May 22, 2024

A new beginning

Mavis became a widow when her children were young, but even without a partner to help support the family, she remained committed to providing safety and stability for her three children. So, when violent crime was on the rise in her native Zimbabwe, she immigrated to Canada in search of a better life for her family.

Mavis and her children started life in Canada in a one-bedroom apartment. But finding a larger place to live was financially out of reach. “Seeing my kids cramped in a one-bedroom apartment, especially during online learning because of COVID, broke my heart,” said Mavis. “It was terrible seeing them trying to do their school presentations in the washroom because our place was so small and there wasn’t any privacy.”

A health-care worker, Mavis contracted COVID-19 during the height of the pandemic and had to self-isolate so she wouldn’t transmit the virus to her children. Without a room of her own, she lived in the bathroom. Every time one of her children needed to use it, Mavis had to sanitize the bathroom and leave the apartment – a tough balancing act, during a scary time.

Mavis welcome home

Thanks to Habitat for Humanity Niagara and support from the Government of Canada through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s Black Families Funding Initiative, Mavis and her children moved into their new Habitat home in Thorold, Ontario. Now, Mavis can create long-term plans and provide her children with a safe and decent place to live and grow.

“Honestly, from deep down in my heart, owning my own house means everything to me,” she says. “It means decency, safety, freedom, happiness, joy and stability, and will give my children the opportunity to discover what they want to do with their lives.”