'Hard working' single mom to receive Habitat home

Sara Vanden Berge svandenberge@empiretribune.com Twitter @ETeditor
Erath County Habitat for Humanity recently broke ground on a new home, which is expected to be complete by December.

Volunteers with Erath County Habitat for Humanity are back at it, recently breaking ground on their 16th home.

The home's recipient is Diana Valdez, a single mom who will partner with the organization to build it.

"This is a pretty big blessing," Valdez said. "When I applied I was having a hard time in my life."

Valdez had recently separated from her son's father and was working three jobs - as a secretary in the morning, hairstylist in the afternoon and cleaning houses on the weekends - just to pay the bills.

Last year, she opened Image Salon in Stephenville and said the future is looking brighter.

The committee who chose Valdez as Habitat's next recipient also saw something special in her.

"She was selected by a committee after meeting all of our criteria," said board president Lori Hurford. "She just struck us as being a very hard worker and is willing to put in the sweat-equity hours."

Recipients must be willing to partner with the organization to help build the house.

"One of the criteria is that they must have an income that would be able to pay a mortgage to Habitat," said Executive Director Dr. Charles Rives. "But it is an interest-free loan."

Construction on the new house will begin in February and is expected to be complete by December. Valdez and her three-year-old son can't wait.

"He will have his own room and is really excited," she said.

Anyone interested in getting involved with the project can call Rives at 968-5785.