At 56, Rosalie is finally getting the chance to be a homeowner.

It’s not just a blessing for her. Rosalie thinks homeownership will be a great example for her grown boys. “By owning a home it will let my children know they can do the same thing,” she said.

Rosalie first came to Anderson just for a visit, but she ended up staying. Here, she was able to find work, which was a struggle back in Atlanta. She has been a housekeeper at AnMed Health for about three years.

While finding a job came pretty easily, finding decent housing did not. Rosalie’s first apartment on her own was so bad she moved out and stayed with a family friend. She lived there 16 months, until her friend’s daughter and grandchildren moved in, forcing Rosalie to find somewhere else to go.

“Somewhere else” is a triplex home on the West Side. “It’s a slum lord” Rosalie said. “He doesn’t want to fix anything,” including rodent and plumbing problems.

But things are looking up since Rosalie discovered Habitat’s homeownership program. “I went and got all the information; I did everything I was supposed to do and got qualified for Habitat!” she said.

After her bad rental experiences, she is looking forward to a place that’s all her own.

“I can lock the door, unlock the door, put the windows up and know it’s mine,” she said. “I can paint a wall pink and don’t have to paint it back white if I ever leave. It’s a goal I’m working toward, something I’ve wanted for a long time.”

She also is already close with her future next-door-neighbor, another Habitat homeowner. They helped build each other’s homes and have become like family.

“I like volunteering in the ReStore and I just like going out on the work sites and helping to build other people’s homes,” Rosalie said. “I would refer anyone I know who wants to own a home to check out Habitat. They work with you, giving you time to save, taking the classes, volunteering. It’s all about giving back.”