Your home is more than just where you live. Certain moments in life can become memories.
De'Shaun Ealoms knows this very well.
For eight years, Ealoms walked through the doors of a two-bedroom home in East Austin with her son, Jonathan. She got help from Section 8 programs while working and going to school.
"But I know that I don't have to come here anymore," Ealoms said,
About 16 years ago, Ealoms walked across the stage as a Family Self-Sufficiency graduate.
FSS is a program by the City of Austin Housing Authority that helps people get housing and financial independence.
While Ealoms rented the home on 16th street, a portion of her rent went to an escrow account through the program to pay for a down payment on a future home.
Ealoms now lives in a spacious three-bedroom home in Kyle, Texas. She credits her son as a driving force to keep going.
"I had a lot of hard days," Ealoms said. "I cried at night, I had a lot of sleepless nights, I had a lot days just sitting on the couch thinking how was I going to make it through."
During this year's FSS graduation, Ealoms was an honorary speaker. Her message to graduates was that your dreams can become reality, even if where you started seems bleak.
"It pays to continue to go further," Ealoms said.
Ealoms earned her bachelor's degree while in FSS, and she went on to earn her master's degree. She now has a successful career at the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.
For more information on the FSS Program, click here.