For a home of their own; mother of 3 accepts Habitat’s helping hand at groundbreaking ceremony

Candice Nay and her children pose in their new backyard as part of Habitat for Humanity's ceremony for them, Washington City, Utah, Nov. 26, 2013 | Photo by Drew Allred, St. George News

WASHINGTON CITY — A single mother of three gathered with loved ones and folks serving with Habitat for Humanity of Southwest Utah for a groundbreaking ceremony in front of a house in old town Washington yesterday.

Washington City Mayor Ken Neilson - now one of Candice Nay's neighbors - attended the Habitat for Humanity ceremony for the Nay Family, Washington City, Utah, Nov. 26, 2013 | Photo by Drew Allred, St. George News
Washington City Mayor Ken Neilson – now one of Candice Nay’s neighbors – attended the Habitat for Humanity ceremony for the Nay Family, Washington City, Utah, Nov. 26, 2013 | Photo by Drew Allred, St. George News

With the help of HHSU, it will be the first home of her own that Candice Nay, 29, and her children have known.

Nay grew up in Santa Clara and lived in one house her whole childhood. She has always dreamed of giving that same childhood to her kids, she said, but has never been able to do it because she got pregnant young and was never married.

Yesterday, with tears and a big smile, Nay accepted the award from Habitat as her three young children, 6, 8 and 10, played in fallen yellow leaves in what is to be their new, presently overgrown, backyard.

“I never thought I would actually be able to own a home — ever,” Nay said.

The home needs rehabilitation. It is one of three homes HHSU is rehabilitating this year in Washington County. HHSU does not give the homes away but instead assists low income families in acquiring zero-percent mortgage loans while requiring them to put in major hours of sweat and pay their mortgage themselves.

“This is not a handout, it’s a hand up,” HHSU’s executive director, Michael Gburski, said.

HHSU acts as the builder, or remodeler in this case, and also acts as the mortgage lender, subsidizing the obligation for the families helped.

Nay said she has been living paycheck to paycheck for the most part since she had her first child at 19. Raising kids is financially hard, she said, especially when theres only one bread winner.

“It’s bad,” Nay said, “but I don’t even have a savings account.”

Just finding the time to apply for the local Habitat for Humanity program has been a difficult process for Nay.

“I’ve really just tried to buckle down and work on my finances and try to get stuff paid off,” she said. “I didn’t want to come into a house with very many bills.”

Candice Nay speaks in her new backyard as part of Habitat for Humanity's ceremony for her family, Washington City, Utah, Nov. 26, 2013 | Photo by Drew Allred, St. George News
Candice Nay speaks in her new backyard as part of Habitat for Humanity’s ceremony for her family, Washington City, Utah, Nov. 26, 2013 | Photo by Drew Allred, St. George News

Habitat for Humanity will supply a budgeting class for Nay as well as a team of volunteers and builders to help her with the remodel. The program requires at least 170 hours of sweat equity from Nay, and much of that will be spent remodeling the run-down house.

The team is planning on converting the heating and  swamp cooler to central air, updating the windows, redoing the floors, and doing other work to improve energy efficiency, Gburski said.

Nay said she is really excited to get working on her house and that being around people will be good for her, getting her involved. Over the past 11 years Nay has worked in a local Wal-Mart warehouse, putting in overtime hours recently to pay down her bills.

Nay has family in the area but she’s raised her kids all by herself, she said.

“My family is there for support, but eventually you have to grow up and really do it by yourself.”

The biggest reason Nay applied for this program was so that her kids could have a real home.

“It’ll be so nice to actually be able to give this to them because they deserve it, and they need it,” she said.

Her two sons are active football players and excited to have a backyard in which to play.

Candice Nay along with Habitat for Humanity members and sponsors pose in the Nay's new backyard, Washington City, Utah, Nov. 26, 2013 | Photo by Drew Allred, St. George News
Candice Nay along with Habitat for Humanity members and sponsors pose in the Nay’s new backyard, Washington City, Utah, Nov. 26, 2013 | Photo by Drew Allred, St. George News

“Most parents want to give their kids more than what they had, and me, I wanna give my kids at least what I had,” Nay said, adding that this home will finally give her kids some stability in their life.

“I want my kids to … have lifetime friends, and go to the same school and not have to worry about bouncing back and forth from different houses.”

Nay still has a lot of work to do, but she said she is full of joy and gratitude.

“When you’re given something like this,” Nay said, “all you really want to do is give back.”

Habitat for Humanity recommends those who want to give back join Habitat’s volunteer base or donate money directly. HHSU is always looking for volunteers. Volunteers might be working directly on Nay’s house or other low income houses that HHSU is helping repair.

“If we can get 5,000 people in Washington County donating $5 a month to Habitat for Humanity,” Gburski said, “there will be enough money each year for us to complete three homes a year.”

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Candice Nay and her children pose in their new backyard as part of Habitat for Humanity's ceremony for them, Washington City, Utah, Nov. 26, 2013 | Photo by Drew Allred, St. George News
Candice Nay and her children pose in their new backyard as part of Habitat for Humanity’s ceremony for them, Washington City, Utah, Nov. 26, 2013 | Photo by Drew Allred, St. George News

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18 Comments

  • Huh? November 27, 2013 at 9:01 am

    Got pregnant young and never married? She has three children? Never married? How responsible is/are the father(s) of these children? Are they paying child support as they should? Until she (and the fathers) can provide for these kids, can she in the meantime practice abstinence or take contraceptives? Taxpayers don’t need to be burdened with paying for someone’s kids.

