This mum escaped an abusive relationship and taught herself how to build a house for her kids

Jessica Brown@Jessica_E_Brown
Tuesday 17 January 2017 09:30
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Picture:(Cara Brookins / Twitter)

After being a victim of domestic violence and stalking, single mother Cara Brookins decided to start fresh – and build a five bedroom house for her and her four children. Complete with a two-story treehouse and three-car garage.

She writes on her blog:

When I had the idea to build a house everyone thought I was crazy. This shocked me every single time I heard it. Because when I added up where we were at (broke, scared, small, uncertain) the one and only way I could see for us to move forward was to do this big thing. And I never doubted for a minute that we could do it.

Brookins took out a small loan to pay for an acre of land and watched hundreds of YouTube tutorial videos on construction.

She writes on her website:

While our toes nearly froze off as we mixed concrete in a wheelbarrow, our back muscles ached from hauling two-by-fours, and we sweated and itched our way through fiberglass insulation—we also rebuilt our broken family.

Now, Brookins has a podcast where she interviews people who inspire her, and has written a memoir – Rise: How a house built a family.

More: The single mother who opened her home to refugees 'and doesn't regret it for a moment'

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