Partner Family Stories

Stephanie Whitman

For Stephanie, homeownership is an opportunity she never saw coming. “When you struggle half your life just trying to keep a roof over your head, and life tends to get the better of attain the mentality of, ‘I’ll never be good enough,’ or ‘NO ONE will give me a chance.’”

Stephanie started her homeownership journey in 2020. With a degree from Western Technical College and a position at the State of Wisconsin, she was able to build savings and feel financially secure.

Homeownership was “the last missing and hardest puzzle piece to achieve.” Stephanie applied to become a Habitat homeowner. Because of her financial readiness and her dire living situations, she was selected.

In her current home, she deals with mold, mice, wasps, rotted decking, and cramped space for her family of three. Her 12- and 16-year-old boys use the living room as a bedroom. They share laundry with neighbors and lack privacy. As her children grow into young adults, they need a more spacious, safer home.

After decades of uncertainty, moving around, struggling to keep a roof over her head, Stephanie is so close to being a homeowner. In her words: "I took a chance to try and change my boys’ life. They deserve to have a place to call their own, that will remain theirs. And most importantly a chance at feeling what it is like to just have a home. Something we all never thought we would experience.”

Stephanie’s future house is on the south side of La Crosse, a lovely 1940s home that just needs a few minor updates. Stephanie has been spending many of her sweat equity hours at the house, adding fresh paint and taking care of other odds and ends. In summer 2023, she will purchase the house from Habitat, and it will be hers!