Ronnie has been a long-haul truck driver his whole life, supporting his family and raising a daughter. In 2012, he returned to his roots in Ellensburg to obtain much needed back surgery…alone. He bought a used motor home in the Shady Acres mobile home park and has lived there for 14 years, and he kept driving until 2020 when a heart attack incapacitated him. When he learned the Shady Acres would shut down in December 2022, Ronnie feared he might be homeless.
Because he dreamed of owning a home, Ronnie had been applying to Kittitas County Habitat for Humanity for housing since 2016. He is a frequent visitor to the Habitat Store and tries to stay in touch with the organization. When it was announced that land had been secured for Stuart Meadows, Habitat staff paid a visit to Shady Acres to inform its residents. Ronnie applied immediately, qualified and was accepted.
“I am so excited! This has been a dream come true,” Ronnie declares. “All my life I’ve wanted to own a home. This is a life changing moment for me.”
Ronnie will be among the first to move into a Stuart Meadows home, and he’s grateful. To other seniors who might consider applying for a Habitat home, Ronnie says “Give it a chance. The process was easy and informative. You’re guided very clearly on what you need to do.”
When fully complete in 2025, Stuart Meadows will consist of 18 new homes serving a range of household sizes and those making less than 80% average median income (AMI), with three of the homes reserved for those making 60% AMI or less. Each of the 18 units will offer three bedrooms and 1.5 bathrooms, allowing for flexibility in buyer needs for multi-generational families, couples, as well as accommodating small and large families.
As for Ronnie, he’s looking forward to feeling secure in his own home, with his own space and room for a garden.
“I am very grateful to know I will be living in a clean and safe community and having a Habitat home will give me this sense of security. I want to thank all the people involved, especially Jessica Jorgensen, who helped me get to this point, Habitat for Humanity Seattle-King & Kittitas Counties, the City of Ellensburg and the contractors. Thank you so much for this opportunity!”