‘I wanted something to call my own’ -- Lansing woman rebuilding life with new home from Habitat for Humanity

The last two years were not easy for Idalia. It was just her, a cat named Billie and her sewing machine.
Published: Jul. 23, 2022 at 7:19 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Idalia Casiano lived happily before the pandemic hit. Then, in 2020, her fiancée died from COVID. Just like that, her life changed overnight.

Suddenly she had to figure out where life is going to take her. So, Idalia moved in with a friend for two years.

Now, she has a new start.

“Mom is resilient, Mom is strong, and so am I,” said Casiano.

The last two years were not easy for Idalia. It was just her, a cat named Billie and her sewing machine. She said she didn’t know about Habitat For Humanity until a friend told her about it.

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“I wanted something to call my own, that nobody could take that from me,” Casiano said. “They made it possible for somebody that always wanted a home but was not able to get a loan from a bank.”

That’s where Habitat For Humanity’s homeownership program comes into play. The program builds or remodels homes in Ingham and Eaton counties.

Carmen Hall, Director of Philanthropy at Habitat Capital Region, said this program is for people from all walks of life.

“Each family has a different story, but the impact is the same in all of them,” Hall said. “They worked hard to get themselves in a situation where they can afford a safe, decent and affordable home.”

Hall said homeowners do have to put in 200-to-400 hours of volunteer work on other homes. Idalia also helps build her own home with the help of volunteers, like Shawn Sandhu.

“And she’s so energetic and so fun, I love that part,” said Sandhu. “It’s very emotional especially when coming to these dedications; you see the speeches, you see the impact you make on the community and like we all came over here. we all touched each other’s lives.”


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