A single mother of two is spending all her free time installing insulation at her future home after qualifying to be one of two families that will move into the Habitat for Humanity duplex in Corner Brook.
"A whole new life," said Melissa Bellows, who is looking forward to being one part of one of the first Habitat for Humanity families in Corner Brook.
After a lengthy application process and a lot of paperwork, Bellows heard the good news in January that she and her daughters Brianna, 13, and Shaylen, 5, would soon have a home to call their own.
"We were in a small, two-bedroom apartment. My girls were sharing a room — constant arguing, being girls," she said.
"They are very excited to have their own rooms."
Bellows, who works at the local fish plant, said she is looking forward to moving into a home that will bring her family close to key parts of their lives.
"My job is just up the street so I can walk to work and my daughter's school is right there," Bellows said. "It's going to be a big change for the better."
Homeowners pitch in to help build house
Habitat for Humanity offers a interest-free mortgage to qualified applicants. Future homeowners are not expected to make a downpayment, but they do have to volunteer for up to 500 hours during the building process.
"It's very exciting," said Bellows, who is cutting pieces of insulation and has been installing them on the wall between the two houses.
"I've been here every volunteer day. Probably 50 hours so far, but a lot more to come," she said, standing in her future bedroom.
Although the project is behind schedule, the first home is almost finished. Volunteers from the local Knights of Columbus spent their weekend installing insulation and drywall.
'They are not looking for a handout'
Soon, volunteers will plaster and paint the home under the supervision of project manager Don Carter, who is supervising the build.
"These are working people who want to move ahead," said Carter, who has been showing Bellows and other volunteers how to properly install the drywall.
"They are not looking for a handout. Melissa works at the fish plant — she works hard. Any days she's available, she will be here," he said.
"The same with the other family."
Carter said Habitat for Humanity helps people with limited means get into homes.
"It's really hard to come up with a downpayment. This is just a little extra push to get them a little further ahead," he said.