Critical Home Repair Spotlight: Erin May

South Puget Sound Habitat for Humanity builds and preserves affordable housing.
While our organization is best known for building new homes, we also work with
existing homeowners on essential home repair projects so they can continue living
in safe and affordable homes for many years to come.
Erin May is a single, stay at home mom to her 5-year-old daughter Ara. Erin
purchased her home in Thurston County because she wanted a place for her
daughter to grow up and make memories. “Getting out of our tiny apartment, and
getting a real home for her to play outside was so important to me.”
In February of 2021, Erin was having her electrical panel replaced due to it being a
fire hazard. That same day she stopped having running water. After several
plumbers came out and could not pin point the issue. Erin submitted an application
with South Puget Sound Habitat for Humanity for assistance, and our team showed
up the next day. “It was just nice to have someone trying to help me figure this out.
You know, because I am on my own here. I don’t have any family locally, didn’t
really know anyone. Being in communication with Zac (CHR manager) all of the
time, I cried on the phone to him several times.”

The repairs to the home have given Erin and Ara a new sense of security and safety.
She said, “I will never take running water for granted again.”
“In the middle of winter, living without water was awful, a nightmare.” Erin got a gym
membership for her and her daughter to take showers. She couldn’t wash clothes or
dishes, and they had to go outside to use the restroom. “We were camping at home
basically for six months.” Erin said “Everything was a challenge. I was depressed and
anxious and feeling helpless. I am still recovering from it.” She says “I worked so
hard to achieve this. Home is where I am with her and where we are making our
memories. And that’s what this is to us. I desperately wanted to be able to stay here,
to be able to fix this. In the beginning I thought we may just have to sell it and leave
because I can’t take this on by myself.”
A new 2500 gallon water storage tank with a 2hp booster pump on a gravel pad was
installed to increase water flow and extend the pump life on Erins property. A new
electrical panel and wiring were also installed.

We asked Erin how her experience was working with South Puget Sound Habitat for
Humanity. She says “AMAZING! They’re all so nice! They didn’t make me feel bad.
And just everyone was so kind. I will never forget them and I will be eternally
grateful.” Erin said, “Because of this program, we are able to keep our home, stay
here and have water!”
Having clean running water should be a nonissue. For many homeowners, critical
repairs just like Erins can go unfulfilled. Having the right partner resource is a
critical link. South Puget Sound Habitat for Humanity’s Critical Home Repair program
works with homeowners who need assistance with critical repairs that will ease
health and safety issues and increase their quality of life in their home. The program
helps keep homeowners not just safely in their primary residence, but also in the
community they know and love.
Learn more about our Critical Home Repair program here: