• January 28, 2020

Morales, her six children proud to accept home from Habitat for Humanity - Odessa American: Local News

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Morales, her six children proud to accept home from Habitat for Humanity

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Posted: Tuesday, January 7, 2020 7:18 pm

Aracely Morales has called the Midland-Odessa area her home for the last 11 years.

On Tuesday afternoon, the 34-year-old El Paso native and mother of six received the keys to a house as part of a dedication ceremony from Midland Habitat for Humanity.

Morales along with her six daughters — 15-year-old Steffonia, 12-year-old Sophia, 8-year-old Nayeli, 7-year-old Naomi, 5-year-old Sheyla and 3-year-old Mercedes — cut the ribbon to welcome their home to the rest of the community.

“Along with the excitement, you have that weight off your shoulders,” Morales said. “It’s an awesome feeling to know you own this home. This is yours. You should proudly show it off.”

During the dedication ceremony, Sophia explained the importance of this house to members of the community, volunteers and sponsors.

“I consider this a blessing,” she said during the ceremony. “It opens a lot of doors and a lot of opportunities.”

That sentiment is also shared by Midland Habitat for Humanity executive director Joey Hopkins.

“We really believe that houses are more than where you just sleep at night,” Hopkins said. “We have statistics that kids that grow up in houses that they owe do better in school. They are more involved and it permeates every area of life.”

Morales said her and her daughters were previously renting house for $1,800 a month.

The 34-year-old said this house allows her and her children the opportunity to live in a stable home without having to worrying about rent increasing.

“The oilfield is great. It’s great opportunity, but when the oilfield goes down, everything goes down,” Morales said. “Not everyone makes oilfield money.”

Prior to the ribbon cutting, Midland Habitat for Humanity executive director Joey Hopkins gave the Morales family a couple of gifts, which included a step stool and a trivet that were repurposed from the original home. There was also a toolbox, birdhouse and a bible.

Hopkins said Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit organization, which allows it to buy and sell houses at cost. Hopkins said the organization can build houses for $70,000. The Midland Habitat for Humanity serves the Midland and Odessa.

Hopkins also explained where the Morales’ house is located — the 300 block of Lauderdale Avenue — there will two more projects scheduled to be completed.

“The housing shortage is a big deal right now,” Hopkins said. “We are uniquely positioned to pursue that because we don’t need to make a profit. We can sell these houses for what it costs us to build. A for-profit builder wouldn’t be able to do that.”

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