Meet Sheilaina

“It’s rewarding for me to see her get something that is just for her. I know it’s going to be for all of us, but she did this, this is for her.”

It is clear that Shyauna, Sheilaina’s daughter, has so much respect for all that her mother has gone through to find affordable housing for her and her two younger brothers, Kenyon and James. It is not easy being a single mom, in a new city, trying to make ends meet. This mother of three has persevered and has never lost track of what is most important to her: family.

“It’s been tough living here on my own. At one point a man got shot outside my door and I felt compelled to go and help him out.” As a nurse and former social worker she makes enough money to take care of her family, but with a limited budget she doesn’t have many options when it comes to safe, affordable housing in Durham’s rapidly changing economy. She was so excited to learn about her lot in North Durham earlier this year. It is 5 minutes away from her work. “The boys say we are moving to the suburbs” she says with a grin.

Sheilaina comes from a long line of strong women. She was raised by her mother and grandmother and learned all about homeownership from these two wonderful women. “My mother and I lived upstairs, and my grandmother lived downstairs”, she said as she shared about her life growing up. “I’ve come a long way since I lived in Boston and I think my mom and grandma would be proud to see me now.” 

Even though these women are no longer in Sheilaina’s life, it is easy to see the family traits of strength and courage is being passed on to the next generation. Even though she is a single mom, figuring things out on her own, she is always there to love and support her children.

"I have such admiration for my mother" shared Shyauna. Despite the challenges of being a single mom, "she’s present for me and my brothers, going to our school concerts and making sure we do well in school. I love her.”

We are proud to partner with Sheilaina, and can’t wait to see the future that is built in this home. We invite you to join a Durham Habitat partnership. Click here to volunteer or donate! We are excited to see her future home come to life over the next few months, and you can follow on the progress on our construction blog HERE.

Habitat Success Stories

Lal is a Burmese refugee who came to Durham after stops in India and Thailand. Lal partnered with Habitat and the Durham Literacy Center to renovate a historic home in East Durham. "There is no more fear," Lal said. "We won't have to move again because the home belongs to us."