Hometown Habitat News

Almost Home: Cynthia and Leah

Hernandez Family 2022 SLH YCA

“My name is Cynthia Hernandez and my daughter’s name is Leah, and we are so excited to start our new journey in our very own home!”

Cynthia Hernandez grew up and resided in Ocoee, Florida until a job opportunity relocated her and her daughter Leah to Lake County 7 years ago. Cynthia and Leah are making a 45-minute commute to and from work and school daily, which is a big part of their day. Being closer to work and school would cut down the hassles of their daily routine and also decrease the added expense of rising fuel cost.

Cynthia says, “Though the time spent together talking about how our day is going to go is great time spent, it does add to the stress of everyday life.”

Homeownership was a goal that Cynthia longed for, but in today’s market, she simply could not afford it. Cynthia had been searching for a place to stay that was closer to work and Leah’s school, but even finding decent rental housing was unaffordable.

Cynthia was growing more and more discouraged until she applied for housing within Habitat Lake-Sumter’s Homeownership Program and received the life changing news of her acceptance! Through the Homeownership Program with Habitat Lake-Sumter, Cynthia and Leah can now look forward to spending less time in the car and more time making memories in their new home!

The mother-daughter duo are ecstatic about being closer to school, work, and friends. 

Although Cynthia admits the thought of such a large move being overwhelming at times, she is excited about becoming a homeowner and learning all aspects that homeownership entails.  

“I know the journey is going to be a little stressful at times, but I’m trying to gather all the tools I’ll need to keep it running smoothly” says Cynthia.

Being closer to school will allow Leah the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities, attend school events, and spend more time with her friends, which also increases her social development. The two are looking forward to getting to know their new community together and most importantly building a foundation and future in their new home.

“We are so excited to be so much closer to school, work, and friends! It will make it so much easier for us to go to school events and get to know the community that I want her to grow up in” Cynthia explains.

Cynthia and Leah’s home is built through Habitat Lake-Sumter’s Youth Construction Academy in partnership with South Lake High School. Students from South Lake High School spent a class period throughout the school year to help build their home from start to finish.  Students graduate the program career-ready and provide an affordable housing solution for a family each year, the Hernandez Family home is the second house built with South Lake High School. Preparation for the third year of this partnership is currently underway with a groundbreaking planned for the start of the 2022 Fall Semester!  

Hernandez family with slhs yca students 2022