David Hummer didn’t think he’d ever have his own home until he learned about Habitat’s Veteran Home-ownership Program.
Happy-go-lucky Chihuahua mix Balthazar is the first face visitors see at David Hummer’s York Habitat for Humanity home. Tail wagging, he grabs his taco squeaky toy and begs to play.
“It means the world to me,” David says of owning a home. “I get to have this little guy here.”
In 2018, David felt that he was out of options. As a disabled veteran, he couldn’t discern any path to home ownership. Then, he happened to see a feature on WPMT-FOX43 about the York Habitat for Humanity Veteran Home-ownership Program. The next day he began filling out his application.
A perfect fit for a veteran in need
Through the program, David not only gained a new home but found solace and stability after years of challenging living situations. Soon, he was offered a house in Manchester, constructed in 2017 as part of Habitat’s Veterans Build program. With its single story, three bedrooms, and one bath, it was perfect for David.
Before learning about Habitat, David was living in less-than-ideal conditions in the basement of a home owned by his daughter's grandfather. For 13 years, David greatly appreciated the generosity, but the environment was humid and bug- and mold-ridden. He often was sick from breathing the polluted air.
After joining the Air Force in 1991, David had anticipated a much different future. He began training as a cryptologic linguist and was learning Vietnamese. But after only a few months, that all was cut short. David was seriously injured and eventually honorably discharged from the military because of his injury.
Owning the future
Connecting with York Habitat for Humanity offered David a fresh start. Because of his disability, David’s daughters and parents played a crucial role in completing his required Habitat for Humanity sweat equity as construction volunteers at other York Habitat projects.
His family embraced the opportunity to contribute to the projects, despite their lack of experience. Even David’s youngest son, still a teenager at the time, helped with office work.
For David, the day he moved into his Habitat home marked a significant turning point. Although a minor electrical glitch delayed his living there for a couple of days, the support of his family and the significance of having a place to call his own outweighed the inconvenience.
Doing everything they can
Since David moved into his Habitat home, his life has seen a remarkable improvement. He experiences fewer health issues and enjoys the comfort of having his own space to relax.
Owning an asset, in the form of his Habitat home, holds immense value for David. The stability and sense of ownership allow him to create a nurturing environment for himself and his family, including his four-legged companion.
Having gone from challenging living conditions to the comfort of his own home, David acknowledges that York Habitat for Humanity has transformed his life.
“York Habitat is a big help,” he says, scratching behind an eager Balthazar’s ears. “Don't think they won't help, because they do everything they can.”