Getting her First Story house changed everything for Kari Ann Wolff and her children. After years of having her rent unexpectedly increase, or worse, the places she lived sold, homeownership meant stability for her family and a sense of community. It also gave her a backyard—where she immediately planted lilies—and a lawn.

“Just getting to mow the lawn, knowing that it’s mine was amazing,” she said.

The house also came with something many people might take for granted—a garage! It’s a great space to store Christmas decorations and park her car during the winter, she said, but it’s also given her a place to pursue her hobby-turned-side-hustle.

“I love to redo furniture and paint—now I have my own little shop, and before I didn’t because you can’t do any of that in an apartment,” she said.

Once in her new home, Kari Ann got an old wine barrel and took it to her shop. There, she disassembled it, sanded down the pieces, and turned it into shelving for her laundry room and guest bathroom, giving it a new beginning, not unlike the one First Story gave her.