Former homeless woman gives back to Habitat for Humanity

Dash Pettaway: The scary part is it can happen to
absolutely anyone. You know you never think that you’d be in a predicament and
then boom! And then you have no choice but to deal with it. Roxanne Elias: Life took a turn for the worst for Toledo native Dash Pettaway when she became homeless at 25 years old. Back in 2015 as a full-time student she injured her right knee while on the job
as a forklift driver and was unable to work. Following surgery it took her about
six months to get back on her feet with the help of family and friends.
She’s now giving back to her community by painting in and around Toledo. Michael McIntyre: Today we’re celebrating on mural wall. Dash, as a volunteer from the community, has come in and offered her painting skills – to transfer this bare wall into
something that kind of conveys what Maumee Valley Habitat for Humanity is all
about. Roxanne: Once complete, it will feature two hands reaching towards each other. It
relates to the slogan of Habitat for Humanity, which is a hand up, not a
handout. That’s how Dash overcame homelessness. Those who love her the most either gave her a place to stay or offered her work. Dash: I was homeless at a
point in time and I understand what the Habitat for Humanity does. You know, they give people who either have not the greatest household situation and then
they will come and refurbish. They’ll come put a new roof, you know to really
truly help you, you know, like have a safe and secure foundation for housing.
Roxanne: Dash is
referring to Habitat for Humanity’s campaign helping lower-income people.
Through it, they have the opportunity to purchase a new or rehabbed home in Lucas County. Michael: This campaign started out with our 30th anniversary and over that
period of time we have provided home ownership to 209 families. So
families that didn’t own their own home found the pathway to Habitat, and and we
built those homes and made that available in a zero interest loans.
Roxanne: The mural also reminds people their purchases that they restore are supporting those who need it the most. Because with each sale, more money is added to the
home ownership program and local home repairs. On the other hand, Dash is using her mural to bring motivation and homelessness awareness.
Dash: Just looking back from where
you know things used to be in my mind frame and just now. And just how
positively things are now, it’s so exciting. Like oh my God. It just makes me feel really good inside that you know I’ve made it through some of my
stormiest days and you know I’m headed to just great greener pastures. In Toledo, Roxanne Elias, The Blade.

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