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Shadai, a Youth Development Coordinator at Ready for Life, is a mother to two children, Javarius and Laylonnie. “My family is resilient and demonstrates good character. We have a nurturing environment, we are hopeful, and we like to give. Even when we don’t have much to give, we give anyways.”

Her six-year-old son, Javarius, loves to dance and play with slime. Her daughter, Laylonnie, loves music and Roblox. “My kids understand how we can grow together by being honest, demonstrating humility through good behavior, and contributing to their chores. I put resilience as our strongest quality, because no matter what we go through, we always overcome and conquer.”

The family currently lives in a small apartment that has been infested with rodents and roaches, despite many attempts to fix the issue. An ongoing leaky roof has left a hole above Javarius’ bed, which scares him and leaves him sleeping on the floor at night. Because it is public housing, Shadai believes that the urgency to fix issues in her apartment is not seen as a priority. “Despite the problems, I have cherished my apartment and it has served its purpose in having a stable environment, but safety has always been a concern for me and my kids there.”

“Once I was accepted it almost didn’t feel real. I have never had much to call my own, and it was such an honor to start this journey with my kids by my side. I will be breaking two generational poverty curses. Hope will be transferred into my kids through this home, and I know God will guide us into a journey of success and abundance.”

Shadai loved her experience in the program and said giving back gave her a sense of belonging. “The generational chain of helping a family’s dreams come true happens at the hands of everyone in the community, not just the family receiving the house. Habitat reminds me of the saying, ‘it takes a village to raise a child’, and in the same meaning, Habitat’s village is us. It has taught me what being a part of a community is about!”

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