Jenni was broken. Broken in spirit and body from her abusive marriage. In the summer of 2012 she gathered her courage and her son and walked out into – nothing. Homelessness with a young child was still better than staying in a house filled with fear, violence, and pain.
It takes a while to learn about the different programs that exist in the community. Eventually Jenni and her son found refuge in a homeless shelter, then made their way to CCM and joined Mothers & Children Housing Program and then they graduated to the Teaching Housing transitional program. It took Jenni and her elementary-school-aged child years to rebuild their sense of self, security, and confidence.
Along the way Jenni began volunteering at the Community Free Clinic. Helping other people in crisis helped Jenni start healing her own internal scars. Jenni rebuilt even more trust in herself when she gained employment. She began with part-time hours but her skill helping clients led to a full-time position.
As much as Jenni appreciated the transitional housing program, the time drew near for Jenni to move on to the next stage of her life. In 2016, Jenni entered the Habitat Cabarrus homeownership program. She says she took the step to apply with Habitat Cabarrus because, “We needed a better life. I wanted, NEEDED, a forever home for my child.”
She appreciated learning the saving skills acquired through the financial classes. She was surprised to learn how much damage credit cards can inflict on financial security. And security matters a great deal to Jenni.
Having an active, school-aged child required sacrificing precious weekend time to build her sweat equity hours. But Jenni says, “Both of us know this is a priority.” She was amazed at the sense of community she felt on the construction site. She was further moved as she watched unknown volunteers work for HER dreams and recognized that good people still exist in this world.
After so much uncertainty, Jenni yearned for the constancy of home ownership. She says, “As a homeowner I have finally reached the stability I’ve worked for since I left my abusive ex-husband. My son is truly proud of both of us.”
Jenni’s home was completed just before Christmas 2017. Five years after escaping a violent house, Jenni is home!