Gerardo and Ilail Tengono were living in Colombia, but their two children and three grandkids were residing in the United States. With a strong desire to be closer to their family, they decided to uproot their lives and move to America. With the help of their son-in-law, they were sponsored and welcomed to North Carolina. 

The Tengono’s wanted to find a stable home that they could invest in for years to come, and were disappointed to find out that they didn’t qualify for a conventional loan. After a friend told them about the Habitat program, they began volunteering and learning about the homebuyer process. Through a lot of planning and saving, they qualified for the program and began to work toward becoming a Habitat homeowner.

“Habitat opened the door and turned the light on for us,” said Gerardo. “We are so happy to participate in this program because it is a real opportunity for us. To be able to volunteer and give our devotion and love to other families while building our own, it’s beautiful.” Gerardo now dedicates his weekdays to serving on the Habitat construction site and has become a regular to staff and volunteers. He says he will continue to serve on the site after his home is completed.