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“Habitat for Humanity is a lifesaver. It is also a school that is going to help you grow and be a responsible adult.”

Meet Shanda, a resilient woman with a deep love for gospel music and a passion for life despite facing challenges. At 48 years old, Shanda works in customer service at Best Buy and enjoys activities like shopping, cooking, and watching television. However, her life took a drastic turn in 1997 when she was shot and left paralyzed. Undeterred by her circumstances, Shanda pursued higher education in criminal justice while living a quiet, introverted life.

Currently residing in a cramped one-bedroom apartment in South St. Pete, Shanda faces numerous obstacles due to its lack of accessibility. She shares, “When I moved in, I had to remove the bedroom door to be able to fit in and out. I have never been in my bedroom.” The kitchen’s small size forces her to maneuver sideways to do dishes, and the apartment’s paper-thin walls amplify noisy neighbors. Despite her efforts to pursue homeownership independently, Shanda faced repeated setbacks and realized the importance of Habitat for Humanity in making her dream a reality.

For Shanda, homeownership represents freedom, independence, and a long-awaited opportunity for a better quality of life. “To me, it’s freedom. It’s mine, my first big investment,” she reflects. With Habitat for Humanity’s support, Shanda envisions her future home as a safe haven and peaceful environment where she can finally take a hot shower when she wants and make her own space her own. She emphasizes, “Home is where the heart and soul are anchored.”

Habitat for Humanity has become more than just a housing program for Shanda; it’s a lifeline and a school for personal growth and responsibility. She encourages others to get involved, saying, “Habitat for Humanity is a lifesaver. It is also a school that is going to help you grow and be a responsible adult. It will also stretch you to become successful.”

As Shanda awaits the realization of her dream of homeownership, she urges everyone to consider volunteering with Habitat for Humanity. By donating time and resources, individuals can play a crucial role in transforming the lives of families like Shanda’s and creating sustainable communities for all. Learn more about how to get involved on our Volunteer Page.

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