April 10, 2024

Single Mom Selected for Old Colony Habitat Home. Community Project Supported by BayCoast.

In the 1939 classic film, The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy famously proclaimed, “There’s no place like home.”

Having a place to call home is part of the American Dream, a dream many hope they can achieve, including Malkis Amaya. Born in El Salvador, Amaya came to the United States with her parents at the age of 10, hoping for a better life. As Amaya grew older, she realized that even with a full-time job, purchasing a house and affording a monthly mortgage on her own would be out of reach.

But in June of 2023, that seemingly elusive dream of homeownership came true for the 35-year-old single mother of two children, 16-year-old daughter Veronica and eight-year-old son Allan. How did it happen? Malkis Amaya quite literally won a lottery.

Amaya applied to enter a lottery being held by Old Colony Habitat for Humanity. The nonprofit organization, whose mission is to provide affordable housing for families in need, was in the process of building a 1,440 square foot, three bedroom, two bathroom Colonial-style home on Pike Avenue in Attleboro, Massachusetts, with generous support from community volunteers and donors including BayCoast Bank.

Amaya, who had to meet certain financial criteria to enter the lottery, was stunned when her name came up as the winner of the drawing.

“I have happiness in my heart because this is a dream come true,” said Amaya. “One day, when I get old, I am going to be happy knowing that (my kids) will have a place…they will always have this house. I want it to be a part of their story.”

Single Mom Selected for Old Colony
Habitat Home.

The beautiful new home has everything the Amaya family dreamed of – a large backyard, a bedroom for each of the children, and a primary bedroom for Malkis, along with plenty of space for their dog, Yogy. The home comes with a key benefit – an interest-free loan, making monthly payments much more affordable.

Old Colony Habitat for Humanity CEO Kimberly Thomas says it is so rewarding to see local families have a home they would otherwise have not been able to afford, without Habitat’s help.

“We serve 24 cities and towns, changing people’s lives for the better,” said Thomas. “We are grateful to our community partners like BayCoast Bank. They understand our mission of a hand up, not a hand out. The bank had volunteers on site during the build, offering their help and they did such a fantastic job. It was great to see the camaraderie – everyone doing such great work for the Amaya family,” adds Thomas.

“I would like to thank everyone for giving of your time to help build this home,” said Amaya. “I know (the volunteers and builders) will all have blessings in their lives because of their kindness.”

Before moving to Pike Avenue, the Amaya family lived in a cramped two-bedroom apartment in North Attleboro, Massachusetts. “Rent-wise, it is getting more and more expensive. I was trying to save up money somehow because I really desperately wanted a house for my kids so they could have memories,” said Amaya.

Malkis’ daughter Veronica says their previous living quarters were uncomfortable, as the high schooler had to share a room with her elementary-school aged brother.

“It was very hard to concentrate and do my homework,” said Veronica Amaya. “It’s so great to have this new space, to be able to focus on my work and not feel so stressed.”

“We have a fresh start,” adds Veronica. “We’ve been through a lot and it’s so good to finally see my mom happy.”

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