Habitat home for the holidays

Posted at 5:00 PM, Dec 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-28 17:36:11-05

For 30 years, members of a national organization have been building affordable homes in Palm Beach County.

This program has helped hundreds locally achieve "The American Dream."

Lately, there's a lot of sawing, hammering and painting going on in the Historic Northwest District of West Palm Beach.

The pride is showing for these Habitat for Humanity workers.

Most of them are volunteers.

They're not taking a dime for helping to build Whitney Fulton's new home.
"It's definitely 'The American Dream,' said Fulton. “ It means security for my family. It means me setting an example for my children, what they need to be doing and how it's possible for them to achieve the same thing."
This mother of three who works fulltime and goes to school fulltime, is hoping to move in any day now.

Lorell Williams moved into her Habitat home in mid-November. 

She is now volunteering her time to help finish Whitney's home.

"The more volunteers you have, the better it is for our community because it helps the houses get done faster.  Without the volunteers, none of this would be done,” said Williams.

Habitat C.E.O. Bernie Godek said those who qualify for a home have some work to do.

"The families have to commit to doing 400 hours of what we call 'sweat equity,' and that is 400 hours of volunteering in our stores, going through nine weeks of intensive home ownership preparation classes and then building their home."

Godek said in return, these low-income families get a simple, decent, affordable home with no interest payment.

The volunteers with Habitat For Humanity are a prime example of what can happen when people work together.

You don't have to be great with your hands. You just have to show up, have a positive attitude, and be willing to learn.  They'll show you the rest.            

"We have very qualified supervisors here that will meet the volunteers when they show up on the site, train them on the activity they're going to be doing that day and proceed to do the work on the job site,” said Joseph Gianna, the Supervisor of Construction for Habitat.

Thanks to this teamwork, there's another satisfied customer.

"I would never think that I would be able to be here in this situation,” said new Habitat homeowner Fulton.  “So I'm forever grateful.  Habitat is the best thing that could happen."
Habitat leaders hope to keep the ball rolling. 

They've got plans to build several more homes in this neighborhood, Pleasant City and Coleman Park in the next few years.

For more information on Habitat for Humanity or to volunteer, contact the organization at: or (561) 253-2080.