When Tanisha first shared her story with Habitat for Humanity in 2020, she was in the process of building her home in Northeast Portland. She had not yet received the keys to her house but was looking forward to the freedom she would have as a homeowner – a larger space, peace of mind, making adjustments to her home, and the opportunity to plant permanent roots in Portland.
Another thing that excited her was the ability to barbecue in her backyard on a hot summer day. She had dreamt about this for years, but due to restrictions in her apartments and the lack of space, she was unable to. Today not only has she used her backyard to barbeque, but she has also celebrated the freedom and privacy that it has provided – she has ultimately made it her own.
“I had a project where…instead of having bark dust in the back, I changed it to where I have small rocks. So basically, I feel like it’s more of mine,” said Tanisha.
Tanisha has also celebrated her first Christmas in her new house by hosting a dinner with her family over a spread of delicious, smothered chicken with gravy, glazed carrots and white rice that she cooked in her new kitchen. They even had one of her mom’s mouthwatering homemade cakes for dessert. Tanisha has even found that her energy-efficient appliances allow her to save money on bills every month – this gives her more flexibility over her budget.
“I loved using my new stove, and everything tasted great. And it was just, you know, a great holiday.”
Since moving into their new home, her son Michael graduated high school early after his excelled academic achievement and is planning to attend community college this fall to pursue a career path in the auto mechanic industry. Ever since moving into their new home, Michael has made his room a serene space where he unwinds at the end of his academic studies or job. But it can also become an exciting place for him when he powers up his gaming console to play video games. He finds happiness in a much larger bedroom that rests in stark contrast to the small space he once grew up in. Additionally, her oldest son, JaCorey, is working towards a career as a professional singer and in graphic arts. He is currently living on his own, however, he loves the idea of his mom becoming a homeowner. Tanisha is proud of her two adult sons and continues to live as an example of the possibilities they can achieve through hard work.
As a new homeowner, Tanisha finds herself with a fresh perspective surrounding her— she has new freedoms to fix her house up as she pleases and the ability to build equity, achieving greater peace of mind. Although she has entered a new chapter in her life, one thing remains the same as before: her unshaken foundation in her faith. Tanisha takes time to pray and meditate in her bedroom. She finds comfort in her home when she has a quiet space to return to after her day at work. At times, she just sits and admires the beautiful scenery in front of her large windows located in her bedroom upstairs.
“One thing about my room that I really, really love is looking out of my window. It’s just really relaxing. It’s so beautiful, especially when the sun is out and everything.”
Tanisha is grateful to Habitat for Humanity for the opportunity of partnering with a community of other homebuyers to build a solid foundation that will remain affordable for generations. Tanisha loves the communication she has formed as a staple with her community of neighbors. Recently, Tanisha saw a neighbor moving furniture into their home, and she quickly jumped in to help without hesitation.
“That’s what we do. We kind of help each other. If something needs a hand. If someone has a question. We are all very friendly with each other.” Said Tanisha.
Overall, Tanisha is very pleased with her new home and she is glad that she made the decision to apply for a home through Habitat for Humanity. “It’s a dream come true,” said Tanisha.