Dear Habitat Pinellas Supporter,

The Tampa Bay Times published an article “They trusted Habitat for Humanity. Then it sold their mortgages to a Tampa company that flips houses” on Sunday, August 12th. This article addresses a business decision made by the Habitat for Humanity Hillsborough County Affiliate.

Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County cannot comment on business decisions or practices of other Habitat affiliates. Each affiliate is individually incorporated, operating under its own set of governing bylaws.

However, we can address our business model which includes the sale of our mortgages to financial partners. Habitat Pinellas retains all servicing rights of each & every mortgage we write. The terms (years and 0% interest) of the mortgage note never change. We then use those funds to build the next Habitat home; we call this the Fund for Humanity. The home owner must remain current on monthly payments; failure to do so may ultimately lead to foreclosure.

We appreciate your continued support of Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County and the need for affordable housing in our community.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to our CEO, Mike Sutton, at msutton@habitatpinellas.org or (727) 536-4755.

Sincerely,

Matt Frey – Board Chairman, Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County
Mike Sutton – CEO, Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County

The home of Avia Bowen and her two sons marked the 6th Habitat home sponsored by Clearwater Toyota. Present at the home dedication on June 12, 2018 was Service Manager, Seth Bronson and General Manager, Steven Peine. Each took a moment to speak on behalf of the organization as they handed over the keys to the Bowen Family’s new home, a home that they themselves helped build.

This organization has supported our local affiliate with over $440,000 and well over 1200 volunteer hours from staff and management. Clearwater Toyota has made a commitment to our community to maintain a high level of involvement, striving to make Pinellas County stronger. We are incredibly thankful for this lasting partnership.

To get your business involved, please contact VP of Corporate Partnerships and Marketing, Alison Riley at ariley@habitatpinellas.org or 727-536-4755 ext 215.

This month’s Volunteer Spotlight is on Diane Everhart. Diane is a New Jersey native but has spent the past 31 years in St. Petersburg. After only one week in the area, she began working for Maas Bros./Macy’s Department Store Furniture Gallery then retired 30 years later. She raised her two nephews from the time they were one and seven years old and provided them a home, which Diane refers to as a “fixer upper.” Over the years, the three of them spent countless hours renovating this house and made it a home; they were all very proud of their accomplishments.

In the early 2000s, Diane first experienced volunteering with Habitat through her employer. At that time she spent her volunteer hours repairing homes of the local elderly community. When asked what she most loves about volunteering, Diane stated, “Fellowship. [I appreciate] the knowledge and experience that I receive doing what I love to do [and] giving back.” She said her best memory of volunteering with Habitat was the experience of being present at the start of a build then witnessing the culmination of all of the hard work at the same home’s dedication with the new homeowners.

“My dad built our family home with his own hands and a very small crew. 50 years later, I seem to feel what he must have felt. From beginning to end, from the foundation to the presentation of the keys and a new beginning; it must be in [my] blood!”

To learn more about our volunteer opportunities for individuals, groups and corporate teams, please click here.

Marvin and Ashley Elliott are the proud parents of four sons, all under the age of 10. After losing close support systems in grandmothers on both sides, the family of six became closer than ever.

After having to move from their home of six years, the Elliott’s currently reside in an expensive and overcrowded three-bedroom home. In addition to being expensive, their current home is 30 - 40 minutes away from their children’s school. In order to avoid uprooting the boys from their schools, Ashley makes the drive twice a day.

Seeking a home for their family to grow and thrive in, the Elliott’s applied to the Habitat Pinellas homeowner program. When asked what her first thoughts were when she found out they had been accepted into the program, Ashley explained, “I couldn’t believe it! I was so excited that I literally screamed. I couldn’t wait to tell my husband and our boys”.

Ashley explained that they are most excited to have a home to call their own forever. They look forward to watching their kids grow up in their home, as well as to have a place for future grandchildren to enjoy.

Their home will be filled with love, laughter and plenty of new family memories for years to come.

The Elliott Family has been named the Habitat Pinellas 2018 Faith Build. Habitat for Humanity Pinellas County Faith Build calls people to leave the halls of the church and to serve a family building their forever home. 

