Homeowner Tonya smiles and poses for the cameraFor years, Tonya allowed the belief that she couldn’t become a homeowner, strengthened by negativity from other people, take over her life.

Coming home to her studio apartment one day, however, something urged her to visit Habitat for Humanity Greater Orlando & Osceola County’s website. She was tired of putting money toward a lackluster rental.

Tonya knew there was a better option for affordable housing out there for her.

“I stepped out on faith and I’m glad that I did,” Tonya said.

Tonya has now lived in her home at Habitat Orlando & Osceola’s Butler’s Preserve community for about 5 years. She took on the challenge of homeownership as a single woman and succeeded. At the time, Habitat Orlando & Osceola required 300 hours of sweat equity and 17 homeownership classes.

“Always know that God has a blessing with your name on it,” Tonya said.

Becoming a self-sufficient, capable homeowner

She’s been called on to speak on behalf of Habitat Orlando & Osceola and its homeownership program several times.

“I would do that year all over again,” Tonya said. “It was an experience that I will cherish forever.”

Tonya felt – and still feels – self-sufficient and capable to care for a home. She attributes this confidence in part to the classes and sweat equity. At the end of every hectic day, Tonya knew she would have a home of her own.

“To be able to pay a mortgage toward something that is mine is a wonderful feeling,” Tonya said.

Her one regret? Not applying to become a Habitat Orlando & Osceola homeowner sooner.

Tonya has someplace to call home now – and a community to enjoy. She sits on her porch most mornings with a cup of coffee.

“I have to be humble enough to know that without God in my life, especially now, none of this would have ever happened,” Tonya said.

We want to make sure all Osceola County and Greater Orlando residents have a safe, affordable place to call home. You can help us bring hope home to our community.