Naomi was so desperate to move her three children away from their unsafe neighborhood that she lost $5,000 trying to buy a house through a predatory real estate dealer.
“She wouldn’t show me the houses I wanted to see,” she said, and was repeatedly redirected to the same few options. After being pressured to put down a large deposit on a house built in 1975, the deal fell through, and Naomi felt miserable and disheartened.
“I wanted a place where my children don’t have to worry about violence, loud music day and night, where the walls are hollow and vibrate and there’s always something bad going on,” she said.
Naomi will soon achieve her dream of safety and stability. Walker & Company will build her home in Habitat for Humanity Greater Orlando & Osceola County’s Silver Pines Pointe community during Builders Blitz 2022. During the second week of February, five construction companies (and their subcontractors) will donate the materials and labor to build six brand-new homes in five days.
“I am so excited I don’t know what I’ll do,” she said. “The builder – there are no words to describe what kind of people they are. … I and my kids thank them from the bottom of our hearts. … They have to be amazing people to do what they’re doing.”
Setting the foundation for her home purchase
Naomi, who works with developmentally disabled people, was determined to move out of the family’s apartment, but didn’t want just another apartment they would have to move away from. “I want my children to have what I never had and always wanted – a real home that’s ours for a lifetime. It’s been my dream to have a home for the longest time.”
She heard about Habitat Orlando & Osceola from a TV news story and checked out the website. Naomi was afraid to go through the whole homebuying process again but, “started to feel comfortable after talking to the staff at Habitat Orlando & Osceola. Every person was so helpful,” she said. “They didn’t make me feel like I was bothering them by asking questions like the other company did.”
Naomi has finished her HabitatU classes – part of the program’s required “sweat equity” hours that instill the skills applicants need to buy and maintain their homes. She said she learned a lot, especially about saving money. “The thing that stuck with me the most is ‘Pay yourself first’. I’ll always remember that, and so will my kids.”
Being on the build site, helping to build homes with Habitat volunteers, was also unforgettable. “They were so cheerful and very, very nice! … I’ve never seen people coming together for a good cause and being so happy about it. It made me want to help other people finish their sweat equity hours!”
A community for raising her children
Today, Naomi can hardly believe they will be in their own home in a few short months. She said her three children will be able to be involved in more school activities because they’ll know they won’t have to move again. “They’ll be able to focus more on what they want to do and set goals. There’s nothing like stability.”
Her children will also benefit from playing outside in a place where homeowners take pride in their homes and work to keep the area clean and safe. “It’s a neighborhood of people just like us who worked just as hard as I did to get a home. It unites the community.”
She wants her house to be a gathering place for kids and adults alike. “The kids can come over to our house to play, ride bikes, hang out together. I love people so I want to cook on the grill and the neighbors can come over and eat with us.”
A few years ago, Naomi bought a new boxed set of pots and put it on a top shelf out of reach.
“The kids kept saying, ‘Mama, just use the new pots,’ and I would say, ‘nope I’m not going to use them. They are the move-away pots.’ That was my motivation. Don’t touch those new pots. We’re going to use them in my new house.”
In just a few short months, she’ll start that new garden along with her new chapter of homeownership. She’s excited to watch all these facets of her family’s new life grow.
“I realized sometimes you have to go through a storm to get to the end of the rainbow,” she said. “I had to go through that bad experience to get what God wanted for me.”
Learn more about Builders Blitz and read more homeowner stories >>
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