For the past twenty years, Carlos Perez has been a mainstay at Habitat for Humanity of Lee and Hendry Counties. Unrelenting positivity and a jovial sense of humor make Carlos an easy guy to like. But his organizational value comes from a uniquely personal connection to Habitat’s mission.
In 1997, Carlos and his young family were living in Brooklyn, New York. The high cost of housing forced his family into a small, rundown apartment with minimal ventilation and poor air quality. Eventually, the untenable living conditions began impacting his children’s health, and following the doctor’s advice—Carlos relocated his family to Southwest Florida.
After a year of renting, the Perez family was accepted into Habitat’s affordable homeownership program. Carlos completed the majority of his sweat equity hours in the Restore, where his work ethic and management skills were noticed. Upon completing his hours, Carlos was offered a full-time position with the Restore, beginning his career with Habitat.
For Carlos, 2019 is a year of milestones. In addition to marking his twentieth year as a dedicated staff member, the Perez family also made the final mortgage payment on their Habitat home (pictured above). A home that’s provided stability and an opportunity for the Perez children to flourish academically and professionally.
Asked what motivates him after twenty years with the organization, Carlos had this to say, “I know what Habitat did for me. Every time we close on a home and have a dedication. I’m a part of that dedication. I see the kids running and showing off their rooms—it takes me back to 1997, and the day we got our home. Seeing my four kids so happy to have their own room and a place to call home. That’s what it’s all about.”
Thank you, Carlos, for your faithful service to building homes, communities, and hope.
Please join us in celebrating Carlos and 14 more families who’ve completed their mortgages in 2019 at our mortgage burning ceremony on Tuesday, December 17th at the South Fort Myers Restore. For more information, contact Joyce at 239-349-7240 or JoyceJ@habitat4humanity.org.