Vanessa Spruell’s eyes welled up with tears as she and her husband George, a marine corps veteran, were given the keys to a new home built by Fort Hood Area Habitat for Humanity in Nolanville, Central Texas, after being homeless for years. The couple and their grandchildren had been homeless in Austin, living in their car and bathing in convenience store restrooms. They were recently renting an apartment.
Vanessa sobs as she inspects the three-bedroom, the two-bathroom house she will now own and live in with her husband and four grandchildren — Anastasia Kyles, Destiny Kyles, Saniyah Hannibal, and Zariya Loza — who are also overjoyed. “‘Thank you, Jesus,’ I kept telling myself. Thank you very much, Jesus. “Thank you, Jesus, for allowing us to accompany you on this journey,” Vanessa said.
“When I drove up this way, it was like I froze, and then I started having tears come down. And the girls were screaming and howling in the backseat as if to say, ‘We got it. Grandma, we’ve got you covered. ‘We already have the house.'” According to Kristin Smith, CEO of Fort Hood Area Habitat for Humanity, the Spruells’ home is the first to be finished and dedicated since Covid. Although things have slowed due to the challenges posed by the pandemic and its aftermath, she stated that they have big plans for 2023.
The house’s frame was constructed on the grounds of the state Capitol in Austin in June 2022 as part of a Habitat for Humanity Texas project called “Day at the Dome.””My vision for 2023 is to plant the seed,” Smith said during the ceremony. “And it takes the whole community to water the seed. So, today, we’re laying the groundwork for this family, the community, first-time homebuyers, and first-time taxpayers. But we must all work together to keep watering the seed across our coverage area.”
When Vanessa was given a piece of paper and opened it to find a home, she described it as a gift. After the house is wired for electricity, they will be able to move in this week. Vanessa, who was crying, added that her granddaughters “can go and lay down and say it’s going to be OK.”