Aurora Guzman is a single mother with six children. Her story is one about family sticking together even when times get hard. The Guzman family has encountered many obstacles. And still, they seem to be a very cohesive family who help each other to make things work.
Aurora described her life as filled with many ups and downs. When she first arrived to Utah, she and her children were living with another family. When her sixth child was born, she moved her family into a small apartment. This apartment had two bedrooms and one bathroom. Due to the size of the apartment, two of Aurora’s daughters had to live with their father. It wasn’t long after that she was asked to leave the apartment. Apparently, there had been too many complaints of her having so many children and there was not enough room for her family. She then decided to move into another family’s basement.
The basement they were living in was only one room with a bathroom and no space for cooking or laundry. Two of her children continued to live with their father, separated from the other children. Aurora and her four remaining children lived in the small basement for three months.
Aurora missed her two absent children, but was having trouble putting food on the table for the four she had. She continuously worried that she might be evicted. It was becoming too much for her emotionally. All she wanted was a place where she could live reunited with all six kids. But no one wanted six children in an apartment. Due to this, Aurora decided to look for a trailer.
Aurora finally found a trailer that was within her budget. There were holes in the ceiling and in the floorboards. The windows were so thin that cold wind blew right through the house. However, all the kids could fit in it and it was all she could afford, since other trailers were expensive.
“I knew this was going to be mine,” she stated, determined to make it their home.
Aurora made a down-payment on the beat-up trailer. At last, the children were together with her under the same roof. What she hadn’t anticipated was she would lose support from an organization that was helping her financially because she finally had found a place to live. As a result, she didn’t have the money to fix up the trailer so her family had to live with the holes in the ceiling and in the floor. By the second month in the trailer, Aurora was finding it hard to pay the bills.
It was emotionally difficult for the children in the household. One of the daughters had overheard her mother crying one night. The next day, the daughter went to school and started to cry herself. When the teacher asked what was wrong, she said she had heard her mother crying and was worried for her. The teacher then called Aurora to ask if everything was okay. Aurora told her about the trailer and that she was having a hard time just feeding her family. After that, the school did what it could to help.
Aurora knew she needed to earn more money. She decided to make and sell food to pay the rent, pay off the trailer, and to feed her family. She also began a sewing business and babysat. Soon, she was making enough money to start fixing the trailer. She decided to work on the roof first, to keep the rain out.
It was at this point that Aurora applied for the Habitat for Humanity housing program.
Just when Aurora thought things were about to change for the better, a strange tornado came through the trailer park in September 2016, and destroyed the roof that Aurora had fixed. It tore apart the ceiling. Rain poured through the lights fixtures. Noise and cold wind blew through the windows. The whole family was scared the trailer would collapse on top of them.
“Once again, we were left without a home,” Aurora said.
With the trailer wrecked and unsafe, the family was forced to split up once again. Some of the children moved to a motel, while others went to their father’s place. It was a very difficult time, especially for the youngest of the children. Despite everything, Aurora persevered and, eventually, she got the trailer repaired to a livable condition again.
It was in November 2017 when Aurora finally got good news. Habitat for Humanity of Weber and Davis Counties selected Aurora and her family as the thirteenth partner family. In February 2018, Aurora went over the house plans with Executive Director, Jeannie M. Gamble, and Construction Manager, Rick Boman. They edited the plans from a previous Habitat Home. Their new home has been decided to be built at 450 15th Street in Ogden.
Aurora would like to thank Habitat for Humanity for this amazing opportunity to give her children a safe and decent place to grow up. The entire family is excited to have a place to call their own.