What Is Home. Made.?
Home. Made. is an original podcast from Rocket Mortgage®. It starts with a simple concept: Inside every home, there’s a story. Or, inside every story, there’s a home.
Hosted by Emmy award-winning journalist and author Stephanie Foo (This American Life, Snap Judgment), each episode of Home. Made. explores the meaning of home and what it can teach us about ourselves and each other.
Heart-wrenching, hilarious, thought-provoking and downright unexpected, take a journey into the diversity of home in America.
Join us for our second season as we explore the fundamental need for shelter and belonging that unites us all.
Follow Home. Made. on your favorite podcast player. New episodes are released every other week.
Shana Turner was struck by lightning and survived, miraculously unharmed – or so everyone thought. In the years following her lightning strike, she began to experience some serious physical and mental side effects and struggled to cope. To make matters worse, some of her family and friends refused to believe anything was even wrong with her. Desperate to return to the life she led before, Shana sets out to learn how to deal with life after lightning.
Growing up in the church, there were a lot of things Mattie Murrey was told she couldn’t do. But she was a rebel – and a daredevil, too. Mattie raced motorcycles all over rural Minnesota when she was young. As she got older, however, her religious community told her it was not acceptable. She had to stop.
So, Mattie traded her favorite pastime for the life her community wanted for her: that of a doting mother and wife. That is, until a crisis of faith turned her life upside down – and Mattie found herself questioning the road she’d set out on.
When Shannon King’s marriage ended abruptly, she realized that somewhere along the way, she had forgotten her #1 priority: herself. She’d stopped doing the things she loved and lost her sense of self in a relationship that wasn’t working. Unsure of what else to do when everything fell apart, Shannon decided to make a change.
She vowed to leave everything behind and go on a journey with the goal of coming back a different, more confident person. And she wanted to do it all alone, on a horse in the desert.
Two people find a sense of belonging through a shared hobby: sewing. First, a woman named Rona battles overwhelming social anxiety both inside and out of her home. After a particularly difficult episode, she receives an old sewing machine and decides to start trying to stitch her life back together.
Then, we hear the story of Jean, a seamstress who played an important role in one of America’s defining moments: the Apollo 11 space mission. After the famed lunar landing, demand for spacesuits was down, leaving Jean in search of her next big project. She finds an unexpected new mission, this time down here on Earth.
Two people learn to love their new homes. First, a young girl arrives in Los Angeles from war-torn Iran with her family, seeking refuge. Her life is quickly turned upside down when the LA riots tear through the city where she was supposed to be safe. As she struggles to cope with the unrest of the riots, she finds comfort in one of LA’s most influential bands: the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
In our second story, an older man gives up on love until a chance encounter with a journalist reconnects him with an old flame from his past. To pursue his second chance at finding love, however, he has to choose between his sunny life in Los Angeles and a move across the country to a brand-new city.
When Michael Atkins’s daughter was born, he vowed to support his family and be the father he didn’t have growing up. This meant swallowing his pride and taking a school custodian job, when what he really wanted to do was to be a teacher’s aide.
When Michael finally gets the chance to go from the janitor’s closet to the principal’s office and pursue his dream of supporting the youth in his community, he makes another vow: to be present for his students. Michael works tirelessly to take care of his students – but runs into trouble when he finds himself forced to choose between the vow he made to his family and the vow he made to his job.
Ismael Chamu says he was homeless before he was even born. His whole life, he and his family were constantly moving from town to town, living out of garages and vans. Ismael even wound up homeless while attending an elite college – until his story went viral, and he and his family found permanent housing for the first time. But a whole new set of challenges arise when they realize they have no idea how to live in a real home.
Kenny Phillips once had it all. He held a prestigious, high-paying job as personal chef to baseball’s top player, Alex Rodriguez, and owned homes in Manhattan, Dallas and Miami. He rubbed shoulders with celebrities of all kinds – until a bad divorce meant he had to leave his luxurious lifestyle behind and move somewhere a little more humble: a trailer park. But that’s when this chef received an opportunity to serve people in a completely different and unexpected way – as their mayor.
Kim Ford loved her home in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans. When Hurricane Katrina destroyed it, she had a choice to make: relocate, or stay and fight for her community.
When he was just 21 years old, Valentino Dixon was sentenced to 39 years to life for a murder he didn’t commit. When he first got to prison, he believed it’d just be a matter of time before he was exonerated, but as time wore on, he started to lose hope. Then, everything changed when his uncle sent him a set of colored pencils. He urged Valentino to start drawing – he said that if he reclaimed his life, he could reclaim his freedom. That he could draw himself out of prison.
And he did.
Our relationships with our parents in childhood don’t always end up being what we would’ve hoped. In this episode of Home. Made., we hear from two people who got a chance to get to know their dads again in adulthood.
Sometimes, the loneliness of being home alone can be a catalyst for connection. In this episode of Home. Made., we’ll hear two very different stories about people dealing with communication issues.
Struggling to find community in his family’s new home, Michael Wood-Lewis builds a social network to meet his neighbors and finds himself bringing people together across Vermont.
Dr. Kwandaa Roberts faced a daunting midlife career change, juggling her thriving practice with her interior design business after a dollhouse she designed went viral on social media.
About Our Host, Stephanie Foo
Stephanie Foo is an Emmy-winning radio producer and writer who previously worked as a producer at “This American Life” and helped create “Snap Judgment.” Her work has also aired on shows like “99% Invisible” and “Reply All.” She's currently writing a book about healing from Complex PTSD (Spring 2022, Ballantine/Random House).
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