UMATILLA — Military veteran Don Marshall, 76, lived with his wife, Mae, for 14 years in an RV in this Lake County city.
“I’ve paid $47,000 over the years into the campground,” said Marshall, a retired railroad car builder who was drafted into the Army during the Vietnam War. “They’d raise the rent, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Now, I’m paying to own.”
The couple recently moved into a 1,100-square-foot cottage, one of 14 in the Lake-Sumter Habitat for Humanity’s Veterans Village. Averaging about $110,000, the idyllic, porch-front homes are aimed at providing quality affordable housing to low-income veterans and their widows in Lake and Sumter counties, where 45,000 military veterans reside.
But even as Habitat helps veterans become homeowners in the community off State Road 19, a state task force is recommending that more public dollars be put instead toward rentals for the thousands of people, including non-veterans, affected by the housing crisis.
For many organizations, the check you write, the cash you donate, or the credit card you charge is the last you see of those funds. However, we don’t want you feeling like your donations are sent to a mysterious account with unknown results; to help ensure that doesn’t happen, we provide an annual Impact Report that details the work we’ve done and how your contributions have been put to use in the community. With various initiatives and passions among our partner base, we know it’s a reassuring and rewarding feeling knowing that your desire to help a certain program has measurable and tangible results!
Read over our report and take a look at the last year of progress, and remember that all those lives affected have been due to your continued support; on behalf of your Hometown Habitat and the homeowners we serve, thank you!
Upcoming Home Dedication:
You’re invited to join us in welcoming our newest Habitat Homeowner, Jessica, to her home!
When: Saturday, January 20 from 9AM – 10AM
RSVP: 352-483-0434 Ext. 118; email@example.com
Curtis was one of the first Homeowners we served through our Veterans Housing Initiative. His story is moving, and continually reminds us of the importance of a safe home.
Noah and Carol Lundy began their journey with Habitat in January 2012. After being engaged in volunteer work and participating in financial classes with Habitat, they purchased a 3-bedroom, 2 bath home in Eustis with a private fenced yard, which was just what they needed since gaining custody in 2011 of their two nieces, Ariel and Tapanga.
They later adopted the girls in March 2013.
“One of the most exciting things about buying the home from Habitat was like putting money in the bank, so to speak, due to the payments being low enough,” Noah says. “We paid more each month, thus increasing the equity, which was exciting itself!”
UMATILLA — Reed and Michele Vonhold stood in the kitchen of their soon-to-be new home in Umatilla on Monday and were already planning family get-togethers.
“Thanksgiving at our house this year now that I have my own, and big enough, kitchen,” Michele Vonhold excitedly announced to her son, father and brothers.
The Vonholds then walked through the rest of the house, talking about the placement of furniture and decorations.
“This is a dream come true,” Reed said.
- In June we will be dedicating the homes for our first set of homeowners and celebrating them! We hope you can join us.
- In late June we will be laying the foundation for the next four homes.
- We will be finalizing the Master Plan and all the floors plans by our last round of building in December.
Interested in coming out for a tour?
Give Danielle a call 352-630-3318
Want to come out and volunteer?
Give Carlos a call 352-483-0434 Ext 119
A house is just a place…until a family makes it a home. At Habitat our families are center – they are the reason we build… But the bricks and mortar are just the beginning. As the family moves into their new home they will learn, grow, and make memories in that home. I wish each and every volunteer, donor, and staff could have the opportunity to hear our homeowners stories and see the difference this chance makes for some folks. But since that isn’t the case, we will do our best to share the little snippets of love and hope that our homeowners feel as they come along.
Thanks for all you do –
Your Habitat Family
Habitat of Lake-Sumter is so grateful to have been a recipient of this year’s award through Publix Super Market Charities. The generosity of Publix will fund over 25 preservation and repair projects throughout Lake and Sumter Counties this year.
Over the years, Publix associates have generously volunteered to assist with building homes. Recently, the Publix Serves initiative has helped associates devote time to making a difference, and many have spent Publix Serves Day performing tasks such as painting, carpentry, and landscaping in order to support local affiliates in their communities.