Gypsum family of four, soon to be five, moves into new Habitat home
GYPSUM — Jocelyn Regalado and Oscar Solis, along with their two children — and another on the way — moved into their new Habitat for Humanity-sponsored home one month ago.
The couple had considered applying for a Habitat home before, but didn’t go through with it until one of Solis’ former co-workers — John Castillo, a Habitat homeowner himself — encouraged Solis and Regalado to apply.
After waiting about eight months to find out if their application was accepted by Habitat, Regalado and Solis began construction on their house. With each adult expected to put in 250 hours of sweat equity, the couple had the help of 15 of their friends and family to help complete 100 of each of their hours.
BUILDING A HOME
Even their 8-year-old daughter, Angelie Ponce, got involved painting boxes and helping decorate. Regalado and Solis worked on almost every component of their future home, from electricity to flooring.
“It was awesome; it was something that made it so worth it. It really gave you the sense of saying, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m building my own house,’” Regalado said.
There were many more Habitat volunteers helping the family build their home.
“It’s just amazing how many people come voluntarily. They don’t get paid, they don’t get anything,” Regalado said. “They do it because they love their community and they love to help. That’s one of the things that surprised me because I didn’t know there were so many people that were willing to help for nothing.”
In addition to teaching homeowners how to build their homes, Habitat teaches participants how to manage homeownership after the house is actually built. Throughout the year of construction, Regalado and Solis took courses with some of their Habitat neighbors. These courses taught Habitat participants skills to manage finances, maintain their home and more.
“The courses were very interesting — very educational — we learned a lot, and it helped us to see the homeowning process very differently than we thought before,” Regalado said. “It’s a lot more complex than you think.”
Now settling into their house, the entire family is excited to have a place to call their own after 18 years in the Vail Valley. Regalado and Solis are relieved that they can have a home after many years of looking for one they could afford. Their son, Oscar Daniel Solis, is especially excited to have his own room.
“All the staff with Habitat, they are really friendly and very accessible through the process, and any questions that we have or any concerns, they’re always there to help you and to make you feel better,” Regalado said. “It is a long process, but it’s really worth it. We’re very happy now that we’re here. It just feels like a dream.”