Habitat family shares how they are thriving as homeowners during COVID-19 pandemic

The Big Eagle family is thankful during this pandemic - that they can quarantine in the comfort of their own home.

BLACK HILLS, S.D. — The Big Eagle family is thankful during this pandemic – that they can quarantine in the comfort of their own home.

Valerian and Eric Big Eagle

Valeriah and Eric Big Eagle

Valeriah is working on her PhD and teaching virtually from home and Eric is studying for his degree as well. They are a busy family. Just a couple of years ago, their situation looked different.
Eric says, “Finding an apartment or a place to live was very challenging, we lived with a few family members at first. We saw the Habitat for Humanity ad, went to the informational [meeting] and then we just got in the program. And we stayed committed and our ultimate goal was to get this house and ever since we got this house, everything has been looking up.”
Big Eagle's Habitat House

Big Eagle’s Habitat House

They said the housing market in Rapid City was a challenge, that there were barriers to affordable housing but after 2 years in the Habitat Program, they have learned many valuable lessons.
Valeriah says, “You have to work on your own debt, our debt looks great now. Our credit scores are great, and that is something we didn’t expect but that happened through the habitat program – just the process itself.”
The value of their own space is truly life changing, and especially in times like these.
Eric Big Eagle in family home

Eric Big Eagle in family home

“Where we lived before, we were all crammed in a small apartment and wouldn’t necessarily let them go outside because we didn’t feel safe and so you know, I feel very blessed that we do have our home and that we have this space,” Valeriah said.
They intend to build a fence, get a basketball hoop and maybe even a family dog down the road – building plans for the future.
Valeriah says, “Going from not feeling safe and not really having a home to having a place where my kids can grow and thrive that is really changing our lives, giving us a foundation to move up and we are. The Habitat for Humanity program is definitely worth it and it changes the lives of us and our children and future generations to come.”
Big Eagle Family in kitchen

Big Eagle Family in kitchen

For more information on how to apply for the habitat program or to donate to it, click here.

Categories: Coronavirus, Local News

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