The Leake Family
“I like how volunteers and homeowners work together to build a community. As I read the stories from other families who have become Habitat homeowners, I felt an instant connection and knew this was the program for my family too.”
~ from Mary Leake’s application letter
It’s not easy being the sole provider for a family of four, but Mary Leake isn’t one to complain. She knows you have to work hard to get what you want, and she is a problem solver. Besides that, she is tough- just ask any of the kids who have known her as their Buncombe County School bus driver.
Driving a school bus for 10 years has provided Mary with a bird’s eye view of Asheville’s changing landscape. Watching it transition from the small town of her youth, to the “bursting at the seams” city of today, reminded her of a kid adapting to a rapid growth spurt. As her route grew to include new homes and developments, she started hearing about the rising cost of rent, and lack of affordable housing. Asheville was in the midst of rapid growth, but living in the same affordable rental home for 8 years, had insulated her from the problems it created. But then circumstances changed.
Mary’s landlord decided to sell, giving her 3 months to find a new home for her family. Suddenly the weight of Asheville’s housing crisis was upon her, and she had little time to react. Taking the first place she could find, the family of 5 squeezed into a 3 bedroom place, and Mary began her journey to homeownership.
After reading about Habitat’s current homebuyers, Mary knew she had found the road home. She applied and was approved to purchase a 4 bedroom/ 2 bathroom home in Arden.