Johnson family looks to future in their new Habitat home

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The Johnson family on the front porch of their new home with Habitat Signature Builders Craig Bailey and Don Weiler of Bailey & Weiler Design/Build.


On June 15, Habitat for Humanity of Monroe County dedicated the new home of the Jason and Jessica Johnson family. The 4 bedroom, 2 bath home was constructed over a two week period by generous and dedicated contractors, suppliers and volunteers. Bailey & Weiler Design/Build is proud to have been a Signature Builder for the Johnson home.

For the Johnson family, home ownership was always in the plans. The problem was the timeline kept getting longer and longer.  “We had the five year plan of trying to buy a house,” said Jason, who works at PrintPack in Bloomington. “We couldn’t save enough to get ahead. Something else in our trailer would fall apart or break. We kept looking at the five year plan thinking it was turning into the ten year plan.” Jessica agreed, “We had our hands tied. We felt really helpless. It was a never ending cycle – an awful, vicious cycle.”

But now, thanks to their hard work and preparations, their plan for home ownership will be complete in June 2012, when their Habitat home is built during the Builders Blitz event. This growing family including Jason and Jessica, along with their children Zoe (age 5), Emme (age 4), Kinsley (age 1), and a little boy (“Finally!” said Jason) due May 2012, Grady, will all be in their new home this summer.

Jason grew up moving every year. He wants a different childhood for his own kids – one with stability. He said, “We wanted this to be the last move. Not changing school districts each year.” While he was working hard as a bag operator at PrintPack, it wasn’t enough to provide decent housing. “For a family our size it was impossible,” he said. “(Monroe County) is set up for roommates in a college town. But when you have one income and one family, you can’t do that.” Now they will live in Cedar Chase, Habitat’s neighborhood community on Bloomington’s southwest side.

Jessica is looking forward to moving out of their trailer, which is falling apart. The floors are falling through, water heater has gone out, and it’s not insulated. She is grateful that she will have her children in a decent home.  “I’m terrified of storms now and being in the trailer when the tornado sirens go off. Now we’ll have a sturdy, stable home to stay in during thunderstorms.”

Now the Johnsons can dream about the future in ways they never could before. Jessica said, “We sat down that night after we got the call to say that we were going to have a Habitat home and said ‘Now we can start saving money for college for our kids. We can plan for the future now!’” The kids are all looking forward to having more space to play – inside and outside. Jason can’t wait to have space too. He wants to start family traditions and host people for holidays and cookouts. Most of all, they want to share their gratitude. “It’s all happening so fast but we are very grateful that there are people out there who are willing to devote so much time to Habitat like this,” said Jessica. “This gave us hope. Our future just looks better now!”

The new Johnson home in the Cedar Chase neighborbood.

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