A Southwest Florida mom has become a first-time homeowner. WINK News was there to witness the raising of the walls for her soon-to-be home.
Janeisha Owens is a mother of six, and she works full time. Despite this, she couldn’t afford to rent or own property in Southwest Florida. But now that she has found Habitat for Humanity, they raised the walls on her future home.
“It’s another height of appreciation. It’s another height of accomplishment that I feel,” said Owens.
But, before Saturday, Owens struggled to find a new place to live. Her family went from a home to share a room at a friend’s house then the family found itself living in a hotel.
“During that time, I had no vehicle, so I used to have to Uber everywhere. And I was working full-time, so I had to Uber to work, Uber from work, Uber to go get groceries. Which we had a limit on groceries because we had a small fridge,” Owens said.
Times were tough, but they pushed forward and continued to look for a new home. “We were basically calling everyone like it was homework. While I was at work, my girls would call,” said Owens. “They did homeschooling for the time being because I didn’t want everybody to know our situation.”
Sara Jordan is the director of donor development for Habitat for Humanity. “Janeisha came to us because she had a need. She was seeking stability for herself and her children, and she knew that something had to change,” said Jordan.
In addition to building homes, Habitat for Humanity also provides financial counseling to help low-income families afford a mortgage. “It’s one of the most critical needs in our county right now, is access to affordable housing,” Jordan said.
“In recent years, approximately half of our homebuyers are female-headed households. The need is so significant. And Women Build has just done a great job over the last 12 years to bring awareness to this need, to activate and engage our community and engage women to build with and for other women,” Jordan said.
Owens home dedication ceremony will occur the day before Mother’s Day, May 7.
Owens’ home is being built in Cape Coral and is part of the Women Build campaign. The campaign’s goal s to empower other women through affordable housing.