By Samantha Melamed
The Philadelphia Inquirer
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) A Philadelphia neighborhood has embraced a single mom who has struggled to buy a home. While the process was exhausting, Shannon Rowell never gave up on the dream of being homeowner.
Real estate agent Hannah Angert had never met Shannon Rowell until Monday, but she had a nickname for her: Mz. Fierce.
It was the only way Angert could think to describe the single working mother of four who was one of the most tenacious people she’d ever met, even before she learned that Rowell’s painstaking journey through the first-time home-buyer process had left her and her four children temporarily homeless, couch-surfing first in her mother’s apartment and then in the living room of a generous aunt’s already-packed row house.
Angert represented the seller in the transaction. But when she learned that, in the chaos of four settlements that collapsed at the last minute due to financing and other issues, Rowell had lost almost everything she owned, Angert decided to go online and throw her a big, virtual housewarming party.
“When I saw the paperwork, I knew she was in for the homeowner fight,” she wrote on Facebook. “Fast forward, and I learned yesterday that during this month leading to closing, Mz. Fierce was living out of her car and saving toward … an empty house. So, today I come to my community to ask for a little boost for Mz. Fierce, who I respect so deeply.”
So Monday, after Rowell’s fifth and final settlement conference finally went through, Angert accompanied her back to the North Philadelphia row house. While Rowell struggled with the keys, Angert scrolled through all the donations from friends, friends of friends, and strangers.
“I’m going to have to create an Excel spreadsheet,” she said. “So many offers are coming in.”