    • Parker November 27, 2013 at 1:16 pm

      You must not have ever struggled in your life. Candice is an excellent mother. Tax payers dont pay for her kids she does that on her own. You dont have any right to judge someone. You dont know what anyone has been through in their life so get off of your judgemental high horse and instead of wasting your time criticizing someone over the internet why dont you go out and do some good. Sounds like you should help with habitat for humanity and learn some grattitude. People like you blow my mind. The habitat for humanity is put in place to help people better their life, not to be judged by people like you who think they are above less fortunate and struggling single parents and struggling families. Like i said earlier, you have no right. Try helping someone one day and maybe youll understand that habitat for humanity is a great thing. You just showed to a lot of people how disgusting of a person you are for criticizing this single mother of three who does everything possible to give her kids the best life possible.

      • huh? November 27, 2013 at 2:44 pm

        I make the same remarks I often hear some of the area’s white religious people make about hispanics and blacks. Would you have been equally supportive for a hispanic or black family with this program? You should hear the hateful comment made by the area’s white and delightful bunch.

      • Mike R. November 27, 2013 at 4:54 pm

        Don’t be so defensive. It’s hard not to think about the obvious (though easy not to type it.)

        Congratulations on your new home Nay family and God bless.

    • Justin November 27, 2013 at 3:24 pm

      Nobody said anything about tax dollars. You sit over there and cry about it while those of us who have hearts go work on these projects.

  • lp November 27, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    THANK YOU PARKER!!!!

  • welfare November 27, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    Just another welfare beneficiary.

  • Jenn November 27, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    Parker, Thank you for defending hardworking single moms and/or dads. The world is full of unforeseen life struggles. I choose to see the positive, help build people up and better the community rather than tear it down one person at a time.

  • Rocco DeMarco November 27, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    Very Interesting,—-as Both Comments Have Some Good Factors, and A Ton of Questions, Yet to be answered.——-Why is it, that I think there is Something Being Left Out???

  • Tom November 27, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    If you mean welfare as in she gets medicaid and food stamps, the article stated she does not receive those. But another definition of welfare, being of happiness and good fortune, is the correct definition of what this “welfare case” family has.

  • tania November 27, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    Huh? you are a worthless piece of crap that is jealous and judgmental person. this girl works her rear off to provide for her children who are you to categorize her . you are a nobody if you didn’t expect backlashes your idiotic comment then you should not have commented. !!!!!!!!!!!! its people like you that make this world a horrible one. take your judgement and put it on yourself because its not wanted nor needed. Have you any decency in who you are??? probably not Candice nay works pays her bills and does not live off the government like most AMERICANS DO!!! so that being said hope you can sleep at night knowing you saying this will get back to her and you will then have ruined her special moment … Good job and may god bless you cause you need it !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • ladybugavenger November 27, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    so what if she gets food stamps anyways…..she works. And she works overtime. She also works at Walmart(distribution center). Walmart employs a lot of people and yet it has a large amount of employees that are on government assistance. The people are working and raising kids. And instead of condemning someone why don’t you teach classes to educate people how they can live a perfect life like you…huh? You must be a man.

  • Dana November 28, 2013 at 5:24 am

    I tried donating a WORKING stove , windows and sliding glass doors when I remodeled my home. The person who answered said they would NOT drive to my community, Dixie Downs for “only a few items.” Even though they were high dollar items for their store. Yet, I see and hear ads requesting usable items for their store. BTW, if I had taken the items to their store, they said they would gladly accept them. I told the guy to shove it and gave it to the illegal residents on the next block. At least they have enough grit to go get what they want.

  • tania November 28, 2013 at 7:30 am

    Dana… Take your crappy comments and keep them to yourself . Today in case you didn’t know is THANKSGIVING !!!!!!!!! so get off it and stop complaining about stupid things that don’t matter. this is not a web site for you to rant about how upset you are about them not excepting your stuff at the store! this is an article written about a beautiful family and how everyone wants to celebrate then .

    SO FOR ALL YOU WHO COME ONE HERE TO WRITE SENSELESS CRAP ITS NOT WANTED !! HOW MORE CAN SOMEONE TELL YOU PEOPLE THIS. GO POST YOUR CRAP ON YOUR FACEBOOK .

    ITS THANKSGIVING PEOPLE THANKSGIVING SHUT UP!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    • Dana November 28, 2013 at 3:28 pm

      @Tania…Last time I checked, it was STILL America where EVERYONE is entitled to make whatever comments they choose. I don’t see where my comments were “crappy.” It was just a comment re:my experience w/Habitat For Humanity. And furthermore, no where did i say I was “upset” with them. If they did not want the items, it’s their loss. The people that did want the items were VERY appreciative. You need to chill and take some meds. You sound like you’re having a meltdown.

  • tania November 29, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    Dana … I don’t need meds thank you, I think you do, however. and the reason i am writing what i did is because I too am entitled my opinion especially, to defend my friend. I am also Hispanic and i found your comment rude. about illegal aliens you are ignorant and obviously can’t find kind words at all . OK I AM DONE HAVING MY MELT DOWN HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH BOOOYAHHH SUCKA!!!! I love you by the way have a wonderful day!!!

  • Mary Jane December 3, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    CONGRATS CANDICE NAY!!!! Oh wait, was I suppose to use all caps to get my point across? Haha
    …. 😉

  • tania December 6, 2013 at 9:20 am

    @mary jane hahaha your funny 😉 glad someone gets me lol

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