Together, Amber and Jake have 6 children: (Not pictured:  Samantha, Keegan ) Chloe, Rory, Remy, and Baby Elijah.  Amber and Jake’s cousin was addicted to drugs.  At 7 months pregnant, she realized she could not take care of her baby and asked Amber and Jake if they would take him and raise him.  Without hesitation, she heard God’s call and welcomed baby Elijah into their home as if he was their own.  Barely being able to make it on their own to begin with, Amber says, “When God gives you something, he means it.  You take it.  He promises he will provide.”  Amber has lived in Brainerd her whole life and she and Jake are so happy they can raise their children here.  Hard working members of the community, they participate in all their children’s activities.   When asked what they are looking forward most about owning their own home, Amber said they are looking forward to having a safe and affordable place to live where they can breathe easier and things actually work. Amber, Jake and their family lived in a three bedroom rental home in NE Brainerd.  Upon first glance at their home, you would think it was a quaint little place, placed in a great neighborhood, a great place to raise a family.  But when you stepped inside, the home tells a different story.  Their rental home was infested with mold and rodents.  Amber and Jake describe moments where they would be sitting in their living room while dinner was cooking on the stove to see a mouse climb into and out of their dinner which they then had to throw away because it is contaminated.  You may wonder why they stayed.  The answer is simple.  They couldn’t  find another home to rent in Brainerd they can afford for their family.  They paid almost $1200 a month for rent and utilities.  These issues had been brought up to their landlords many times but were told “it is their problem”.  They were afraid of going to the city for help because they would have nowhere else to go if they got evicted.  Amber and Jake stood up to their landlords and took them to court.  They won and their landlords were forced to fix the issues before anyone else could live there.  After moving into their Habitat for Humanity home, the children started breathing better, they no longer had to clean up after mice, and they now have a safe and affordable place to call home.  “We are doing things together as a family we never could afford to do before and we have a savings account…with money in it!  Our children are getting healthier every day and we are enjoying having a home to call our own.”

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