From Loss to Legacy: Kenisha’s Dedication to Homeownership

LaQuanta’s family during her home dedication – February ’24

From Loss to Legacy: Kenisha’s Dedication to Homeownership

Kenisha wanted to purchase a home for her and her family, but after her partner passed away, she was unsure if she could accomplish that goal. Now, she is building a brand-new, three bedroom home that she, her son, and her late partner can be proud of. 

Kenisha spent the last year looking for a home. She started the process with her partner and they looked at numerous houses together before he passed away.

Despite being devastated, Kenisha found ways to cope, one being building.

“When I’m sad, I get a project,” Kenisha said. “I made a coffee table. I get my cousins and son to help. We did it with a hand saw and it’s nice because they will always remember that. We feel accomplished.”

Kenisha worked hard while grieving. Although at first she did not think she could afford a home by herself, she continued to look and applied for Milwaukee Habitat’s Affordable Homeownership Program.

She is now building and buying a brand new home in the Midtown neighborhood. She will live there with her 15-year old son, Ray, and their dog Delilah. 

With Kenisha’s building skills and her eagerness to learn more, she is looking forward to helping construct her family’s future home. 

“I’m really curious to see how this goes,” Kenisha said. “I want to learn to fix some things myself and look at the process of how to build a house. [I can say] ‘I did it’.” 

Milwaukee Habitat homes come with an unfinished basement, and Kenisha is excited to give that room her own touch and put her skills to use. 

Although she is looking forward to the build process and future projects, Kenisha is most excited about having privacy and having something to pass on to her son.

“I want some more privacy,” Kenisha said. “I stay in a place with four units. There is always someone outside my porch or in my yard. I want to come home to my house.”

Her son Ray is one of the reasons Kenisha is working so hard for this home.

“I am looking for somewhere long term, looking for something for my son,” Kenisha said. “I want him to be able to stay here with his family if he wants.”

She also wants to be an example for Ray of setting a goal and accomplishing it.

“I want Ray to see me do something I said I would do,” she said. “It’s been a process. I want to see him want something and get it and get to the end.”

Kenisha faced a tragic loss not too long ago, but she is not letting that stop her from accomplishing her goal. She is continuing to work hard to build a home for her and her son.

“I am going to feel at ease [when I get my keys],” Kenisha said. “Like I can just breathe. That’s what I’m hoping. I will have finally accomplished something. After he died, I didn’t think it was going to happen.”

Kenisha is still close with her late partner’s daughter.

“He has a daughter,” she shared. “She says ‘you have to have a room for me.’ She’s always been with me, like the daughter I never had. I’ll have a spot for her in there.”

Help break down the barriers to first-time homeownership for more local families.
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