SUMMERSIDE — Putting into the words exactly what ‘home’ means is almost impossible for Becky MacArthur.
“It’s hard because it’s a feeling. It’s like love to me and love is just unexplainable,” said Becky. “To have our own home, I feel like I am finally going to feel like I belong.”
She, husband Glenn and their four young children are realizing their dream.
Soon, ground will be broken on their new home, thanks to Habitat for Humanity.
The home will be erected on a piece of land off Summerside’s South Drive where four other Habitat homes have been constructed.
“It’s going to be exciting,” said Becky. “It’s one of those things you can’t put into words.”
The family is young, Glenn now 26 and Becky, 25. Their oldest child, Glenn’s daughter Autumn, is eight, while daughter Fallyn is four, son Raedyn will be two in November and the youngest, baby boy Korbyn, is seven months old.
Finding adequate housing has been challenging.
They lived in an old apartment in Abram-Village, which was cramped and a place Becky didn’t feel was safe to raise their family.
Now they live in Slemon Park, thanks to an approval for subsidized housing.
“That’s the only way we can afford to live where we are living right now,” said Becky. “We couldn’t have been more blessed or happy to have been approved.”
And the family hasn’t been without its troubles.
Last winter, shortly after his birth, Korbyn fell ill and spent time in hospital.
Becky and Fallyn have severe allergies and suffer from asthma, making it difficult to breathe in a home with forced air heating.
Weeks after filling out the application, the MacArthurs got the news that will change their lives — they were approved for a four-bedroom Habitat home.
“It’s unexplainable, really,” Becky said of her initial reaction. “One minute it doesn’t seem real and then we go and help out on other builds, like the Kinkora build and Kensington build, and it just makes it all the more real. It helps us realize that this will be us.”
The family is required to provide 500 hours to the build, something, admitted Becky, that will be difficult with four small children and Glenn working full-time.
That’s why she is reaching out for help, using social media and friends to spread the word that volunteers are needed to give their time to build their dream home.
“The moment that I found out that we were approved I just started busting into it as fast as I could,” Becky said with a laugh. “The sooner I can get things done and organized the sooner I might be able to relax.
“Needless to say there are a lot of sleepless nights right now.”
Volunteers are needed for the build committee, to help child mind so that Becky can help out at the site and to provide and prepare food.
The home will be the sixth Habitat home constructed in Summerside, said the P.E.I. organization’s executive director Susan Zambonin.
The first, on Jennifer Street, was built in 2005.
This year, Habitat will build five homes throughout P.E.I. and purchase another home previously constructed that will go to another Island family in need.
Zambonin admitted that applications from the Summerside area are few, which is why a build only happens every two years or so.
But, she added, a recent ad campaign has sparked interested and generated applications from across the Island, which means that at least five more Habitat homes will be built next year.
Tabatha Carr and her two young sons will see the walls of their Stewart Street home in Kensington raised on Aug. 9, the second build in that community.
And, in October, a home will be built in Harrington for a young family of six.
Zambonin said the land on South Drive can accommodate another six homes.
The property was donated to Habitat for Humanity P.E.I. by the Summerside Christian Council, while the provincial government donated a large section of land in Hillsborough Park and a private donor signed over 30 acres in Harrington.
For the MacArthurs, wall-raising day is Sept. 6.
“It is going to be a busy day. Glenn’s mom is getting married on that day, too,” said Becky, who hopes to set up cameras to catch all the action.
“All of these people are going to come and help build our house so the least I can do is sit there and watch it all happen.”
To volunteer for the Summerside build, call Zambonin at 902-367-3559, Becky at 902-436-4782 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.