Stephane Rochefort and Shalen Cole feel a powerful commitment to giving back to their community. Their shared interest in social welfare has driven their post-secondary education fields of study; Mental Health, Addictions and Social Service Worker for Stephane and Social Welfare and Social Service Worker for Shalen. Since their relocation to North Bay in 2013, Stephane from Ottawa and Shalen from Collingwood, they are both grateful for the opportunities they’ve had. While Shalen continues her education at Nipissing University, Stephane currently works as a Support Worker in North Bay. Becoming Habitat Homeowners has only strengthened their resolve to give back to their community.
Living on a single income while Shalen continues her education has created challenges. However, the family chooses not to rely on the use of credit cards or loans to meet their financial needs. Although they have not accumulated significant debt, they have been unable to save enough for a down payment for a traditional mortgage.
After reading a post on Facebook, they knew Habitat home ownership was an opportunity they had to pursue. While work, school and volunteering are essential to the life of this busy, young couple, Stephane’s and Shalen’s first priority is to raise their now one-and-a-half-year-old son, Cole, in a loving and safe environment. That’s what makes the opportunity to have their own home so meaningful.
With a new home and their wedding in April, there is plenty to celebrate. The family enjoys experiencing local attractions but they’re most looking forward to spending time together in their own space – playing cards or games or snuggling up together to watch a movie. When they think about having a home of their own, they imagine evening chats on the deck while looking out over the rest of the city.
Cooking and decorating are at the top of the list of every day moments to enjoy together. Shalen’s taste for traditional style mixed with modern flair is perfect for their cozy new home. Stephane is excited at the prospect of having his very own ‘man cave’. And they both agree that a house is not a home without a cat – an addition to the family they’re all enthusiastic about!
While Stephane, Shalen and Cole look forward to settling into their new home in their community, we’re pleased to welcome them into our Habitat family.
About Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North
Amalgamated in 2014, Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North is a not-for-profit organization working toward a world where everyone has a safe, suitable, and affordable place to call home. Habitat for Humanity brings communities together to help families build strength, stability, and independence through affordable housing. With the help of government organizations, charitable foundations, local businesses, individual community members, volunteers and other Habitat partners we provide a solid foundation for better, healthier lives in our service area, in Canada, and around the world. Our region serves communities across central and northern Ontario, including North Simcoe County, Muskoka, Parry Sound, Nipissing, Greater Sudbury, and Cochrane. Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North is an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity Canada, which was established in 1985. To date, across Canada, Habitat for Humanity has helped thousands of families in need of a hand up. Across the globe, Habitat for Humanity has grown to become a leading global not-for-profit working in more than 70 countries. For more information visit www.habitatgatewaynorth.com.