“I used to take having a home for granted,” says Shauna. “I thought everyone had what I had. Now I realize not everybody had that blessing.”
Shauna's family has a great Habitat success story. Juanita and Jacques, Shauna’s adopted parents, bought a Habitat home in North Minneapolis back in 1995. They wanted the home to have a “place for our babies that’s safe.” That safe haven paid off for Shauna and her brothers.
“I knew I had a safe, stable, solid home to go to after school,” Shauna says. “I had a place where I could be a child and not worry about growing up too fast. And I had a place where I could focus on my education.”
That focus resulted in Shauna completing the challenging International Baccalaureate program at Patrick Henry High School. She earned a full scholarship to Lawrence University in Wisconsin, where she just completed her freshman year.
“I had the blessing of a strong family and a safe home,” she says. “A lot of my friends and people I went to school with, didn’t have that.” She adds, “I saw friends struggle with drugs and gangs and staying in school.” Shauna gets emotional as she talks, “Every child deserves the blessings of a real, stable home.”
Shauna’s experience sheds light on what few people from outside of North Minneapolis understand. “Kids feed off of a stable home environment," she says. "They need a place where they can be kids and not have to deal with adult struggles and stress when they're too young to deal with it. A safe home means they’re less likely to struggle with drugs, gangs, poverty, and dropping out of school. A stable home gives them a chance to grow into productive adults.”
“I had that,” she says. “I used to think it was a privilege, but I don’t anymore.” She continues, “Having a safe, stable home shouldn’t be a privilege for children, it should be a right.”
“I’ve seen too many friends fall off the road,” Shauna says. “They didn’t have that stable place to start their lives. They didn’t have the blessings and opportunities I had because of what Habitat did for my family.”
Shauna is an advocate for North Minneapolis. “My family had the opportunity to buy a home, and that made all the difference,” she says. “If you’re going to change a community, and transform it into a place of opportunity, it takes organizations like Habitat coming in and helping to build foundations so everyone in the community can have the opportunity to thrive.”
“When people have a stable foundation, like a home of their own, they have a place to build from,” she says. “When a community has that solid foundation, everyone who lives there has a place to start and the community changes for the better.”
“What Habitat does is a beautiful thing,” says Shauna. “They, and organizations like them, make the blessings I had available to those who otherwise might never have the chance to thrive.”
Your financial gifts, and gifts of time, enable Habitat to continue building better foundations in North Minneapolis, and across the Twin Cities. Make a contribution today and more families can have these same opportunities.