We’ve Built 329 Habitat Pinellas Homes for 812 Children and Funded 301 Homes Overseas.

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Habitat to Launch Neighborhood Partnership Program During 300th Home Dedication June 16 in St. Pete.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

MEDIA RELEASE
Contact: Robin Macar, 727.536.4755, ext, 204

Mayor Rick Kriseman and Academy Prep students will participate in the dedication of Habitat Pinellas' 300th home.

ST. PETERSBURG, FL  --  June 5, 2014 –  With the dedication of the Harrell family home in St. Petersburg on Monday, June 16th, Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County will mark a significant milestone that has enabled 300 low-income families throughout  Pinellas County, including 753 children, to escape the downward spiral of substandard and poverty housing. The dedication will also mark the beginning of a new neighborhood revitalization program for Habitat Pinellas, which will be introduced during the ceremony. The home dedication will take place at 10:30 a.m. at 2230 21st Avenue South.

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman will be a featured participant in the milestone home dedication, which will be attended by several other city officials, community activists and advocates for the Midtown area.  Students from nearby Academy Prep will recite the “Pledge of Allegiance” and members of the Midtown Rotary Club will present the flag to the family.  Tamara Harrell and her two children will receive the key to Habitat Pinellas’ 300th home from Bill Protz, president of Catalina Marketing Charitable Foundation, the home’s co-sponsor.  The home was also sponsored and partially built by Habitat’s Collegiate Challenge Spring Break volunteers from out of state. 

During the home dedication, Habitat Pinellas’ new “Neighborhood Preservation Partnership” program will be officially introduced with plans to begin initial operations in the 22nd Street corridor of South St. Petersburg. The Midtown Mercy Neighborhood Preservation Partnership, as it will be known, will offer affordable home rehabilitation services to low-income homeowners in the Midtown community using Habitat’s partnership model where homeowners will work “sweat equity” alongside contractors and volunteers to perform the roof replacements, structural repairs, exterior enhancements and energy efficiency upgrades. Homeowners will reimburse Habitat for material expenses through a 0% interest loan with payments based on affordability.

“Habitat Pinellas’ ongoing commitment to serve those in need while at the same time furthering our goals of neighborhood revitalization align perfectly with the city’s mission to truly be a city of opportunity where the sun shines on all who come to live, work and play,” said Mayor Kriseman. “I wish to thank Habitat Pinellas for its continued commitment in St. Petersburg.”

The 300 homes that Habitat Pinellas has built since its inception in 1985 are located in nine major municipalities in Pinellas County, including St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Largo, Pinellas Park, Seminole, Dunedin, Tarpon Springs, Safety Harbor and Oldsmar. Of the 300 Habitat Pinellas homes, nearly half of them are located in St. Petersburg as the Harrell home marks the 143rd Habitat home in the city.

“We could not have reached this significant milestone without the support of our Pinellas community,” said Mike Sutton, Chief Executive Officer of Habitat Pinellas.  “It is because of the physical labor of our volunteers, the generosity of our corporate and private donors, and the support from our local and state government, that Habitat for Humanity continues to succeed in its mission to provide affordable housing for low-income families.  We are successful because of the camaraderie and goodwill of the people who come together to benefit the families in our community.”

Based on new home construction and rehabilitation work on existing homes, Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County is among the top five percent of high performing affiliates nationwide, out of more than 1,500 U.S. Habitat affiliates.  Habitat Pinellas has received Charity Navigator's highest rating, four stars, every year for the past seven years. Only two percent of the charities rated nationally have received at least seven consecutive four-star evaluations, indicating that Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County consistently executes its mission in a fiscally responsible way and outperforms most other charities in America. 

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Habitat Pinellas Neighborhood Preservation Partnership
The Neighborhood Preservation Partnership is a home rehabilitation program offered by Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County. The program is modeled after other successful neighborhood revitalization partnerships and is intended to compliment other initiatives that are currently strengthening economic and resource development in the areas it will serve.  The Neighborhood Preservation Partnership embraces an asset-based approach to community development and recognizes and promotes the numerous strengths in the community.  In accordance with the Habitat for Humanity “partnership” model, low-income homeowners will join together with contractors and volunteers to perform the rehabilitation work – a process known as “sweat equity.”  Homeowners will reimburse Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County for material expenses through a 0% interest loan – with payments based on affordability.

 

The program’s inaugural project, Mercy Midtown Neighborhood Preservation Partnership, offers home rehabilitation services to homeowners who live in the 22nd Street South corridor in St. Petersburg. Home rehabilitation work offered includes “aging in place” modifications (designed to accommodate physical mobility limitations), energy efficiency upgrades, roof replacement, structural repairs and exterior enhancements. Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County anticipates that the program and related partnerships will evolve over time as the nonprofit continually seeks to focus resources and opportunities to promote the aspirations of the Midtown community to the fullest extent possible. For more details on the Neighborhood Preservation Partnership, contact Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County at 727) 536-4755 or Ron Spoor, COO.

