After years of dreaming about it, Gwendolyn is finally a homeowner.
“It’s surreal to actually be in here,” she said at her home dedication. “Everything is done. I don’t have to peek through the windows after work to come look at everything. It’s surreal.”
Gwendolyn’s life has recently experienced a lot of change. This year, she finished her college degree in education and got a job as a local elementary school teacher in addition to becoming a Habitat homeowner.
But before these exciting milestones, the single mother was busy making ends meet working multiple jobs and raising three boys while renting a two-bedroom, one-and-a-half-bathroom apartment. For four years, her growing boys had to share a room, and with only one full bathroom, everyone had to take turns for showers.
“We were a little crammed, and were just in need of more space,” Gwendolyn remembered.
Like any good mother, Gwendolyn worked hard to provide a better future for her children. She was determined to purchase a home, provide more space for her kids and give them a stable future. With rising interest rates for traditional mortgages, she turned to Habitat for Humanity of Lee and Hendry Counties to partner on building and closing on a home with an affordable mortgage in our Journey Together community.
“I’m able to have just one job, and not have to worry so much about filling in the gaps,” she said.
City of Fort Myers Ward 1 Councilmember Teresa Watkins Brown was in attendance at Gwendolyn’s home dedication. Seeing the family’s joy in celebrating the completed construction of their home reminded her of her own family’s homeownership story.
“It’s important personally to me because I remember when my parents got their first home. There were 11 of us as kids,” explained Watkins Brown. “I can only imagine the joy and everything that the people that are receiving this are feeling.”
Located off Prospect Avenue in the city of Fort Myers, Habitat’s Journey Together neighborhood is taking shape. Twenty-nine families who partner with Habitat will call the neighborhood home.
Now that Gwendolyn’s achieved the strength, stability and independence she needs, she’s able to start building a better life for her family.
“I feel very blessed to be able to provide a home for my kids,” she said.