| Sep 18, 2023
New home opens new possibilities for Elijah
For Elijah, owning a home has always been a far-fetched dream, something people did decades ago but was no longer a realistic goal for those living in today’s economy. So, when he found out he’d been selected as a future homeowner at Alder Commons, Habitat’s 8-home community in Hillsboro, he almost didn’t believe it was true.
“It was kind of mind blowing for me,” Elijah remembers. “I didn’t know if it was real at first.”
The 23-year-old Portlander sees homeownership as a game changer – something that will allow him to save money and make it easier to reach his goal of becoming an entrepreneur. He works in sales and one day dreams of working for himself.
Elijah is set to move into his new home this fall with his 20-year-old brother, who currently lives with their mom. She’s the one who told Elijah about Habitat, urging him to give it a try even when he felt overwhelmed by starting the application process. While he was skeptical at first, he trusted her judgment, so he kept on going.
After all, mother knows best.
Elijah said it will be nice to give their mom her space back once both boys move in together. While they will enjoy being on their own, the brothers will be there to look out for each other and maintain a sense of familiarity in the home.
Elijah has enjoyed volunteering at the Foster and Alder Commons build sites. He was nervous at first that he would not know anyone there, or how to do any of the tasks, but he was pleasantly surprised to find that everyone on site was personable and helpful. It’s an easygoing, chill vibe, he said, with good music that keeps everybody engaged and in high spirits.
One day on the Alder Commons site, he met his future next-door neighbors – a Somalian family who promised to cook him a meal once they were all moved in. Getting to know these neighbors and others solidified for Elijah that this move and a new future, was really happening.
He has also gained a sense of security from the classes Habitat conducts for future homeowners. He’s enjoyed learning about the updated technology in the homes and what to expect as a new homeowner.
“I can take a deep breath,” Elijah said. “I’m going to be a homeowner, but it’s not going to be this whole hectic thing.”
There’s one point of pride that stands above the rest in Elijah’s homeownership journey: he will be the first person in his family to own a home with a new baby. He’s the father of a three-month-old son and is proud to have something to pass down to him.
“It gives regular people a fighting chance at starting generational wealth,” Elijah said. “The home is where it starts. If you have a healthy home, it’s only up from there.”
Thinking ahead, Elijah plans to turn one of the three bedrooms into a room for his son. He also wants to plant cherry tomatoes and strawberries in the yard, among other ideas for once he’s settled in. The opportunities are endless.
“It’ll be nice to get a kick start for my family,” he said. “I’m excited for the adventure.”