The Pena Family
“Always loving and supporting each other no matter what, constantly growing and learning.”
We would like to introduce you to the Pena family, future homeowners for our current Red Deer Evergreen Build. Diana and her two children, Alexander and Emma. Diana is a committed and passionate mom of two; Alexander, her nine-year-old son, and Emma, her five-year-old daughter. Diana describes her children as dreamers, loving, and empathetic. They love swimming and practicing taekwondo and dance. Diana works two jobs. She is a Job Developer for the Central Alberta Immigrant Women's Association and works as a Lab Processor at the Red Deer Hospital. She is also a student at RDP, working toward her Bachelor of Business Administration Degree. Diana loves to help the immigrant community in Red Deer with things like translation, resources, and networking. In her free time, she also likes to read and learn.
Born in El Salvador, Diana moved to Red Deer in 2009. Diana and her family have moved four times since immigrating to Canada. She shared that she has had both good and bad experiences renting. One of the issues her family has faced renting is the high cost of a small space. Alexander and Emma share a bedroom, leaving them with little room to do any activities. The family has felt the adverse effects of these rental issues. Diana finds her rental problems frustrating. When talking about this, she said, “I feel I can’t do better. Coming to a new country, we should be able to have a better life as there are more possibilities. I can also see frustration from my kids, as they don’t understand the sacrifices a parent has to make in order to provide for them.”
Diana heard about Habitat Red Deer’s Affordable Homeownership program through her community, she shared with us that she has even helped other families apply in the past. Diana decided to apply to the program so that she could provide her kids with a stable and secure place to live. “I am still in disbelief, grateful and full of hope! The kids are excited to play in the backyard and not have to share a room. They will have privacy now that they didn’t previously and room to play and study!” Diana exclaimed when asked how she felt about being accepted to the program. The family is very excited about their new home! Alexander is eager to help with the development of the house and make everything feel homely. And Emma is looking forward to having her own garden at home for the family. Collectively the family is most excited about the stability and security that will come with homeownership.
The opportunity of becoming a homeowner allows Diana to let go of some of her stress and focus more on her kids, job, and studies. Diana believes home is the first school for children, emphasizing the importance of having a safe, affordable, decent place to live.