the basement, but eventually mold began to grow and caused health issues for Robin, Joshua and Caleb. It wasn’t until she moved into an apartment nine months ago that she realized how the mold caused her family to become ill.
Going to work on her home − as required by Habitat for Humanity in “sweat equity,” was a difficult feat for Robin; the loud noises caused severe headaches. She described it as having “headaches for days.” Instead, she put in her 250 hours of “sweat equity” working at the Berthoud Habitat for Humanity ReStore. Even though she completed her 250 hours of work long ago, Robin continues to volunteer at the ReStore.
“I love it,” she said. “The people that I’ve met have been just phenomenal.”
The impact of being awarded their home doesn’t start and stop with Robin; it has formed an impression for her son Joshua. Their house was built by students at Loveland High School in the geometry in construction class, and now Joshua is considering the possibility of taking that class along with his classes at Berthoud High School. The building of the Francis’ home gave the construction students unexplainable joy. They have directly, positively impacted an entire family. The State of Colorado gave two specialized grants to flood victims and the Francis family was the beneficiary of one of the two grants. The grants paid for the materials for building the home.
Smiles were ever present on Robin’s, Joshua’s and Caleb’s faces. The home was built with caring hands with a view that takes your breath away.
“I love the neighborhood and the view is beautiful,” Robin said of her new home.
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