World Habitat Day was designated by the United Nations in 1985 as an important step in promoting the idea that everyone deserves a decent place to live. On the first Monday of every October, we reflect on the impact housing has on every aspect of our lives. Adequate shelter removes barriers to opportunity, health, and success.
This World Habitat Day we want to introduce you to a very special family currently in the Habitat Homeownership Program. Latashia knows firsthand the importance of a decent place to live for her and her two children, Aliyah and Devaughn.
Currently the family of three shares a two-bedroom apartment in Sanford. Three-year-old Aliyah can’t wait until the day where she has her own bed, instead of sharing with mommy. “Mommy” can’t wait until she doesn’t have to worry about the mold on the windowsills and the smoke coming in from the neighbor’s vents, as it is making Aliyah’s asthma worse.
As Devaughn, 8 years old, gets older, Latashia doesn’t want him playing outside or at the nearby park. She worries that, no matter what she teaches him at home, if he’s in an environment with drugs and crime, he will be negatively influenced. She can’t wait until she can afford to live in a neighborhood that is safe. While Latashia was working on her application to the Homeownership Program at Habitat this summer there was a shooting right outside her apartment. That shooting left Latashia’s car in the middle of a roped-off crime scene, and Latashia more determined than ever to move her family. She shares:
“Bullets don’t have a name. I need a place where my kids can play safely and we can be at peace in our own home.”
Latashia finds peace in accomplishing goals that bring her closer to homeownership. She has a vision board that reminds her to stay on track. One goal she looks forward to is completing her Habitat classes- particularly so she can work on improving her credit and budget.
Latashia will also learn home maintenance in her Habitat classes. She looks forward to the day she can make home repairs herself (with the help of her dad!), instead of relying on apartment maintenance. Latashia’s dad taught her growing up that,
“If you take care of your things, your things will take care of you”
She can’t wait until she can apply this lesson to her forever home. She wants to take care of a forever home, and have that home take care of her, Aliyah, and Devaughn. She wants to be able to invest in herself, her family, and their future.
This World Habitat Day, we invite you to invest in affordable housing in our community. Click here to donate to support local efforts to provide a decent place to live for your neighbors in Seminole County and Apopka.