The Bagby Family
Joshua and Candy Bagby made Tuscaloosa their home after moving from Sawyerville over 25 years ago. On April 27, 2011, they lived in a home in Juanita Drive in Alberta City, and their home was destroyed completely, taking with it all their possessions. Candy Bagby recalls that terrifying day when she and her family lost the place that had called home for so long. “It was a very scary time,” she says. “I had been hearing reports of bad weather, but didn’t think the storm would be that bad.” After checking the weather reports again, the Bagbys realized that the storm rapidly was approaching, and they immediately took cover inside of their home. When the storm passed, Mrs. Bagby remembers seeing only one wall of the house standing, the roof was gone and the house shifted from its foundation. “I just remember thinking, “Thank God that we are still alive.’”
After sustaining such great damage to their home, they had to seek help from family members who were not affected by the storm. They knew they couldn’t continue to live with family so they started to reach out to organizations for help with relocating it was suggested that they reach out to Habitat for Humanity for help. Ms. Bagby stated, “I’ve always know about Habitat for Humanity and the service they provide, but I never thought I would need their help.” After being given the necessary information about the program, they applied and were approved for a new home. Although they owned their home on Juanita Drive, they were under-insured and could not afford to rebuild. Habitat was able to rebuild on the same lot where their house once stood, which was very important to the family.
Just after Mr. and Mrs. Bagby were chosen for home ownership and began their “sweat equity” (volunteer hours required for prospective homeowners), Mr. Bagby was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Although Mr. Bagby didn’t feel well and his wife became his caregiver for a time, they both continued to complete sweat equity hours whenever they could, and completed those after they moved into their house.
Although they currently live in their new Habitat home, the cost of replacing all their possessions, in addition to their mounting medical bills, have taken a tremendous toll on the family finances. Downpayment assistance would allow them to close on their house and lower their monthly payments, helping them to recover financially from the devastating storm.
To view more pictures of the Bagby family’s house, please click here.