Rina Dixon’s husband was tragically killed in 2007. He left behind his wife and three young children.
Rina was all of a sudden took off alone to bring up their kids as a single parent. She went up against a few jobs to stay aware of her bills, however in the long run fell behind. Now, not only was the family grieving the loss of their husband and father, yet they could no more bear the cost of their home.
The family was forced to move into public housing, but with violent shootings, Rina knew she couldn’t put her kids’ lives at danger. At the end of the day, they needed to go somewhere else to live.
Rina made the difficult decision to move her three kids into the tiny ramshackle garage attached to her mother’s house.
For three years, the family of four lived in squalor. There was no running water, no privacy, no electricity. It was freezing in the winter and scorching in the summer.
One day, Rina decided enough was enough — so she made a decision that changed the course of her and her children’s lives forever…
After Rina Dixon’s husband was tragically killed in 2007, she fell behind with her rent checks and took on several jobs to pay the bills.
Rina took her three young kids and moved into public housing in Sacramento, CA — but it was so dangerous and violent that Rina had to find somewhere else for them to go.
They moved into the small 200-square-foot garage attached to Rita’s mother’s house.
The Dixon family spent three years living in shambles.
The garage was freezing in the winter and scorching in the summer. There was no privacy and no electricity.
Rina’s 16-year-old daughter, Jaela, slept in the living room while she and her two boys slept in the makeshift bedroom.
Rina was so desperate to provide her children with a better life that she connected with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sacramento. Luckily, she was accepted into their 2013 program.
Rina began to build her own house alongside hundreds of volunteers. It’s a Habitat for Humanity rule that every partner family puts in 500 hours of work on their own house and other homes. Since you must be at least 16 years old to help at the job site, the parents usually complete most of these “sweat equity” hours.
Rina Dixon put in 492 hours all by herself. There were days that were so hot and exhausting that she almost gave up — but she kept going for her kids.
Rina’s daughter, Jaela, turned 16. She was able to help her mom finish out the last of their family’s 500 hours.
Messages of love and support for the grieving family were handwritten all over the framing.
In March 2016, the Dixon’s brand-new house was finally complete. It’s a beautiful three-bedroom, two-bathroom home built to the highest level of green building standards.
She also received a zero percent interest mortgage, giving her the opportunity to buy the home.
During the Home Dedication Ceremony, Rina and her children were brought to tears as they were handed the keys.
Rina shared her powerful story during the ceremony.
“‘I get home, look at my kids and our living situation — in a converted garage — and I say to myself, ‘I’m not a quitter. I refuse to let my kids see me give up.’”
What an incredible mother. What a brave family. Please SHARE their story with your friends on Facebook!