RECLAIMING HOPE | Hope is the starting point for Urban Homeworks, the force that brings together low-income families, young professionals, job skill trainees, and volunteers from all walks of life into an exchange that restores homes and creates a space for neighbors to engage.
I grew up in a stable and controlled environment. My dad was a military man and I was regulated by his rules. He would spend evenings out binging while I took care of my siblings. It was a strict schedule that benefited his habits. As a young adult, I was working full time, going to college, and taking care of my younger siblings. One day, I was late coming home, which sparked something in my father. He felt he was losing control of me and ultimately, lost control of his own actions, acting as the bittersweet catalyst for the next phase of my life.
I moved out on my own and quickly lost my job, got evicted from where I was living, and ended up homeless, living out of my car. I even ended up squatting for a period of time, living in boarded up, foreclosed homes. This was not the life I wanted. I wanted to be married, have children, own a home, and get a degree. I wanted the “American Dream”.
So, I got a job, found an apartment, and was able to get my husband to Minneapolis from Jamaica. We continued to rent and had our two children, Jamar and Courtney. But our rental home wasn’t safe, there were 2 shootings. Then, I heard about Urban Homeworks.
We became UHW residents and started working on improving our credit score and reducing debt. After renting for 2 years, my husband and I purchased a home through Urban Homeworks’ PROJECT: Reclaim program.
My children are growing up in a house we own, and they take pride in that. They have the stability I didn’t have - they have childhood friendships that will grow for years because we aren’t going anywhere. Owning a home has given me the backbone and confidence to have a voice in the community. I am a member of the Urban Homeworks POD Council and am on the Parent Advisory Board for NAZ. I also hope to hold the Near North District Board Member seat.
My name is Taya Morgan and I am a proud wife, mother, neighbor, and homeowner in North Minneapolis. This is our community, and together, we can make it everything we want.