Habitat for Humanity welcomes Odessa family to new home

Midland organization stretches west to dedicate first Habitat home in Odessa in years

Starting with the Torres home, the Midland organization is making an effort to expand into Odessa and work to help deserving Odessan applicants get into new homes.

Habitat for Humanity is a Christian nonprofit that helps put together homes for applicants who put in enough hours of work into the building of their homes, and other organization projects.

Torres put in over 350 hours of work in with the group, Best said, helping to keep those wheels turning for others, before Torres cut the ribbon on her home Thursday.

“It was a struggle,” the 42-year-old Torres admitted. “It was a big struggle.

“I had a lot of people that supported and pushed me.”

Torres is the mother of three, and the grandmother of one.

She said she and her family had been living in a trailer in Odessa when, a couple years ago, the landlord she was renting from passed away, and she suddenly faced eviction — all as an up-swinging oil industry drove up rent prices all around her.

Torres choked back tears Thursday during the dedication presentation, as she thanked the Habitat volunteers who helped make a new home for her and her family a reality.

“It makes you feel special, that all the people volunteer to help you and actually come out and do the work,” she said later.

“It means everything to me, knowing that, not only my kids, but me, have a place to come home to, and knowing that those doors are always going to be open,” she added.

Now, with her hours put into the organization acting as a down payment, Torres and her family can move in, with the chance to pay off the house at-cost over a 25-year mortgage.

Torres said she was glad to see Midland Habitat reaching out west to provide that chance for her and other Odessans.

“Not only does it help me, but it helps other families, that are single, that are struggling, that have kids,” Torres said. “There’s a lot of people out there that need help. The ones that are getting it, it’s amazing. It’s amazing not only for me, but for them too.”

A long list of volunteers and organization supporters were thanked Thursday at the dedication, and the Torres home was christened with gifts like a welcome mat, a basket of books, a birdhouse and more.

“I think I’ve been so overwhelmed, and the stress that I’ve been going through — it’s been a bumpy road — and I think that it hasn’t sunk in at all,” Torres said, shaking her head.

Soon it will — and her house will be her home.