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

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.


Check out more photos in our Picasa album!

Today three families celebrated the completion of their new Habitat homes during a triple dedication in Clearwater. Amidst well wishes from a crowd of enthusiastic family members, friends, Habitat Pinellassupporters, volunteers and staff members, the Lestoric-Hooton, Williams and Negron-Sanchez families received the keys to their homes sponsored by the Original Hooters, Frenchy's Restaurants and Clearwater Toyota, respectively.

Lesley Richardson of Original Hooters, Michael "Frenchy" Preston of Frenchy's Restaurants and Alfonso Rivezzo of Clearwater Toyota all presented house keys to the families. All three families also received welcome mats from Clearwater Gas and Tempaco. Clearwater Gas, a new energy partner for Habitat Pinellas, provided energy-efficient gas dryers, and gas ranges while Tempaco donated gas tankless water heaters that will save the homeowners approximately 66% on their annual energy bills.

Thank you to Clearwater Gas' Chuck Warrington, Kristi Cheatham-Pettit, Jim McCulley and Tempacos' John Faulkner for participating in our dedication. Manys thanks to George Cretekos, Mayor of Clearwater and all of our dedication participants.

Special thanks to the Original Hooters, Frenchy's Restaurants and Clearwater Toyota for sponsoring these three Habitat homes! Staff volunteers from Clearwater Toyota, Frenchy's and Hooters worked hard to complete their sponsored homes. Thanks for all your hard work!

Welcome home to the Lestoric/Hooton, Williams and Negron/Sanchez families!

Channel 10 Media Link
See more pics in our Album!

St. Pete's Mayor Rick Kriseman turned over the key to the newly built Habitat Pinellas home in the Midtown area to Dominique Baptiste and her children mid-morning before a small crowd of family, friends and Habitat supporters.

In a morning filled with many special moments, perhaps one of the more touching ones came when Dominique's sister, Tamera Harrell, presented her with a welcome mat, welcoming her sister and now, next door neighbor, to the neighborhood! (Tamera's house next door was our 300th home, which was dedicated on June 16th, and on that day Dominique had given her a welcome mat.)

The family also received a friendly welcome from City Council Member Wengay Newton and a welcome basket from Dave Gerald and the congregation of Anona United Methodist Church.

Special thanks also go to Kip Miller of Valpak, who gave Dominique her first piece of "mail," including a $100 gift check, Stephanie Veech, a volunteer who helped built the Baptiste home. She presented the family with a symbolic hammer. Habitat Pinellas board member Jason Miller said the opening prayer and Minister Jackie McGee of Kingdom Bible Christian Church closed the ceremony with a beautiful blessing as everyone placed their hands on the home.

A huge thank you goes to all the volunteers who helped build the Baptiste home. Many thanks to Mayor Kriseman and Council member Newton, and to everyone who participated in our celebration today!

Photos: Above, the Baptiste family. Below, Mayor Rick Kriseman presents the house key to Dominique.


St. Pete Mayor Kriseman receives recognition at Habitat Pinellas 300th home dedication on June 16, 2014.Nearly 150 supporters came out to celebrate a significant milestone in Habitat Pinellas history that has helped 300 families, including 753 children, escape the downward spiral of substandard housing. Surrounded by these enthusiastic supporters, the 300th Habitat Pinellas home was dedicated for the Harrell family in the Midtown area of South St. Petersburg on Monday, June 16, 2014.

Among our VIP guests was Jane Dunaway, the very first Habitat homeowner in Pinellas County, which also happens to be located in St. Pete. Jane was recognized with a bouquet of flowers, and after the ceremony she was united with the 300th homeowner, Tamara Harrell and her kids, which made the morning even more special!

The occasion brought out several of St. Pete's elected officials and civic leaders, as well as many of Habitat's corporate and community partners. Mayor Rick Kriseman was a featured participant in the ceremony as he congratulated Habitat Pinellas on its work throughout St. Petersburg and all of Pinellas County. Habitat Pinellas CEO Mike Sutton and Habitat Florida CEO Barbara Inman (former CEO of Habitat Pinellas) presented Mayor Kriseman with a commemorative plaque recognizing the Mayor and the City of St. Petersburg for its support of the Habitat mission.

The dedication began with students from nearby Academy Prep of St. Petersburg reciting the "Pledge of Allegiance" as well as the school's pledge, led by Academy Prep's Michael Adekunle.

Other program participants included: Chris Steinocher, president and CEO of the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce, who presented the Harrell family with a gift basket and a bouquet of sunflowers;  Valpak president Michael Vivio, along with Valpak PR manager Marsha Strickhouser, presented the family with their first piece of "mail";  Joe Triolo, Duke Energy's energy efficiency program manager spoke of Duke's solar water heater grants to Habitat Pinellas and presented a gift of energy;  David Gerald of Anona United Methodist Church who presented the family with a "basket of essentials";  Tamara Davis, Habitat Pinellas board member and a Habitat homeowner;  and Marlys Meckler, the Harrell family's Habitat homeowner services volunteer partner;  homeowner candidate Dominique Baptiste who presented a welcome mat to her sister, Tamara; and Rev. L. Don Middleton of New Pleasant Grove Baptist Church, who blessed the home at the close of the ceremony.