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With the dedication of the Johnson home, we’re celebrating our 298th Habitat Pinellas home!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

See more pics in our PICASA album!

A small crowd gathered in the driveway of the Johnson family home to help the family of nine celebrate the dedication of their new Habitat home late Tuesday afternoon in St. Pete.

Special thanks to the home sponsor, Everbank. Thanks also go to the contributing sponsor, Transamerica.

Hopeton Johnson expressed his gratitude for everyone who helped guide him through the Habitat program to make this day possible. He especially thanked his homeowner services partner, Marlene Ware.

Participants in the dedication included former Habitat board member Norm Bungard who opened the ceremony with some Habitat anecdotes and a prayer, and Pat Senn of Transamerica, who presented both the Bible and the house key to the family. David Gerald of Anona United Methodist Church presented a welcome basket from his congregation, and Stephanie Flowers, who is also a Habitat homeowner and one of the Johnsons' neighbors, presented the flag. The home was blessed by Pastor Cunningham.

A huge thanks to all the volunteers who helped build this home! Congratulations to the Johnson family!

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Kimball Estate gift helps build the Alpizar family home in Clearwater!

Monday, May 19, 2014

See more pics in our PICASA album!

A deeply religious couple, Robert and Dorothy Kimball were dedicated to Habitat's mission of helping struggling families obtain decent homes and shelter. They worked on multiple Habitat for Humanity homes and helped rehab many churches around the country.  They also participated in disaster relief work, a mission trip to Hondorus, and they funded an entire church in Haiti. They volunteered countless hours and generously donated to causes they believed in.  And in a final, but lasting gift of generosity, Robert and Dorothy left an estate gift to Habitat Pinellas. It is this gift that sponsored the home for the Alpizar family, which was dedicated Saturday morning in Clearwater.

In memory of their parents, Mary K Evers and Jane Magariner, presented the key to the home to a very grateful Wendy Alpizar. Ron Evers, who is director of missions at Palm Harbor United Methodist Church, delivered a beautiful blessing on the home. 

When construction began on the home, the family had gathered at the build site to place one of Robert and Dorothy's bibles in a column as a symbol of their faith and strong family values. The daughters also wrote bible verses on the trusses.

Heartfelt thanks go to this generous and thoughtful family, and to the Kimballs, whose generosity of spirit lives on through the Alpizar family home! And a special thank you goes to the land sponsor for this home, Achieva Credit Union.  Last but not least, a big thank you to to all the volunteers who helped build this home!

Photos: Above, Wendy Alpizar enters her home for the first time! Below, members of the Kimball family with Wendy and Habitat Pinellas CEO Mike Sutton.

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Choose Habitat Pinellas on “Give Day Tampa Bay”—Tuesday, May 6th!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Visit www.GiveDayTampaBay.org and choose Habitat Pinellas!

Give Day Tampa Bay is a one-day online giving challenge organized by the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay and the Florida Next Foundation to raise support for local nonprofits  and grow philanthropy in our area.  This community-wide event was coordinated to show off Tampa Bay's spirit of giving and raise awareness of local nonprofits.

More than 350 local nonprofits are participating and the best performing nonprofits on Give Day Tampa Bay are eligible for additional prizes and bonuses. So choose Habitat Pinellas and cheer us on through social media!

Thank you for your support of Habitat Pinellas! Your generosity helps keep us building in our Pinellas community!

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St. Pete mom celebrates Mother’s Day early at the dedication of her Raymond James sponsored home!

Friday, May 2, 2014

See more pics in our PICASA album!

MEDIA RELEASE

Congratulations to a very ecstatic Chelsea Matthew and her young son who received the key to their new Habitat Pinellas home at the Saturday morning dedication in St. Petersburg. Bill Van Law, president of Raymond James financial advisors division, presented a beaming Chelsea with the key.

As she thanked everyone who helped build her home and supported her throughout the Habitat program, her big smile turned to tears of joy as she explained how much the home meant to her because her son would now have a yard to play in. 

Welcome home Chelsea!  And thank you Raymond James Financial for sponsoring the Matthew home!

Photos: Top, from left, Mike Sutton, Habitat Pinellas CEO; Becky Taylor, Raymond James product management manager; Kyle Anderson, Raymond James cost basis operations supervisor; Bill Van Law, Raymond James Investment Advisors president; Chelsea Matthew and her son; and Sophia Gillin, Raymond James community relations specialist. Below, Chelsea's son checks out his new backyard from his bedroom window.

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