Kenisha’s Biggest Joy Is Inspiring Her Daughter

Kenisha’s Biggest Joy Is Inspiring Her Daughter

For the last eight years, Kenisha has been raising her daughter, Natalya in the same apartment. While it suited their needs and budget early on, Kenisha says they’ve outgrown the place. Natalya will soon be a teenager and Kenisha wants to provide a home where her daughter can feel like herself.

“She wants to customize her room, but at a rental you can’t do that as easily,” Kenisha says. “Having [this home] will give her freedom, comfortability, and quiet.”

Kenisha emphasized quiet as for seven out of the eight years they’ve lived in their apartment they’ve struggled with loud neighbors. They were so loud she’d take Natalya to Kenisha’s mother’s house just so they could get some sleep. 

Now, their family is building a brand new, single family home in Milwaukee’s Harambee neighborhood. It’ll be a place, Kenisha says, where they can feel like it’s truly their own. A place, she expects, will be a great source of pride and inspiration.

“Showing [Natalya] that ‘my mom did that’ means a lot,” Kenisha says. “She’s so proud of her mom for buying this home and that’s the biggest joy ever.”

Kenisha has worked hard to get her finances in order to become a first-time home buyer.

“I have had hard times, but you can bounce back,” she says. “I had to stop beating myself up about it.”

In preparing to purchase her first home, she appreciates how Habitat works in partnership with families on their journey to homeownership. As part of our affordable homeownership program, families complete financial education and home maintenance courses – in addition to helping build their own homes.

“It can be a little harder when you’re African American [to become a first-time homebuyer],” she says. “[Habitat] gives the resources to be successful.”

When Kenisha gets the keys for the first time, she plans to make a copy for her daughter.

“She’ll be at that age when she can have her own key, so I’m going to surprise her with it,” Kenisha says. “She can be the first one to open up that door and hear ‘Welcome to your home.’”

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