THANK YOU! Special thanks to the home's co-sponsors, Catalina Charitable Foundation and College Challenge spring break program. Bill Protz, executive director of Catalina Charitable Foundation, presented the house key to Tamara Harrell. 

Habitat Pinellas would like to thank Mayor Kriseman and the City of St. Petersburg for providing assistance in coordinating this event.  We also thank everyone who attended or participated in this special milestone dedication.

And a huge thank you to all the volunteers and house sponsors who helped build, not just this home, but all 300 Habitat Pinellas homes!

PHOTOS:  Top right, Jane Dunaway, Habitat Pinellas' first homeowner, and the Harrell family. Bottom right, Barbara Inman, Mayor Rick Kriseman and Mike Sutton. Left, "Hands on the home" blessing.  Bottom left, City Councilman Wyngay Newton, Tamara Harrell and Deputy Mayor Dr. Kanika Tomalin.

Habitat Pinellas' fifth home in Safety Harbor will be dedicated on Friday, July 12th, 2013, at 9 a.m.We've just completed our 274th home! And this is our fifth Safety Harbor home build!

Special thanks to our home sponsor, Lokey Charities. Lokey has sponsored five Habitat homes in the past two years. We cannot thank them enough! And many, many thanks to all the staff from Lokey Automotive Group and the community volunteers who helped us on this build for the Loving family!

All Habitat supporters are welcome to join us as we dedicate the Loving family home:

Friday, July 12, 20139:00 a.m.
1301 Spruce Street, Safety Harbor   (directions)

See you there!

See more pics in our PICASA ALBUM LINK!

As Habitat homeowner Katrina Piparo stood beside her fighting back tears, HSN CEO Mindy Grossman talked about how meaningful HSN's Habitat home sponsorships have been for her staff.  Ms. Grossman formally presented the house key to Katrina and closed the deal with a big hug for the young mother of two adorable daughters.

As part of their HSN Cares efforts, the Piparo home is HSN's third sponsored Habitat Pinellas home, all of which have been located in Pinellas Park. For this build, nearly 100 HSN employees volunteered more than 500 hours to help the Piparo family realize their dream of owning a home. Over the past three years, HSN employees have volunteered almost 2,000 hours for Habitat Pinellas. 

Other dedication participants included Pinellas Park Assistant City Manager Doug Lewis, PInellas Park/Gateway Chamber President Jon Farris, Laurie Miller of Valpak and Gary Cook of Duke Energy. Shirley Miaoulis, district representative for the Office of U.S. Congressman C.W. Bill Young, presented a flag that has been flown over the Capitol in D.C.

We also had two very special guests in attendance. Thank you to Pinellas Park policemen -- Officers Dan Sosa-Jones and Mitch Beardsley -- who came out to welcome Katrina and her girls to the neighborhood!

Special thanks to HSN for sponsoring the Piparo home and to all their employees who helped build it!  And to all the additional community volunteers who worked on the home. Many thanks also go to the land sponsor, CHASE. Nathan Merrill, Chase First Vice President and Rosa Seguel also attended the dedication to wish the Piparo family congratulations.

PHOTOS: Above, HSN CEO Mindy Grossman presents Katrina with her house key. Below, from left, Habitat Pinellas CEO Barbara Inman, Habitat Pinellas COO Ron Spoor, Katrina Piparo, and CHASE First Vice Presidents Nathan Merrill and Rosa Seguel, and CHASE Park Mall Bank Manager Danays Lens .

Picasa photo album link!

Quite a crowd gathered on the corner of 8th Avenue in Largo to help celebrate the dedication of the Sanchez-Miranda home -- our 272nd in Pinellas County!

Sponsored by the Chapman Family Foundation, the home is a dream come true for the family of six -- soon to be seven!

Several City of Largo officials participated in the dedication, including Mayor Pat Gerard who assisted Shirley Miaoulis, of U.S. Congressman CW Young's Office, in the presentation of a flag. City Manager Matt Anderson, and Commissioners Jamie Robinson and Michael Smith were also in attendance.

On behalf of the Chapman Family Foundation, the McAlister family presented the key to the home. When the big moment arrived, it was the littlest member of the Sanchez-Miranda family who opened the door to a dream that had finally come true!

Special thanks to the home sponsor, Chapman Family Foundation, the City of Largo and all the volunteers who helped build this home.  And many thanks to Nilda Almodovar of Valpak, Gary Cook of Duke Energy, Pastor Elvin Torres of Rios De Agua Viva Pentecostal Church, and volunteer Joseph Flannery of the Tampa Bay Area Inns of Court for their participation in the ceremony.

Welcome home to the Sanchez-Miranda family!

PHOTOS: Top, the Sanchez-Miranda family with the McAlister family. Below, City of Largo Mayor Pat Gerard. Inset, opening the door for the first time!