Editor’s Note: Juliet and her family moved into their Habitat home in March 2020. Thank you to Jack Jennings and Sons, their subcontractors and vendors, and Habitat Orlando & Osceola supporters for making this happen!
For the past nine years, Juliet has worked in senior health care. She currently works two jobs in the same building, as both a housekeeper and a home health aid nurse. She enjoys working with older patients because, she says, “One day, I want someone to treat me how I treat them.”
Her care for others has also been evident throughout her journey to homeownership with Habitat for Humanity Greater Orlando & Osceola County. Above all, caring for her family has been central. Since leaving an abusive relationship, she has lived with 7-year-old daughter, Juliana, and 1-year-old Romeo in one bedroom in her parents’ home.
While she is grateful for her parents’ care and support, living with two young children in one room has been crowded. “It wasn’t meant for all of us to stay there,” she admitted. Juliet is also aware of the lifestyle changes her parents have made at home to allow her and her children to live there.
When a friend told Juliet about Habitat Orlando & Osceola’s homeownership program, she was hesitant to apply, unsure if she would be approved. She attended an orientation session, where Director of Homeowner Services, Liz Alicea-Madera, spoke about perseverance, inspiring Juliet to go for it and apply.
Two weeks later, she found out that she had been approved. Through Habitat Orlando & Osceola, she says, she’ll be able to purchase a home that she can manage – one that she can afford with her jobs. She recently completed her sweat equity hours. And in February 2020, she’ll get to see her home be constructed in just one week during Builders Blitz, thanks to the generosity of Jack Jennings & Sons and their contractors and subcontractors.
Juliet is grateful for the support system that has been by her side throughout completing those hours. Besides allowing Juliet’s family of three to stay with them, her parents also cared for Juliana and Romeo to allow her to complete her volunteer hours and helped her to stay motivated.
In addition, Juliet’s coworker and friend of nine years, Krystal, not only encouraged her throughout the process, but also helped her to complete her sweat equity hours.
She’s enjoyed the homeownership process, especially learning new construction and home maintenance skills on the build site.
The most exciting part of homeownership for Juliet, though, is still to come. “Watching my kids grow into a home of our own,” she said with a smile.
She can’t wait to see Juliana and Romeo have rooms of their own and is already planning how to decorate. (Juliana is currently deciding whether she wants a bedroom themed with “pretty flowers” or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.)
All in all, Juliet shared, “This is a big blessing and a wonderful opportunity. I’m very thankful to Habitat [Orlando & Osceola] for going on this journey. It’s amazing.”
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