With no place to live at age 19, Judy Aguero turned to the organization and set out on a path that would transform her family’s future.
Judy Aguero was just 19 and pregnant with her first daughter, living in a women’s shelter in York. Not sure where to turn, she picked up a pamphlet that listed local resources and learned about York Habitat for Humanity. She decided to apply for the organization’s home-ownership program.
Judy’s application was denied.
York Habitat shared with her ways she could be in a better position to enter the program.
Not one to give up easily, she applied the next year. That application also was denied. As her circumstances shifted, she applied year after year, facing the disappointment of denial each time.
But she never gave up and neither did York Habitat. Together, they helped create a path for her to pursue her dream and make homeownership a reality.
With the support of the nonprofit organization, Maggie Villafane not only helped rehabilitate homes for others but built the foundation for a better future for herself and her family.
Born and raised in York, Maggie Villafane always had rented. Repeatedly moving from apartment to apartment, the prospect of owning a home seemed unrealistic.
In 2012, with a new baby and hoping for a better future for her family, Maggie turned to York Habitat for Humanity.
"I saw it as the perfect opportunity to have our first home,” she says. “I think if we would have gone the traditional route, I felt like we wouldn’t have been able to afford it."
Celia Serrano used York Habitat for Humanity’s home-ownership program and the lessons it taught to help grow her assets and change her family’s future.
In 2009, Celia Serrano and her nearly adult children moved from Arizona to York to be with her, now, husband , hoping to find stability and a place to call home.
Having both previously lived in New York City, she and her husband longed to have a house of their own. After exploring options for buying a home, Celia saw that York Habitat for Humanity’s home-ownership program offered the best path forward.
“Once I came here and got settled down and started working, I looked into the program and to see if we were eligible, and we were,” Celia says.
The application process began in 2013, and after months of navigating credit checks and paperwork with her York Habitat for Humanity coach, Celia and her family were approved to become owners of a Habitat home.
Keith and Libby Shaub purchased their house in 2001. In 2019, they made their final payment and reveled in being mortgage-free homeowners.
With raised glasses of sparkling cider, Keith and Libby Shaub of York celebrated paying off their York Habitat for Humanity home in 2019. It was the completion of a journey that had started nearly two decades before.
Living in a claustrophobic apartment after their marriage in 1999, Keith and Libby knew they needed more space.
“We had a daybed with a trundle that was underneath the bed,” Keith says. “When we put it up, I couldn't get out of bed, it was so tight. The rooms were real small.”
They didn’t think they’d ever be able to buy a home until they learned about York Habitat for Humanity’s home ownership program.
Tonya and her children moved into their York Habitat for Humanity house in 2017. In March, she and daughter Sadiyah volunteered during York Habitat’s Women Build Week to say thanks for their lives being changed.
Tonya wanted to write a different story for her family than the one she grew up with. She was a single mom, living in York City with three daughters and a son in a two-bedroom apartment. Her children were struggling in school and she was afraid her son would drop out as she had.
“We had times where we came out of our house and literally ducked because there was shooting,” Tonya remembers.
Feeling that she had nowhere else to turn, Tonya reached out to York Habitat for Humanity. She had applied for a mortgage with another company but was approved for only $85,000 in spite of having a good credit score. Tonya knew she wouldn’t be able to find the home her family needed on that budget.
Tonya previously had been denied entry into the York Habitat for Humanity program, and with a felony in her background and her struggle to make ends meet and care for her family, Tonya worried that she would be rejected again.
This time the story was different. Tonya was approved.
Steven and Madeline Rosa moved into their new forever home in November 2022.
Owning a home had been a decades-long dream for Steven and Madeline Rosa. Steven moved to York in 1985 and Madeline in 1994 from Puerto Rico. They met and were married 21 years ago and raised their family while renting houses in York. Purchasing a home, especially a new one, felt forever out of reach.
“We wanted to buy a house,” Steven says, “but we knew how expensive the houses are.”
For Steven, at 55 years old, the thought of taking out a mortgage, then paying tens of thousands of dollars in interest on top of that, felt overwhelming.