Shannon is a determined lady.
In early 2014, she came out of a bad marriage and was left with nothing to her name except for debt, two young sons and a new baby due later that summer.
When Shannon gathered the courage to start over, she mustered determination to make a better life for her family and create for them a safe home that no one would ever take away. Now, that dream is about to become a reality.
The struggle has been real. Shannon had a difficult time finding an affordable place to rent that was in the right school district and large enough for her growing family. She settled on a two-bedroom mobile home with broken windows, dug up yard, and continuous maintenance problems.
Shannon learned about Habitat through a coworker. She applied in April 2014, was accepted that August and started budget classes the following month when new baby Adalyn was only 2 weeks old. Through budget classes, she has not only paid off her debt but saved $1,500 towards her down payment (which Pinnacle Bank is matching). She proudly shares that she intends to continue saving money each week after she buys her home. She learned through the budget class that you “pay yourself first.” Her savings is automatically transferred from her account on payday to her Pinnacle Savings account.
“We live tight and don’t waste money. It’s really hard when your kids want something. You want them to be happy and like all the other kids. It is tempting to tap into savings and buy it for them. But I don’t do it. That’s not what the savings account is for.”
Shannon adds, “I was already in debt after my divorce, but money was so tight I had to use my credit cards to buy groceries.” Through the budgeting classes, Shannon has learned how to restructure her expenses, buy wisely, save money and still have a little left over each month for special outings.
“We look forward to eating out once or twice a month.” It is always a coin toss as to who gets to choose their favorite restaurant … Leland likes Applebee’s, while Ethan likes Chick-fil-A. Shannon just enjoys seeing her kids happy.
Shannon also learned how to fix a broken sink. Through the home maintenance class taught by Cross Connection owner and Habitat volunteer Dennis Jones, Shannon learned how to replace a busted hose that sprayed water all over her whenever she washed dishes.
“I was so proud when I learned how to fix that sink. I’d never done anything like that before.”
Shannon has had a long career in healthcare, having worked at Tennova for over 13 years before becoming the front desk clerk at Gastrointestinal Associates North in 2016. Each day, she leaves her home in Corryton at 5:30am to drive each of her three children to their schools and babysitter in order to be in Powell for work by 8:00 am.
(continued on next page)
“My children have seen me struggle, but I hope that I’ve taught them that no matter what life gives you, you don’t give up. You keep going. You work hard. You set goals, and you keep your eyes on those goals. Otherwise it is too easy to get off track. It would have been a whole lot easier to turn to drinking or drugs. That’s what most people in my family have done. But I don’t want a life like that, and I don’t want my kids to think that is ok.”
Because of Knoxville Habitat and the many volunteers and supporters who have worked with her along the way, Shannon will be breaking ground on her forever home in March 2017.