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A Rochester family who finished their home after more than 300 hours of labor moved in



Rochester, New York – A new homeowner in Rochester moved in on Friday.

Shuane Wiliams is now the happy owner of a house in the Beechwood neighborhood after investing hundreds of hours of sweat equity.

For Williams, entering her first home was a moment she had been waiting for years.

“We started off with a hole in the ground,” said Williams. “I remember coming to help Erwin and them come and seal the basement. That was a learning experience. Since then, I’ve worked on a few other homes.”

Indeed, during the framing of her habitat for humanity home in July, we had a conversation with her.
Even now, Williams’ path has not been simple.

She lost her son Morgan to violence in 2013. Although grieved, she remained resolute and started a peer advocate program in his honor to assist other adolescents and their friends.

“We want to teach them to advocate for your friend,” Williams said. “If that’s your friend, make sure your friend stays out of trouble and that you’re not involved as well.”

She dedicated herself to the city that she considers home as part of her activism. Garson Avenue is where she now resides.

“So many people run away from the violence in this community,” she said. “So many people go ‘This should happen, and we should do this.’ But then they move out, and how are you helping your community if you’re not here? To help your community, you need to stay inside your community, so it’s very important to me to stay here in the city of Rochester.”

Without the assistance of community partners and volunteers, Williams’ home would not be possible.

“It’s pretty amazing, working with the volunteers,” said site supervisor Erwin Mageary. “And a lot of time you get people who don’t know how to do it. Give them a little instruction and they follow along and life gets built.”

As for her plans as a homeowner?

“I’m going to do what my momma did,” Williams said. “When she first got her house, she screamed and I said ‘Mom, why are you screaming?’ and she said ”Cause there’s no one above me, and there’s no one beneath me, and there’s no one on the side of me.'”