Venessa cried after learning she and her husband, Dominique, were accepted into Habitat for Humanity Greater Orlando & Osceola County’s homeownership program.

The couple has spent many years searching for safe, affordable housing for their family. Venessa and Dominique have 5-year-old and 3-year-old sons and a 1-year-old daughter.

“We thought it was time for our family to have a home,” Venessa said.

Venessa and Dominique tried to apply for a Habitat for Humanity program in south Florida, their home for many years. The brief application periods prevented them from applying.

Habitat for Humanity’s homeownership program appealed to them for several reasons. They could purchase a home that’s not only affordable for them but also new and customizable. Venessa wants to stop paying rent – instead paying toward her mortgage.

The sweat equity requirement also attracted Venessa. The volunteer hours are often spent at the build site, helping to create more homes.

“We can help someone else get a home,” Venessa said.

After moving to Central Florida, the family moved into an apartment complex. During their three years there, the couple has experienced an ongoing extensive pest control problem in their apartment, an unsafe neighborhood, and a lack of general maintenance.

“We deserve better than what we are in now,” Venessa said. “Anything that can improve my and my family’s lifestyle, I’ll do whatever.”

It’s just not a safe place for their family, Venessa said.

“That’s why when I heard we were approved for this home – it was a godsend,” she said.

Venessa hopes their new Habitat home will bring their family better health, safety and a sense of having a home.

“We’re just forever grateful for this program giving us the opportunity to become homeowners,” Venessa said.


You can help more local families experience the peace and freedom of owning an affordable home. When you donate to Habitat Orlando & Osceola, every dollar helps us build homes and work toward a world where everyone has a safe and affordable place to live. You can make bring hope home through homeownership; please give today.