 

The Mills family has three generations under one roof. Mr. Mills is one of the first homeowners in Historic Midtown, St. Petersburg, Florida. After many years living in their home, the residence required extensive maintenance. His daughter who has lived in the family home all her life took responsibility for the repairs. She wasn’t sure where to begin getting the critical needs of the home met: roof replacement, electrical upgrades, plumbing repairs, HVAC replacement, attic insulation or exterior painting. When Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County introduced the Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative, a home repairs program designed specifically for the Mills neighborhood, Miss Mills immediately agreed to partner with Habitat. Upon Habitat Pinellas' inspection of the home, the findings were that the house was beyond repair. The roof that needed replacement due to the expiration of the life expectancy was sitting on a termite infested frame that was structurally unsound. The electrical panel wasn’t up to code and there were some outlets and switches that were inoperable. The plumbing did not drain properly. The HVAC wasn’t cooling because of air leaks nor was it efficient because of lack of maintenance. There was zero attic insulation. The siding on the house was in desperate need of a new coat of paint. If Habitat would have completed the critical repairs there would still be other issues such as window and door replacement, and subfloor repairs needed. The critical repairs estimated around $25k. With such a large investment needed, Habitat Pinellas introduced the Mills family to the Habitat new homeownership program to which they were accepted. They deeded their property over to Habitat Pinellas at no cost for the duration of the construction process and their family collectively completed the 350 sweat equity hours and 16 homeowner classes required by the program. The Mills will now pay a zero interest mortgage and live in a brand new, energy efficient, hurricane-resistant home. Before After

Pinellas County's Day of Giving - Pinellas County has proclaimed November 29, 2016 #GivingTuesday. #Giving Tuesday is a global day of giving that harnesses the collective power of a unique blend of partners-charities, families, businesses, and individuals-to encourage philanthropy and to celebrate generosity worldwide. #GivingTuesday is held annually on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, the year-November 29, 2016, to kick-off the holiday giving season and to inspire people to take collaborative action to improve their local communities and to give back in better, smarter ways to charities and causes they support. Click here to donate now.

Seeing an opportunity to channel the generous spirit of the holiday season, Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County is asking our supporters, donors, volunteers, and families to make a donation in honor of our 400th home.

The dedication of the 400th home marks an important milestone in our Habitat Pinellas history that has helped 400 low income families, including 1044 children, escape the downward path of substandard housing.

So many different people have come together to build each of these 400 homes. And just as important as those people who pick up hammers are the people and organizations that support us financially or provide government cooperation in each of the cities where we build. Their combined efforts have enabled Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County to reach this milestone, while helping families in our community, like the Piantadosi family, obtain the dream of homeownership and the opportunity for a brighter future.

Click here to Donate to the 400th Habitat Pinellas Home Now!

Building Homes. Building Hope. Building Community.

On behalf of the families we serve, thank you!

About the Piantadosi Family
In December, Habitat for Humanity will begin building our 400th home for the Piantadosi family.

Amanda Piantadosi is a single woman with a passion for teaching young children. While she doesn't have a child of her own, she enjoys working as an Assistant Preschool Director and Lead VPK teacher. In addition to her passion for helping children, she has been lovingly sharing her home with her mother, niece, and niece's daughter.

The tight-knit blended family has been sharing a two-bedroom rental. The niece and her daughter share a room while Amanda's mother, Louanne, sleeps on a pull-out couch in the living room. The close quarters have been challenging for the women, and in addition to the space issue, the price of repairs and rising cost of rent has been a tremendous burden to the family.

When Amanda found out she was accepted into Habitat Pinellas's homeowner program, she was in disbelief. "I was very excited and kept thinking 'thank you, Jesus, I can't believe it," Amanda recalled about telling her mother the news. Amanda looks forward to providing stability both physically and financially for her family. They will no longer have to worry about rental increases and moving. Amanda's hardworking and deserving mother will finally have a bedroom of her own, and the women will finally be able to enjoy the simple pleasure of doing laundry at home. "This house will be our sanctuary, the place we can't wait to go home to at the end of the day," says Amanda about the family's future.

Did you know? Whirlpool is a National Partner with Habitat for Humanity! Locally, they have partially sponsored THREE Habitat homes.

During a beautiful Saturday morning dedication, Lexus Ramsey made the key presentation to the overjoyed Kabamba/Kabuya family on behalf of Whirlpool, a contributing sponsor of the home. The family expressed their gratitude to Whirlpool and a big thank you to all the volunteers who helped build their home.

Stephany Lavely presented the family with a flag that has been flown over the U.S. Capitol on behalf of U.S. Congressman David Jolly's office. Other participants included Tracey Benjamin, a volunteer on the home who presented the Hammer, Susan Sullivan, a Habitat Homeowner Partner who presented the Bible, and Dave Gerald from Anona United Methodist Church who blessed this home. We are grateful for partnerships like these and many others, as we work together to move our mission forward!

