A home should be a place where you feel safe. It should be a place where you can rest your head, share a meal, and create memories with your family. When you do not feel safe in your home and you are unable to keep your children safe, it is difficult. That has been the reality for Leoda.
Fleeing with her young son from a domestic violence situation was just the beginning of her safety concerns. She encountered many situations where those around her threatened their safety. When she was pregnant with her daughter, she thought that leaving yet another abusive relationship would put an end to her fears.
Now, the thing that threatens safety the most is the home that she rents for her and her children. Her daughter has level 5 autism. She is physically strong and has a lot of energy. Her behaviors are more like a toddler even though she is 6. She likes to climb & run and doesn’t realize the injuries that she could cause to herself or those around her. The 17 stairs that it takes to get up and down from the bedrooms pose a danger. The counters in the kitchen are a tempting climbing source. Simply going outside for fresh air is unsafe because she will run directly into the street.
Caring for a special needs daughter is something that Leoda has dedicated herself to. She is also a very loving Mom to her 12-year-old son. The simple thought of having a yard for the kids to run and play and for Leoda to take in the sunshine is enough to bring tears to her eyes. The family doesn’t know many people in the Brainerd Lakes area however Leoda found her way to apply to partner with Lakes Area Habitat for Humanity. Together we will build the family a single level home with many accommodations made with her daughter’s needs in mind and a space where they can finally feel safe at home.