Stability. Security. Legacy. If you ask Aimee Cooper what owning her own home means to her, that’s what she’ll tell you. Aimee is the proud mom of three. Kacie, 22, is newly married and lives away while attending college. The sanctuary of home is what Aimee looks forward to most for her two younger children, who have distinctly different, but equally important needs. Morgan, 13, is energetic, creative, smart, funny and is high-functioning Autistic. Holly, a spunky, fun-loving, social 11 year-old attends the Gifted program at her school. To Aimee, the opportunity to live in a family-friendly neighbourhood with access to critical services for her children is a game-changer. "We have everything we need here. Orillia is a city with a little-town feeling. Where else could we live where we have access to services and at the same time the Trans-Canada Trail practically runs through the back yard?”
Aimee has wanted a home for her family as long as she can remember. Her first application to Habitat for Humanity’s home ownership program in 2000 wasn’t successful. "It just wasn’t financially feasible for us at the time. But nothing in life is ever easy. I’ve slept on the couch in the living room for five years. If you want something badly enough and are willing to work through the setbacks, it can change everything.” Aimee’s can-do attitude led her to apply again – this time in Orillia – and she says it’s the best thing she’s ever done. "There’s room for all of us in this house. And a garden. And a yard for the dog. This is the place I want to stay. I don’t ever want to move again.”
Aimee has always enjoyed physical work. Herself one of 11 siblings, Aimee has helped her Dad build a house and three family cottages. But being selected as a partner family with Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North and contributing to completion of this build has changed Aimee’s life in ways she couldn’t have imagined. After almost doubling her 500 service hour commitment on her own home, Aimee has found a new love. She has enrolled in the Carpentry and Renovation Techniques program at Georgian College. Aimee Cooper will soon be directing her talents to building. The residual benefit? Other families can enjoy the kind of stability, security and the legacy that home ownership can bring.