Give the gift of Home!

The Maresca Family Story

Lorraine Maresca embodies the empowering spirit of Habitat’s Women Build and is a strong, hardworking mother of three-year-old twins, Alex and Nathan. She grew up in a good home and had a happy childhood. However, her family moved often and that started to affect her education and grades especially during high school. Lorraine didn’t let that stop her and went on to earn her associates in Science and then in Veterinary Technology. Once finished, she became a licensed veterinarian technician in 2011. She has lived in the upstate since 2008, living in Greenville a little more than five years.

Whether working in restaurants or working long hours at a veterinary hospital, Lorraine has done whatever she needed to do to make ends meet. This became especially important when her twins were born. Born premature, Nathan and Alex spent a month in the NICU. Then due to subsequent feeding issues they had g-tubes placed when they were around 6 months old and had to stay in the hospital for almost another month. After many doctors appointments, occupational, and physical therapies, they have overcome all of that to be happy, healthy, car and dinosaur-obsessed three year olds. On top of all of this, housing has been an issue. When Lorraine first applied for the Habitat program, they were living in a house with no AC or heat and an escalating cost of living. She has since moved into a one bedroom apartment that is too small for the family especially since her mother has been living with them. The rent is consistently increasing, and there is no place for the boys to play outside which definitely creates challenges.

Lorraine heard about the Habitat homeownership program through her boss and decided to go for it. She was accepted into Habitat’s Homeward Bound program in 2019 where she took financial education classes while paying off debt. Due to her dedication she was able to learn a great deal about credit, put that knowledge into action, and greatly improve her credit score. She pushed through the challenges and delays of COVID-19 and was accepted into the homeownership program earlier this year. As the time draws near to start building her house, Lorraine is excited about picking out colors for the house and having something that is hers.

She has also loved learning about construction on the build sites and looks forward to using that knowledge as a homeowner. More than just the structure of a house, it will be a home. The boys will be able to play outside along with their 10 year old Labrador Amber, and as they get older they will have their own rooms. For Lorraine, home means family. It means that the boys can grow up in one place without having their education affected by moving. In her own words, homeownership “allows us to have stability and plan better for the future.” Because of Lorraine’s perseverance, that future is bright and full of hope.