By Jeremie Whiting
Habitat for Humanity Las Vegas partner family member
When I was 9 years old, my life changed. My mom came to pick me up at school and said, “We have to go somewhere safe, away from the house.” We walked for what seemed like miles before we ended up at The Shade Tree Shelter. I did not know what had happened or why we were there, but after a few days, I started to realize my mom was doing her best for our family.
While staying at The Shade Tree Shelter, I made many friends, but because it was a shelter, they did not stay long. My little sister was born, my mom got a job, and we left the shelter in June 2005. I am very proud of my mom and glad that we went there for help.
My mom was hired at The Shade Tree as a client advocate. The Shade Tree nominated my mother for Habitat for Humanity. She was so excited about the opportunity, and so was I. We had never lived in a house before, and I could not imagine what it would feel like. My family and I worked very hard to build the house and helped to build other Habitat houses as well. We moved into our house in December 2008. We had a great Christmas that year — and every year after that one.
To me, Habitat for Humanity means a fresh start for my family. Without Habitat, I do not think my mom would be able to afford a house. They gave my mom the chance to have what she has always talked about, a home of her own. Habitat for Humanity means HOPE.