Before Georgia McDonald and her 72-year-old mother Sylvia moved into their 3-bedroom home in South Yarmouth, they had been living in a cramped one-bedroom apartment in Brewster.
“It is the best thing ever to have a place to keep her safe because she is at home all of the time and I’m at work,” McDonald said. “We went from a one-bedroom where I slept in the living room. …It is amazing to have her feel content and feel like she’s not moving into my space. I believe she is happy and I’m happy.”
In her mid-30s, McDonald was able to purchase her first home last fall thanks to support from Housing Assistance.
What does an affordable, deed-restricted house mean to McDonald?
It means she not only has a place to call her own, but a place where she can keep her mom, who is in remission from cancer and has a chronic respiratory illness, safe.
“She is everything to me,” McDonald said. “She is a single mom and is the one who raised me and taught me to be who I am. …I would do anything for her. She is the best mom in the world and I hope whatever woman I’m becoming is something like her.”
Originally from Jamaica, McDonald came to Cape Cod from New Jersey where she had been caring for her father who died from cancer.
“I didn’t realize how bad that had affected me,” she said. “My cousin lived here and when I visited her I realized maybe I need to change my scene just to motivate myself to get back to the person I am.”
On the Cape, McDonald has been able to escape the anxiety of living in the city to the peaceful calm of the region’s natural beauty. She also has been able to carve out a career in the building industry. She worked for three years at Shepley Wood Products before landing a role at Mid-Cape Home Centers in 2018 as a Millwork Sales Specialist. There, she has found the same thing she has found on the Cape – a true sense of community.
“Everyone wants to help me, it makes me feel like I sometimes want to cry,” she said.
That help has included support from Housing Assistance. She was guided through the homebuying process while taking our online First-Time Homebuyers workshop last year. That continued when she worked with Cape Community Real Estate Director Gael Kelleher in purchasing her first home.
“I truly believe what Housing Assistance is doing is changing people’s lives in a good way,” McDonald said. “One of the things I really like about Cape Cod and moving here is knowing there are resources like yours that you can reach out to for help.”