Hello, my name is Shelby and I am currently building my house in the Hillside Morningside neighborhood. I have three kids and we live in a two-bedroom apartment that is nice enough, but they are trying to raise the rent. There is no place for the kids to play, so we don’t spend much time here.

I actually chose the Hillside Morningside neighborhood because my mom lives there and helps take care of my kids during the day. We will live just one street over, and my kids and I could not be happier.

My mom is my everything. She is the one that tells me every single day that I can do anything I want to do and I can do it on my own.  She and my brother keep me going. They have given me strength to make changes in my life.

Everyone was shocked when I left my children’s father. I just needed to make a change. I didn’t feel like he was putting me or the kids first. He earned money, but it just came in and out. I never knew where it went, but it wasn’t going toward things we needed. I could see a change in my oldest son. He used to be active and happy, but he would sit on the couch all day and not want to do anything. I could tell that all of the negative energy around him was affecting him.

My ex-husband told me I would never do anything without him, that I wouldn’t accomplish anything. We have been in this apartment for four years and, honestly, I didn’t see us going anywhere either. I left a lot of dreams when I met him. I wanted to go to A&M in Corpus Christi and take veterinary classes, but I didn’t. Now I am following my dreams and making things happen for my family. I am going to own a home and go back to school. I have a good job now. I work in billing for a dentist, but I can’t see myself doing this forever. I want more.

I am so thankful for Habitat for Humanity because I want a home of my own, but I want to do it the right way. I am so afraid of going into debt that I have never even had a credit card. But I know that Habitat is affordable and is the right choice.

Being approved for a Habitat house adds to the realization that I can do things on my own. I see myself differently than I did a few years ago. I don’t need to depend on anyone else.

I have been separated for almost a year now, and look how far I have come! Now I know I can make a great life for my family.

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