Crystal Hollins Needed a Safe, Affordable Home to Raise Her Children

Crystal is from Blacksburg and works at Virginia Tech in mail services. Prior to partnering with Habitat for Humanity to purchase a home in 2012, Crystal lived in a two-bedroom trailer in Blacksburg with her son and daughter. The trailer needed significant and expensive repairs that were beyond the family budget. Also, her two children were growing and needed their own rooms. Crystal realized she needed a different housing option, one that was safe (not in need of repair) and provided more space. It was important to her that the family live in Blacksburg where she works and where her children attend school.

When she searched, however, what she found was that three-bedroom rentals in Blacksburg were way out of her price range, and, given the price of homes for sale in town, purchasing would be impossible. She feared that the family would have to move outside of Blacksburg and possibly outside of Montgomery County. A friend, however, who had purchased a Habitat for Humanity home some years before, informed Crystal that two new affordable Habitat for Humanity homes were going to be built on Nellie’s Cave Road. She decided to apply.

“I received a call at work,” she said, “And my co-workers thought something terrible had happened because I was crying. But I was crying because I was so happy. Habitat had approved me for a house.” Crystal and her family worked many hours of sweat-equity building their home alongside volunteers. For the Nellie’s Cave project, Habitat for Humanity sponsored a Blitz Build weekend. Hundreds of volunteers, including student groups, Rotary members, church groups and individuals came together to help finish construction.

“I pulled onto Nellie’s Cave Road the day of the Blitz Build and saw that there were hundreds of volunteers gathered. I had to sit in the car for a while because I was so overwhelmed. I could not believe that many people would come together to help me and my family.”

Crystal has lived in her home now for nine years. Her son graduated from Blacksburg High School and joined the Navy. He is currently serving in Turkey. Her daughter is now attending Blacksburg High and is an avid volleyball player.

“I feel pride in my home. I am proud to have been able to provide a home for my family,” says Crystal.

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