Terrance Reflects on a Year of Homeownership and Community Leadership

After a year as a homeowner at the Woods at Golden Given neighborhood (The Woods), Terrance has proven himself as a crucial leader in his community. His commitment to the Woods has not gone unnoticed as Terrance was recently elected by his neighbors to serve as the board president, representing all 30-homes that make up this sustainability designed neighborhood in Midland.
To reflect back on his last year of homeownership and efforts to connect households in his developing community, Terrance sat down with Elliot Stockstad: Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat for Humanity’s Director of Development.

ElliotWhat has your first year been like? 

Terrance: It’s been a bit of a roller coaster but overall it’s been a very positive experience. When we find ourselves complaining about something (because no matter what you do you will have something to complain about), then we count our blessings and realize how different our life is right now today than it was a year and a half ago. It’s like night and day – it’s completely different.

The community, just like any community, any relationship has its ups and downs. For the most part, everyone does their part. We all have our own preferences. We let each other be – at the same time we are all come together too.

ElliotWhen you say night and day, what is an example of how it has been night and day for you? 

Terrance: First off the freedoms of being in a house – that is just normal stuff that we expected. Right now, our kids’ bedrooms are painted different colors. Just that small little thing that isn’t a big deal for most people – we can make decisions because it’s our house – we own it. You take pride in growing the grass and planters we built outside. We aren’t adding value to someone else property but we are adding value to our own and to our life.

ElliotA couple years ago we started this Habitat Connects process of trying to get neighbors together to form sustainable leadership in the community after Habitat done building. What have been some ways that leadership has shown up here at the Woods? 

Terrance: One of the things we did in the beginning when we formed all of these committees it was really cool to watch all the people volunteering for different committees and different areas that best suited them. Time happened and it started to break down a little bit and we disbanded all of those committees. I think that is just sort of a natural order of things anyway. We wanted it to happen, we put it action, we forced it for a lack of a better word but now that we have been here living together, some of us for two/two and a half years already – it’s organically happening.

The leadership is just kind of happening naturally, it’s not really committees or putting labels on it but it is getting clearer to see now who should be on which committee now that we have our own board and we want to do this redo.

ElliotTalk about the recent board election process. 

Terrance: It was good; I didn’t expect that it would be as nice of a turn out as it was because pretty much everyone in the community either showed up physically or by proxy. I think I walked in expecting to leave frustrated and disappointed and it was quick and pretty simple – it was nice. I think everyone enjoyed it, I think everyone is really happy – it was a big sigh of relief. We have done this – now it is truly our community that we’re running.

ElliotThank you for your time and your service and all you are doing for the community here. 

Terrance: Its fun – It’s as fun, frustrating, challenging and rewarding as life should be, I think.

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