Chattanooga resident Shenarian Favors and her children are the 4th local family blessed with owning their own home thanks to Thrivent Builds with Habitat for Humanity, a nation-wide alliance between Habitat for Humanity International and Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.
“Owning a home has been a dream of mine ever since I went out on my own,” Shenarian says. Shenarian grew up in Orchard Park, before going out to find her way in the world at 18. Necessity led her to live in public housing, and then several rentals, as a son, Darius, now almost 18 and daughter, Jakobi 9, were born. Before learning about Habitat, buying her own home seemed impossible. The family currently lives in a duplex just six feet off of a busy city street. Doctor’s suspect that Shenerian’s chronic sinus infections, congestion and headaches are due to mold and mildew in her duplex.
The family’s situation will soon change, as they move into the simple, decent, and affordable home built for them by local Lutherans since April. “My kids are excited,” Shenarian says. “It will be great to have something they can call their own, to have their own yard. They have told me that the first thing they want is a trampoline!” Shenarian is looking forward to having space of her own as well. “It will be exciting to be able to paint things the way I want them and to have a place that can reflect me.”
“It has been a privilege to work with local Lutherans on this project,” says Pete Palmer, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Chattanooga. “You could not ask for a more dedicated and enthusiastic group of volunteers.” Congregations participating in this year’s build included: Ascension, Christ the King, Cross of Christ, First Lutheran – Chattanooga, First Lutheran – Cleveland, Good Shepherd, Prince of Peace, Resurrection, Spirit of Joy, Trinity, and The Rock Lutheran Churches, as well as members of the SE TN NW GA Chapter Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.
“The Thrivent Builds program provided a wonderful opportunity for our local Lutheran congregations to work together. It is a blessing for us to be able to share our skills and know that we have had a part in making a home available to a deserving family,” said Harold Humphries, who helped coordinated volunteers for the project. “This is the fourth home built by members of our local Lutheran Churches in the past four years and we look forward to a continuing relationship with the Chattanooga Habitat Affiliate.”
Sixty-five percent of the funding for this home came from Thrivent Financial for Lutherans and an additional 10 percent from local Lutheran congregations. Thrivent Builds with Habitat for Humanity has given more than 1,000 families an opportunity to achieve the American dream of homeownership since 2005. This year the alliance will provide $24 million to help build another 313 affordable homes in 37 states and the District of Columbia. Hundreds of local Habitat affiliates will build these homes alongside members of thrivent Financial and other community volunteers. To learn more, visit www.thriventbuilds.com.