PITTSFIELD -- Three years ago, Trisha LaShomb realized she wanted more in life for herself and her newborn baby than working tables and living in a dilapidated apartment. She dreamed big, desiring a house where her then 2-year-old daughter Reilly could play.
The wish has come true with some help from Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity.
LaShomb and Reilly, now 5, on Saturday attended a well-attended house dedication ceremony and got a chance to tour their completed home. LaShomb and more than 293 volunteers helped build the sage green house on Richmond Avenue.
LaShomb looked out her back door at a dirt-packed barren yard and was already imagining her health-conscious daughter starting a garden and enjoying herself on a swing set.
Reilly could hardly be blamed for not noticing the backyard while she ran and claimed rooms for herself early in the morning.
"We'll need a lot of berries and cherry tomato [plants]," LaShomb said.
LaShomb was the proud recipient of a two-story, three- bedroom, one-bathroom home built by volunteers with Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity. LaShomb, a single mother, will move into the 1,072-square-foot home with Reilly and her mother on Thursday.
Three years ago, LaShomb joined Habitat's Building for Tomorrow program, which provides life courses and mentoring to community residents who aspire to own a home. Recipients who work through the program are eligible for a discount edhome.
LaShomb will pay about $113,600 for her home, a discount on the retail value of $142,000, according to Executive Director Carolyn Valli, of Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity.
She was required to donate 400 hours of "sweat equity," or volunteer hours, on projects. LaShomb also increased her income after landing a job as a full-time tollbooth clerk, and improved her credit by eliminating unnecessary perks from her life.
The Netflix movie account was canceled and she stopped purchasing brand-name clothing and eating out.
Valli said LaShomb's application was reviewed by a committee, and her situation had improved enough to be considered for a home.
"Her goal was to be a better role model for her daughter and have a home that is stable and she can leave something to Reilly when she isn't around anymore," Valli said.
Volunteers and goodwill also played a crucial role. There were significant contributions from Pittsfield-based businesses. Sondrini Enterprise Inc. donated the roof, and with Marcella Building & Renovation and Don Dravis Heating all played pivotal roles.
Standing in her basement, she recalled the hard work it took to insulate the building, and she expressed gratitude for all the work everyone put in.
"It's a sense of pride for not just myself, but everybody."
Enrollment into the Building for Tomorrow program opens again in September. Interested individuals are encouraged to call Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity at: 413-442-3181.