A forever home

September 8, 2023

Rita knows what it means to work towards a dream. She’s a survivor, a mom, and a healthcare worker who moved to the United States for a better life. She was determined when moving to a new place that she would create a better future for her family. Rita says everything she does is for her and her kids. Today, she’s standing strong, providing for her mom back home, building a life with a partner who protects her family, and seeing her kids grow and learn.

“Even though the storm can knock you down,” she says, “I was able to get back up.”

Rita and her daughter stand with Gloria, the CHWC housing counselor who's worked with them, outside of CHWC's office.

Rita’s proud of everything she’s accomplished to get here. Most recently, she and her husband just became owners of the home they’ve been renting – and building a life in – for seven years.

The family was adamant they wanted to stay put when it came time to move from renting to owning. This place – both the house they live in and the neighborhood that’s become their home – has been good to them. The trees feel homey, and the big backyard that creates a safe environment for their kids to play outside. Rita feels like her neighbors watch out for them.

But renting came with problems; if something was wrong with the home, or if they wanted to make any changes, they had to wait for the owner to do it. They may have wanted to invest in making the house look nicer or work better for them, but because it wasn’t theirs, it didn’t feel like a good investment.

Rita learned about CHWC when her husband began looking into buying a home. She came into CHWC’s office to find out more, where she met Gloria, one of CHWC’s two bilingual housing counselors. After attending CHWC’s homebuyer education class, Rita learned she was ready to buy a home. Soon, the house her family had rented for years was theirs. Rita’s happy knowing if she’s going to change something for the better, they’ll get to keep that investment and enjoy the home for as long as they want to. Rita and her husband see their current home as a forever home, and ultimately want to buy another home for their kids.

Rita and her husband see their current home as a forever home.

When asked what makes a good neighborhood, Rita says it’s a place that feels safe and has everything you need – parks within walking distance, stores, pharmacies, and access to healthcare. In her neighborhood, most of the houses  are in good shape, aside from a few, including the one they just bought. After supporting her pre-purchase process, CHWC helped connect Rita to a local lender who provided a home repair loan. She’s excited to invest in improving their house, and says it’s going to help the whole neighborhood feel nicer.

Rita and her family stand with Gloria, one of CHWC's bilingual housing counselors, in front of a photo of beautiful new homes.Because of the strengths of our neighborhoods and the support of our neighbors, Rita and her family found a home in a neighborhood they love. For a long time, Kansas City, Kansas has been a place that welcomed families like Rita’s who needed a new place to call home and build a better life for their families, but with  the impacts of historic disinvestment lingering in our neighborhoods, along with the rising costs of construction, many people may find that they’re barred from accessing that opportunity.

CHWC is proud to be part of Rita and her family’s story and grateful to have them in our community. With access to resources and support from good neighbors, we’re working towards a world where we can all find a safe place to call home. CHWC is building resources and access points so more of our neighbors can achieve what Rita and her family have done.

Will you be part of our vision to build abundant, inclusive, and welcoming communities where every person can feel at home in a neighborhood they love? Join us!

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