"I absolutely hate the word rent. Mortgage sounds so much better." _ LaShawanda
Music Row Build Receives $100,000 donation
December 16, 2022- Music Row veteran Mark Brown has announced the establishment of the Build Fund for Habitat for Humanity of Greater Nashville's Music Row Build thanks to the $100,000 donation from Ree Guyer, owner/president of Wrensong/Reynsong Entertainment.
"I have been blessed to thrive in the Music Business community for 37 years,” says Guyer. “I'm paying it forward so we will have a Music Row Habitat Build forever. If you feel as passionate as I do about the great work that Habitat does, I challenge my Music Row friends to pay it forward too."
Music industry veteran Renee Bell started the Music Row Build in 2003 and joined forces with Guyer in 2005. Together they helped nine local families purchase affordable homes before it ended in 2012.
“My father was a contractor his entire life. He helped people on many levels, but one way was helping them get into their homes. He instilled the same passion in me,” says Bell. “Habitat gives people hope. When the Music Row Build was started, we wanted to bring the entire music community together to truly change people’s lives. We all know music can change lives, but giving others the opportunity to purchase affordable well-built homes changes lives on an entirely different level.”
Habitat’s Music Row build reignited in 2020 when Brown decided he wanted to do more to help hardworking Nashvillians have equal opportunities to live in the city in which they work. Brown loved the hands-on approach the Habitat program offered for building better futures and getting to know the homeowners.
"When I re-started the Music Row Build, I had two main goals. One was to build one house each year for a deserving family right here in Nashville. And the other was to try to make the Music Row Build sustainable forever. I set a goal of raising $500,000 as a nest egg in the Music Row Build Fund. When Ree made her generous donation, suddenly my goal seemed attainable. Along with Ree, several others have stepped forward and joined our effort. I’m glad to report that we are 25 percent of the way to our goal."
LaShawnda Family Profile
LaShawnda is the mother of four children ranging in ages from 16 to 6 years old. She currently works as a dental assistant and has been with her employer since 2020. She is a graduate of Whites Creek High School and attended Tennessee College of Applied Technology Dental Assistant School. She graduated at the top of her class, with honors, in 2019.
Housing Need: Independence, investment and peace of mind, says LaShawnda about her need and desire for affordable housing. In her current rental apartment, there is black mold in the shower, the appliances are old and non-functional, and they all share one bathroom. She feels unsafe in her current neighborhood. “My kids don’t have the luxury of playing outside for fear of safety. There is prostitution, gambling, shootings...you name it.”
“I grew up in a Habitat home. Previously, we moved every year. My mom’s Habitat home gave us stability. That made me want it for my children.”
Becoming a Habitat Homeowner: “My kids are the reason I am pushing for homeownership. I owe this to them, and my determination won’t allow me to give up.”
Inspiration: “For me, this is a big accomplishment being that this is my third time applying for a Habitat Home. The first time I didn't have enough income; the second my credit needed work. It took me a few years to overcome some obstacles, but I'm thankful for everything I went through to get this far. Owning a home is not only a big accomplishment, but also peace of mind and I thank GOD for Habitat for Humanity and my sponsors.”
“It was my third time applying. It took a lot for me to try again. When I got the congratulation email saying I had been approved, I was sooooo happy.”
2021 Music Row Family
Alycia received the keys to her new townhome at Sherwood Commons in May to finish out the 2021 Music Row Build.
2021 Music Row Build Ambassadors! TJ and John Osborne of Brothers Osborne, Grammy winners for the Best Country Duo | Group Performance in 2021.
Music Row Build 2020