Shelby & Isaiah


Standing on the top floor of their future home, Shelby and her 6-year-old son, Jayden, can see a very important landmark. “I see grandpa’s house!” says Jayden, pointing at a nearby neighborhood.

For Shelby and her boyfriend, Isaiah, moving into this North Denver home will mark the realization of a big dream: to become homeowners in the city where they grew up. And given Denver’s skyrocketing housing prices, their achievement is even more rewarding. “I’m really excited to raise my kids where I grew up also,” shares Shelby, mom to Jayden and 1-year-old Isaiah Jr.

“I’m one of the first people in my family to own a home. So, it’s kind of like in a way I’m breaking the cycle. I’m showing my kids they could have a better life.”

Until recently, Shelby and her family had been living in a high-crime neighborhood where Jayden was exposed to violence. They soon moved in with Shelby’s uncle in Denver’s Highlands neighborhood, where they’ve been able to save money from their full-time jobs toward buying a home.

Since finding Habitat Metro Denver, Shelby says it’s been amazing to watch the whole process come together. She’s been completing sweat equity hours, building her and other Habitat homes, and has even met some of her future neighbors while on-site. And she’s making plans.

“I’m already getting all kinds of ideas in my head… how I’m going to decorate it and how I’m going to be able to come home after work, make a dinner for my whole family.”

Isaiah, too, is eagerly anticipating the joys of homeownership, including the comforts and independence it will bring. “To be on our own will be a huge accomplishment,” Isaiah shares.

“Most people our age are still renting and not able to buy a home. It’s a huge life step that’s really going to pay off in a few decades—especially for our kids.”