Habitat for Humanity South Sarasota County recently dedicated its 150th house built in our area for families in need.
"Habitat is unique in its mission among nonprofits because it helps those in its program achieve true self-sustainability," says Executive Director Shannon Hoyt. "It changes not just the homeowners' lives, but even their grandchildren’s lives. Homeownership allows people to save money for things like education that they just can't do while renting. Habitat walks beside a family throughout life and creates the ability for people to really move forward financially."
Applicants for Habitat for Humanity homes must show financial need. They complete a lengthy screening process, and if accepted, take Habitat's homeowner skills courses covering topics like budgeting, escrow and insurance. They also provide 300 sweat equity hours in helping build the home, and save $2400 for the closing costs.
"We love the many local volunteers who help make our mission for these families possible," says Shannon.
Kaylene and Dominick Beltran are the proud owners of Habitat for Humanity South Sarasota County's 149th home. After completing most of the nonprofit's coursework and required sweat equity, Dominick was gravely injured in a car accident and was temporarily unable to work where he had been employed at a Walmart Distribution Center. Kaylene had to give up her work as a preschool teacher to care for Dominick and the couples' young children, Josiah, Galilee and Samara. Habitat for Humanity stayed with the couple through their most difficult time.
"We weren't able to do all the work hours that other families do," Kaylene says. "I had to change Dominick's IVs and became a nurse overnight. Habitat saw our situation and found ways for us to still get our home. They made a long-term commitment to us so that we can have a better future. Our home is awesome! It's so nice to be able to call something your own, to have a place where we can give our children security and stability. Habitat has been such a blessing to us."
Habitat For Humanity South Sarasota County is always in need of donations and volunteers.http://Habitatsouthsarasota.org
280 Alligator Drive, Venice. 941.493.6606. Habitatsouthsarasota.org.