Suffolk woman grew up across the street from Habitat home she now owns

Published 9:15 pm Saturday, March 12, 2022

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Because her mother was incarcerated, Shaquita Outlaw was raised by her grandmother on Cedar Street in Suffolk, never imagining that she would eventually live directly across the road in a home of her own, thanks to her strong work ethic and Habitat for Humanity of South Hampton Roads. 

In high school, Outlaw worked at Burger King to help support her grandmother and siblings.  Afterward she was employed at Newport News Shipbuilding, but bad financial decisions left her moving from place to place, before she began attending church, fixing her credit and focusing on providing stability for her two young sons. 

“I knew I always wanted to be a homeowner, but I never knew where to start,” said Outlaw, whose new home was dedicated in a Saturday ceremony. “I thank God and Habitat for Humanity for choosing me to become a homeowner.” 

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Shaquita will now have the ability to raise her sons as well as her younger sister, for whom she has custody, in a home of her own.  

The home’s construction was part of Frontline Heroes Build Week (FHBW) presented by STIHL, Oct. 11-15.  “Hero volunteer” teams from the military, police, fire, EMS, health care and essential workers participated alongside Outlaw to build the 3-bedroom, 2-bath home. 

Habitat SHR homeowners purchase their homes using the Habitat model of a “’hand-up, not a handout.” They must have stable employment and good credit, the ability to pay a mortgage, attend educational homeownership courses and invest 200 hours of sweat equity toward the building of their home and for others. 

Habitat statistics show that owning a stable and affordable home reduces dependency on government subsidies, raises neighborhood property values, teaches civic responsibility and increases positive outcomes for children.