The Chrisman Family
“I want to see my son happy… in a home where he and I can sit on the porch in rocking chairs and just spend time together.”
~ from Karen Chrisman’s applicant letter
There is an extraordinary bond that comes from being a single mother to an only child. One only needs to speak to Karen Chrisman and her son to know that he is her universe, and she is his rock.
There was a time when they were three, but when her husband became abusive, she left — with a 3 year old in tow and an uncertain path forward. This was the first of many challenges that Karen would use as a catalyst for change.
When she was laid off from her factory job, Karen turned misfortune into opportunity by going back to school. She started her career in early childhood education and has remained in the field ever since. Karen found her niche as a pre-school teacher at Kids Kountry Klub House where hundreds of children have benefited from her career change. Being laid off is tough, but Karen is tougher.
Karen is a problem solver, and it is evident in every area of her life. When a summer rain resulted in a flood in her apartment and the response from management was nil, she found a rug to absorb the over flow. She knew that living in an income-based apartment meant fending for one’s self, so she tackled each issue on her own. But everyone has their limit. When she was told to “take fewer showers” in response to a complaint about black mold in the bathroom, she took that as a cue to seek change.
Karen applied for Habitat’s affordable homeownership program and was approved for a 2 bedroom / 1 bathroom house on Jon Kraus Way in Arden. By embracing each stumbling block as an opportunity for change, Karen is teaching her son to be positive, to persevere and to “turn lemons into lemonade” in the face of adversity. It’s clear by the pride he clearly feels towards his mom, that her lessons are resonating with him.