We see young couples struggling and say, “There but for the grace of God, go I.” Sacramento Habitat for Humanity takes it from there–as it has with Brian and Ashly Limerick and their two children, Faith and Christopher.
As a writer of fiction, I believe that the best stories happen all around us—waiting to be told: Real people, with real hopes, dreams, and challenges.
As a former member of the Board of Directors and volunteer for Sacramento’s chapter, I believe in Habitat for Humanity. Simply stated, Sac-Habitat improves our community, one family at a time.I’m promoting my first short story collection, “Matters Familiar,” this holiday season. I thought, Why not help a family in need in a meaningful, lasting way at the same time?
MY PLEDGE: For every eBook or paperback copy of “Matters Familiar” sold during the holidays, I’ll donate $1 to Sacramento Habitat for Humanity, for a new home for a qualifying family. (For every individual e-story sold, I’ll donate 10 cents of the 99-cent purchase price.)
MY GOAL: To raise $75,000 to sponsor a complete build in 2013, on behalf of “Fans of E. G. Fabricant.”—EGF
(You can see more photos of the Limerick family on my Facebook page.)
Brian and Ashly Limerick are recovering narcotics and alcohol addicts. They both grew up in Sacramento and were both raised by addicts.
ASHLY: Drugs and alcohol runs strong in both of our families.
They met at a party where Brian was selling drugs.
BRIAN: We were both on a pretty destructive path. Drugs were involved; we weren’t doing well.
Things spiraled downward from there for the young couple as their addictions grew worse, They found themselves on the street with Ashly pregnant with their first child and Brian facing imprisonment for his consumption and sale of narcotics. Brian was given a choice: Jail or rehab. Brian chose rehab and began to get clean, but Ashly wasn’t ready to make a change.
Soon after giving birth to their daughter, Faith, Child Protective Services (CPS) stepped in and gave Ashly an ultimatum: Give Faith to Brian and move out, or risk losing your daughter.
ASHLY: Thank God that he gave Brian the strength to come out of his addiction to take care of our daughter all by himself.
Brian took Faith from CPS and raised her for 10 months, after which Ashly returned to her family. Soon pregnant with their second child, Christopher, Ashly decided to get clean.
ASHLY: During that time, my father committed suicide from drugs and alcoholism, and I realized I didn’t want my children to have to live without their Mom. I was going to die if I didn’t clean up.
Working hard to get clean, Ashly learned that their son, Christopher, would be born with special needs. She blamed herself, but was relieved when her doctor informed her that her drug use was not the cause. Christopher suffers from a crushed lung and has to be fed through a tube.
ASHLY: If I hadn’t quit, he wouldn’t have survived and I couldn’t have lived with myself.
Brian works as a steel man for American Metals while Ashly stays at home to care for Christopher. Though money is a struggle, they are happy for what they have.
ASHLY: We were living on the streets. Brian would sleep in his car and we never had a stable place to live. Life was like a revolving door—there was no stability. Our kids will never have that, and we’re so grateful.
The Limericks currently live in a two-bedroom apartment. In addition to being crowded, they’re also living with mold and dry rot—a constant problem for Christopher and his asthma:
BRIAN: He needs to be in a mold-free environment with insulation. Our landlord won’t fix it and his health suffers, but we can’t afford to move.
Ashly and Brian learned about Habitat through Brian’s sponsor, Curtis Reynolds , himself a Habitat homeowner,. Brian knew they wouldn’t qualify at first, due to their poor credit history so he set out to pay back his debts, which “took a while.” With a better credit score, Brian attended a Habitat family orientation.
BRIAN: As soon as we walked in, I felt at home. I just had to smile. I knew that this was where we were supposed to be.
ASHLY: A few months later, you guys came to our door with balloons and told us we’d been accepted.
How has the Habitat experience been so far for the Limericks?
ASHLY: It’s been amazing – truly amazing. The feeling after you’ve gone through what you’ve gone through and believing you’d never be able to own a home to potentially becoming a homeowner is …well it’s hard to put into words.
BRIAN: When we’re working with these volunteers, just to see someone giving their time to do such hard labor for someone else, it really restores a lot of hope that you’ve lost in humanity. There’s not much hope in the drug lifestyle, so to be around hope and love and so many caring people is, well, a few times it’s brought tears to my eyes.
ASHLY: I’m just so excited to have a safe place to raise our children where they can grow up and have fun. A place where we don’t have to worry about feeling the cold coming through the windows in winter because I know Habitat builds insulated homes, and our energy use will be low due to the solar panels—because we’re all trying to be more ‘green’…I’m excited to have a place to call ‘ours.’ Our children deserve a home, and we’re ready.
The Limericks are halfway through their 500 hours of required sweat equity. They will be moving into their new LEED certified, three-bedroom home on Academy Way early next year.
Won’t you join me? Click here.