About the Whirlpool/Habitat partnership
In more than 16 years of partnership with Habitat for Humanity, Whirlpool has developed active programs in more than 45 countries with a commitment of more than $90 million. In the United States and Canada, the company has donated more than 168,000 ranges and refrigerators to new Habitat homes, serving more than 85,000 families. Additionally, Whirlpool has donated more than 41,000 products to Habitat ReStore retail outlets, helping raise nearly $5.7 million. The company has engaged thousands of employee volunteers, sponsored nearly 150 homes and donated products to more than 75,000 Habitat families Europe, Middle East and Africa. Whirlpool plans to support the work of Habitat around the world through product donations, financial contribution and/or volunteerism.
http://www.whirlpoolcorp.com/social-responsibility/

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The Burrell Family has been through a lot together. While living in CASA's transitional housing units, the Burrell's misfortunes turned around when they qualified for a Habitat for Humanity home. Aneika Burrell successfully achieved her Habitat sweat equity hours all while living in a shelter, working two jobs and caring for and supporting her family.

All her hard work paid off, because on June 18, Aneika Burrell and her family received their house key from Bill Van Law, the president of Raymond James Investment Advisors Division.

This dedication marks the 10th home for Raymond James, bringing their total donations to $490,243. Raymond James employees volunteered 442 volunteer hours. This converts to almost $6,000 in cash savings on this home alone.

Back in 1962, Bob James founded Raymond James on the principle that putting others first - from our clients to our neighbors - was the right thing to do. His deep commitment to doing what's right remains a core part of who Raymond James is as a company. Raymond James is proud to continue his legacy by investing our time, money and talents into the communities we serve. It's so much more than tradition; it's our way of thanking those who've supported us from the start.

Check out the Burrell's story by visiting 10News WTSP!

Special thanks to Raymond James for sponsoring this home. And many thanks to all of the volunteers who helped us build this home!

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We started our 365th home dedication off in the most uplifting way!

New homeowner Sharon Brown celebrated her home dedication with a symbolic butterfly release with her twin sister Karen Borders (also a Habitat homeowner), and some Habitat staff. Everyone watched the transformational experience take place, which symbolized hope and a new beginning for Sharon as she received the key to her new home from her sister Karen.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the dedication including: Habitat Pinellas Board Member Michael Kilpatrick, Habitat Pinellas' Homeowner Services Coordinator Deb Lay, Habitat Homeowner Partner Kathryn Welsh, Dave Gerald of Anona United Methodist Church, Random Acts of Flowers, David Jolly's office, Pinellas County Commissioner Pat Gerard and Vice Mayor of Largo Jamie Robinson.

PHOTO: Karen, Sharon and Habitat's Mike Sutton and Deb Lay release the butterflies that Karen brought to the dedication ceremony as a symbol of transformation and hope.

BUILDER magazine has ranked Habitat for Humanity as the No. 1 private home builder on "BUILDER 100," its annual listing of the largest U.S. home builders. This is the second year in a row Habitat's work across the country has been recognized as a top builder of affordable housing in the U.S.

Each year, BUILDER compiles data from U.S. builders and ranks them by the number of closings for BUILDER 100. With 3,237 closings in 2015, Habitat topped the private home builder list and placed No. 16 on the comprehensive list.

"As a local Habitat affiliate, we are very excited to see Habitat for Humanity recognized as our nation's top private home builder, especially because the homes we build are affordable for limited-income families and individuals who otherwise would not have the opportunity to own a home of their own, " said Mike Sutton, CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County. "Last year, Habitat Pinellas helped 32 families achieve their dream of affordable homeownership. For fiscal year 2016, we are on track to increase that number by serving 45 families."

Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County is one of nearly 1,400 Habitat organizations in the U.S. Since 1985, Habitat Pinellas has worked throughout Pinellas County empowering families and helping them achieve strength, stability and self-reliance through decent and affordable housing. Corporate partners help fund Habitat Pinellas' aggressive building goals and community volunteers, who will have contributed over 45,000 volunteer hours for the current fiscal year, help on the construction sites. To date, Habitat Pinellas has built or rehabbed homes for 365 local families and individual homeowners who contributed $336,821.88 to Pinellas County's tax base last year.

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