The Osborne Family
Mirida Osborne was relieved nine years ago to receive the call with the news that she would have a safe environment for her children, a yard for her animals, and a place to call home. Mirida lives with her boyfriend and their combined family: Mirida’s 15 year old son and 11 year old daughter, and her boyfriend’s daughters, ages 11 and 6. The family also includes two dogs, three bunnies and eight chickens.
Mirida first learned about Topeka Habitat for Humanity in 2009 from a mentor at the Kansas Children’s Service League. Initially, Mirida didn’t think she could afford the expenses of being a homeowner, but as she went through the process, she realized she was a perfect candidate and that it would only cost her $65 dollars a month more to own a home, rather than rent from someone else.
Construction on her 3 bedroom and 1.5 bathroom home actually began in a high school construction science class. Topeka Habitat partnered with a local high school to build the outside shell of the house in two parts which were then taken to the build site and combined. Once on-site, it was time to get to work on the inside of the house. Habitat Homeowners must put in “sweat equity” volunteer hours as part of the program and Mirida’s family divided their time between the Topeka Habitat for Humanity ReStore and their home. Her family was very excited and worked weekends installing floor boards, doors, shelving, and painting projects at the house.
Mirida said she had a great experience with Topeka Habitat for Humanity. Comparing her life before and after becoming a Topeka Habitat Homeowner Mirida said she’s more connected to her family as well as her community. In addition to being more connected with the people in her neighborhood and having a better quality of life for her children, Mirida is less stressed and can focus on her career—she now works for a large insurance provider in Topeka.
After her house was built, Mirida continued working with Topeka Habitat as a member of the Family Selection Committee helping choose which families were to become future Habitat Homeowners. Of her entire experience with Topeka Habitat, Mirida’s favorite part is that her best friend built a Habitat home right next door to her own. Almost every Sunday, you’ll find Mirida sitting on her deck with her friend, drinking coffee, and breathing a sigh of relief knowing her house is her own, thanks to Topeka Habitat.