RaShauna Medley did something so powerful last year that she amazed herself. From the very start, she didn’t think she could do it, and she was afraid she might fail.
She is a young single mother with two children under the age of five and a full-time job.
That’s enough for most parents, but RaShauna built a home in Blanchester with the generous help of the volunteers at Clinton County Habitat for Humanity last summer.
She spent more than 350 hours at her home job site. She wired electrical outlets and she hammered nails. RaShauna has found that she loves her new skills as a builder and is looking forward to spending more Saturdays with other Habitat volunteers on the 40th home built in Clinton County.
When her mom suggested that she apply to become a Habitat partner, RaShauna was slow to move forward—dubious that any organization would build a home to help her, but also that she would be deserving of such a home.
RaShauna really needed a home — she had lived in a camper and moved from several relatives’ homes — never able to afford a place of her own.
“I decided I didn’t really have much to lose — I needed a good place to live,” she said.
She submitted the paperwork detailing her finances and met with Elizabeth Biggane, Habitat partner family reviewer, who talked to her seriously about the program where volunteers work together with homeowners to build a home.
“I thought that I would be denied because of my credit score,” admitted RaShauna. The group follows the federal guidelines for income and sets their no-interest mortgage payments to meet the needs of the homeowner.
The organization seeks low-income families who are hard-working and capable of repaying a mortgage. As homeowners make their payments, they are helping complete the homes of future homeowners.
RaShauna’s desire for a decent and affordable home and her commitment to working for it, were vital to her application. “I know they took a chance on me,” said RaShauna.
Because the Clinton County group works on two homes annually, each prospective partner has the opportunity to experience a build before their own is built. It gives future homeowners a chance to save some money for their own home, while learning the steps toward homeownership.
The group has a family mentor and money mentor, who takes time to outline the process and them toward success.
“I was lucky in that my boss at Clinton Memorial Hospital gave me Wednesdays off to work,” she explained. So, the sweat equity of working on her home along with others has given her a sense of empowerment.
“I did this by myself and I know how it was built,” she said confidently.
“The Habitat volunteers are like family to me,” she said. “I have learned so much, but also, they have been really kind to me.”
RaShauna shared that there was a lot of joy and laughter in between the tough work of building her home.
She has grown close to several of the volunteers who helped guide her decisions, like Mary Camp. She said that Dick Neff always made her laugh, but his knowledge was important too. It was great working with the Habitat drywall crew.
Her home is built near another Habitat family, Bryan and Logan Allphin. They have been a support to her as she takes on the role of homeowner. They have become good friends and great neighbors.
RaShauna believes that her Habitat experience will motivate her to other ambitions, but for now, she happy to enjoy her beautiful home and have the opportunity to watch her children grow.
Habitat for Humanity is searching for new home partners.
To apply for the Habitat program, contact Elizabeth Biggane, 937-725-8071. She will help prospective partners with the application and interview.