LeShundria Nelson – City of Chattanooga – Completed
LeShundria Nelson wasn’t interested in living in Alton Park. In fact, she had spent “half her whole life there” visiting at her grandmother’s house. And after her parents’ divorce, she and her three siblings moved to Emma Wheeler Homes in that same community. So who would have guessed that several years down the road, she would be well on her way to becoming the first Habitat homeowner to live inside The Villages at Alton Park? The more LeShundria thought about it, this could be the perfect place for her family to call home.
She and daughters Timeya, 17, and Londyn, 6, had to move into her father’s one bedroom apartment after their rental home became too much to handle. “The house was older and not (well) insulated,” said LeShundria, who has worked at McKee Bakery for 14 years. “The light bills were super high in that house, and it was cold in the wintertime. There was mold and mildew in the bathroom. It was just too expensive to stay there and keep things up.”
So LeShundria is quite content with her decision to come full circle and return to Alton Park – this time as a homeowner. She had previously applied for a Habitat house when Timeya was smaller, but didn’t follow through with the application process. “I was young and wasn’t really ready,” she said. “They (the Habitat staff) told me I needed to pay off one bill and then come back.” But, she never did.
Oddly enough, Timeya’s grandmother would casually mention Habitat to LeShundria years later. She just knew she couldn’t let this opportunity pass her by a second time around. So she got her affairs in order, and was eventually accepted into the program. She soon heard Habitat was coming to The Villages. Her mother, who once owned a hair salon in Alton Park, encouraged her to attend a Lunch & Learn event to get all the details. “The presentation hooked my mother before it got me,” LeShundria says.
But after the ladies left the Lunch & Learn, they drove to the site where the future Habitat homes would be built. That’s when LeShundria had a change of heart. “It’s pretty back there,” she said. “I’m excited to get out of my daddy’s house. It’s so hard living with someone else” – especially since her father frowns upon the use of air-conditioning in the warmer months!
LeShundria ran into a couple of detours along the path to homeownership, but now she, Timeya and Londyn are almost home!
Funding for the Nelson Home provided by:
City of Chattanooga, Office of Economic and Community Development, Andy Berke, Mayor
Additional funding, support, Services or Materials provided by:
Chattanooga Area Volunteers
Daughters of the American Revolution, Chief John Ross Chapter
The Embroiderers’ Guild of America, Chattanooga Chapter
The HART Gallery
State Farm Insurance -Hamilton Co. Agents
St. Francis of Assisi Episcopal Church
Two Men and a Truck