Habitat Interview: Charmain Mason

Homeownership Profile: Charmain Mason

Here is a piece I wrote for Habitat a few months back. I really enjoyed my time at Habitat, one of my favorite parts was meeting the local homeowners. Here is an interview that I did with Charmain Mason.

Homeownership has proven to be one of the best ways to help combat poverty in our neighborhoods. Studies show that homeownership improves many areas of a family’s life. Homeowners report higher levels of annual household income, improved physical health, increased stability and security at both the social and psychological level. Further, analysts have found homeownership to improve school outcomes for teenage children and lower birthrates amongst teenage girls. There are also numerous psychological issues that persist in low-income families. For example, increased stress due to financial difficulties, family tensions and increased spousal hostility are commonly reported in low-income families. One way to alleviate these tensions is through homeownership.

One thing to remember about Syracuse Habitat for Humanity is that we provide a hand-up, not a handout. Habitat homeownership is a challenging and competitive process; there are strict criteria and guidelines in order to qualify for a home. All our qualifications can be found on our website, and we encourage you to learn more about our organization.

One of our homeowners, Charmain Mason, was kind enough to sit down for an interview about her experience as a homeowner. Charmain was a pleasure to speak with; she spoke openly about her experience as a homeowner and the challenges of homeownership. Charmain’s love for her children, pride in being a homeowner, and her endearing personality are inspirational. On top of everything, she has done an absolutely gorgeous job taking care of her house and the interior decoration.

The color and style of Charmain’s house is absolutely indicative to Charmain’s personality, and true to Charmain’s beliefs – Charmain truly made her home, her home did not make her. When I asked Charmain about how she decided to pick colors and design the house, I could tell I hit a spot of pride.

“Every room has color. Growing up I had typical childhood dreams, I always wanted to buy a house and when I did, no one was going to stop me from putting color in my home. When I first moved in all the walls were white. Once the house was done, the first room I painted was my bathroom, and it is hot red, very red.”

After Charmain completed the bathroom, her mom offered to buy her five gallons of paint for the rest of her house as a birthday present. Charmain selected some of her favorite colors, purple, green, burnt orange. She is currently working on her kitchen, which is going to have a grape theme.

Charmain also took a moment to describe the upstairs of her house, “My daughter’s room is yellow, my son’s room is blue and my room is orange, I love color. It just came, something I always wanted to do, I would never sell this home. This house is honestly me, I am calm downstairs with dark, muted, calm colors, and I am bright and vibrant upstairs with my kids – that’s how we are.”

Charmain’s calm, dark and muted colors downstairs are still not nearly strong enough to conceal her uplifting personality and passion for her family. Charmain, Habitat wishes you the best to you and your family – and we thank you again – It’s families and people like you that keep us going, hardworking, respectfully and caring people, who just needed a hand-up, never asking for a handout.


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