- Posted by Markolline Forkpa
An Interview with One Bridgeport Home-Buyer
By Megan Briggs, Family Services Director
While the construction team is working hard to build the houses at Bridgeport, our families are just as busy preparing for the big transition. I recently caught up with Veteran Dustin Grey, one of the four Bridgeport Home-Buyers who along with his family, will be moving into their new home late this Spring. During our conversation, I had the opportunity to learn a little more about how his family feels about the transition.
MB: How does seeing the construction of your house make you feel?
MB: How is your family preparing for the move?
DG: Well, you know, we are consolidating things, figuring out what really is not worth the move, and what we could give away to other families who might need things. We are thinking about the new transportation routes, too.
MB: What about your kids? Do they see the construction happening?
DG: Yeah, they actually go by it on their bus route, so they see it most days. They really know more than me -- they know every detail. They are excited.
MB: What are you looking forward to from the neighborhood and other families there?
DG: Barbeques! You know, spending time with my neighbors and I imagine barbeques and everything.
MB: During your sweat equity volunteer hours, is there anything you are hoping to learn?
DG: My family are all contractors, so I grew up with that stuff, but I’d like to learn about electric.
Even through our brief exchange, I could still see and feel the significance this new home has for Dustin and his family. I am constantly impressed by Dustin’s responsiveness, modesty, and willingness to partner. His answer about figuring out which things other families might need speaks to the family’s generosity and even more on Dustin’s eagerness to make the most of the future he is building for his family.
Although I have come in toward the end of this process, I know that over the past year and a half, his family has worked with dedication to prepare for the responsibility of homeownership. I am looking forward to seeing their work pay off soon, but still the feeling is bittersweet for me. As the new leader of Family Services, I have learned quickly that there are many families in need of the services that we offer through our department; More often than not, more families than the support we are able to offer.
The question in my mind now is “What can we offer to assist these families?” “How can we be their advocates and partners, even if we can’t provide housing at this moment?" We will be inviting them to our Almost Home class of course, but as we progress, I hope to integrate more partnership services to address the needs of these individuals.
In the meantime, I am celebrating and cheering on the successes of our four Bridgeport Home-Buying families. What an exciting moment in their lives! I can see it on all of their faces – and this is why we do this work.