To Karen Francis, home means a happy, safe and nurturing environment that you are proud to call your home. But unfortunately, living in fear is a daily reality Karen Francis and her four children Shanika (20), Jayden (16) Onai (5) and Maita (2). As a result of the family’s current surroundings, her children are all too familiar with the sounds of gun shots and have seen many things that children should not have to see. “Living in social housing comes with a stigma. I was always unhappy and depressed about my living situation; feeling stuck with no way to move up no matter how hard I tried.”
Karen received a letter through Toronto Community Housing about Habitat and made the decision to apply with the hope of change and security for her family. “I wanted to purchase a habitat home so my children will have a better chance, to break the cycle. I grew up in social housing and now my children are growing up in social housing. I want my children to know that hard work and good education is rewarding.” Karen and her family are looking forward to being able to spend time outdoors together in a neighbourhood that is safe.
When in their new home the first thing the Francis family will do is “We will all gather in our home and pray to thank God for all the blessings he has given to our family. I will exhale because I know life can only get better from there!”