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Homeowner StoryProspect

The Journey to Journey Together

By May 31, 2024June 3rd, 2024No Comments

Our Journey Together Neighborhood first began with a land blessing in May 2022. City leaders, donors, supporters and Habitat staff gathered on the six-acre neighborhood to bless the land and 29 Bibles, representing the 29 future homeowners who would one day live in the community.

Journey Together is a planned Homeowner’s Association-managed Habitat community located between McCormick Street and Prospect Avenue in the City of Fort Myers. The first home dedication in Journey Together took place in June 2023, when we celebrated the first family to call the neighborhood home.

Bibles that were blessed, personalized, and given to the four women on their May 9 home dedication ceremony.

Since then, we have celebrated many families joining the neighborhood. While each home dedication celebrates the journey to homeownership, the one on May 9, 2024, also highlighted the bonds that will form among a group of women who share a common experience. That Thursday, we simultaneously held four home dedication ceremonies to celebrate four women’s remarkable journeys to Journey Together: India, Morghan, Beth, and Promesas. Despite coming from different walks of life, they are all leaving cramped living spaces and moving into spacious Habitat homes, with a mortgage that does not exceed 30% of their income. Journey Together consists of three- and four-bedroom homes, ranging from 1,200 to 1,400 square feet.

Three of these four women are single mothers who sought safe and affordable homes to raise their children in. Their journey to Habitat homeownership included 300 hours of sweat equity, attending more than 20 hours of homeownership education classes, and saving $2,000 to pay toward closing costs. Their stories showcase Habitat’s impact beyond just brick and mortar.

Habitat homeowner India described her living conditions prior to partnering with Habitat. “There is no dining space, and the kitchen is so small I had to put my refrigerator between the washer and dryer,” India said. “I had to rent a storage unit to store our clothes because there wasn’t enough space for dressers.” As a teacher and mother of four, India looks forward to moving from a two-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment into a four-bedroom, two-bathroom home.

Homeownership means independence for 24-year-old Morghan. Her home will also be the foundation for her future plan of starting a family in a safe and secure home. For Promesas, homeownership means giving her son his own room. Similarly, Beth is looking forward to giving her three children the space they need to succeed and the stability they need to thrive. Her four-person household has lived in a two-bedroom trailer for the past four years.

“This home is where their lives will truly begin, and everything in the past will no longer matter,” Beth shared.

Standing side-by-side, each woman knew what it took for the other to be celebrating their dedication that morning. As they prepare to become neighbors, each holding one of the original 29 Bibles blessed two years ago, they represent the unity and resilience of each homeowner in the community. Knowing they will have neighbors who share the experience of partnering with Habitat, they are ready to continue their journey in Journey Together.

Two Homes Built through the Generosity of FineMark National Bank and Trust and Clive Daniel Home.

You can engage your company with Habitat’s Mission to help families achieve their dream of homeownership. Click here to learn more.