Sasha with her daughter Ari’Yah and son Christopher at their home dedication (March 2022).
For mom of three Sasha, a family is more than just her children. It’s the people that support, uplift, and offer a helping hand when you need it the most. For Sasha, her family includes the people at Habitat for Humanity of Lee and Hendry Counties, a couple of close friends, and her colleagues at Fort Myers Middle School.
There were no easy paths for Sasha to obtain homeownership. She put herself through school to get her degree, she got a new job as a teacher, and she partnered with Habitat to provide a better life for her children.
“They just needed stability,” explained Sasha. “And I know from working with kids how that can have an effect on them– not having a stable home.”
Going through Habitat’s Affordable Homeownership program meant lots of long days and nights for Sasha. She had to not only fit in the required financial and homeownership classes at Habitat, but she had to finish her education for her degree and then she had new job training. To top it off, she had to find time to still be a mother to her three kids, including a newborn, and complete her 300 hours of required sweat equity. There were many moments when she thought it was just too much. Until her new, expanded family stepped in with encouragement.
“The Habitat family, they help you through everything– any questions I have, any time of the day,” Sasha shared. “Everyone was open and willing to help me, and they also made me feel like I was at home, like it was the right thing to do, and I had their support.”
Sasha persevered, knowing that stable housing was what her children needed to thrive. Sometimes she even drove by her home site once or twice a week during construction, for an extra dose of motivation. Then, as the weeks moved on, and the workload once again piled up, more people stepped in to lift her up. Work colleagues and family friends donated their time help her finish the last part of her sweat equity hours. Her family expanded even more after that experience.
“The principal got a group of [staff] together,” recalled Sasha. “They came out to help me push towards the end for the rest of those hours, and I think I had maybe one or two family friends– they came out on the weekend. But it was really hard and it made me realize: you know who was there and who wasn’t [there for you]. So, it was a pretty hard experience but at the same time it helped me build more strength.”
That strength and support carried Sasha through to the end of her sweat equity hours and to the finish line. In March, friends and her Habitat family joined her in celebrating her home dedication. On that day, she and everyone there, also celebrated her oldest son’s 14th birthday. The gift he received that day was not just the stable home his mother worked tirelessly to achieve, but also the lessons of hard work, dedication, and drive his mom showed him throughout this process.
“I want my kids to understand that their life, in spite of your environment, or what is going on around you, you can be the change within that environment,” Sasha said.
No one exhibited that more than the mom of three who, with a little help from friends and family, achieved her dream despite all the obstacles.
You can support families like Sasha’s by donating securely online today.