CRESTVIEW — Habitat for Humanity in Okaloosa County handed over the keys to their 61st homeowner on Oct. 26.
Shawna Holman and her three daughters, Laniyah, Kaleeah, and Malayah, moved into their home built by over 2,000 hours worth of volunteer service.
"As I was driving to sign the mortgage papers this morning, I was fine," she said. "But then, on the way there, it kind of became surreal...It's been a great day."
While looking at her beautiful new home, Shawna said her favorite part is the driveway.
"We've lived in a small apartment complex for a long time...(her daughters) always wanted to ride their bikes and stuff, but there was always a lot of traffic," Shawna said. "...I can sit outside and watch them."
A year in the making
Shawna said she would not have imagined this happening a year ago.
"I'm glad I picked this specific journey because throughout the year, it actually made me focus more on doing what I was supposed to do and going to work everyday," she said.
Shawna's experience with Habitat for Humanity guided her to becoming more financially responsible so she could pay the down payment and buy new furniture, she said.
"I lived two hours away from here, so I also had to save money to go back and forth to do the hours," Shawna said. "... All the debt that I've previously had and mistakes I've made in my early 20s, they're gone now."
One of the requirements to receive a home through Habitat for Humanity is each adult must put in at least 300 hours of work towards the home.
Shawna said her daughters were the driving force behind her motivation.
"Sometimes life happens unexpectedly. I didn't picture doing it alone at first, and then, life happens. You just have to make the best of it," she said.
As for what’s next, Shawna was focused on one thing—hanging out and eating pizza with her daughters and their dog in their new home.