Pensacola, Florida
Tuesday December 12th 2017

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Groundbreaking Women

By Shelby Nalepa

Women Build, Pensacola Habitat for Humanity’s program that raises funds for the construction of a family’s home, is kicking off this Friday and celebrating the first Women Build home to be built in Santa Rosa County.

After months of fundraising, 140 Women Build volunteers have met their goals and will break ground after gathering at Voices of Pensacola to find out the total amount raised.

Women Build is a global initiative of Habitat for Humanity focused on including women in the process of providing no-interest, low-mortgage homes for families. Women Build also works with organizations in developing countries to assist in bringing the full rights of homeownership to women.

“Over the last few months, women from all over the community have been working hard to raise $80,000 for the construction costs of a home they will build over the course of seven days,” said Sara Kim, Pensacola Habitat for Humanity’s Event Coordinator. “Aside from fundraising, Women Builders also learn construction skills, empower others and raise awareness for the need of quality affordable housing.”

This year marks not only Pensacola Habitat’s fourth year of Women Build, but also the first Women Build home to be built in Santa Rosa County. Kim said that this year’s Women Build home is going to Adele McCormick, a hardworking single mother and her son. The home is located in Milton on Shell Road.

Kim said that the Women Build initiative here is so important because nearly 80 percent of Pensacola Habitat for Humanity’s homebuyers are single moms.

“Women are more likely to face challenges when it comes to finding adequate, affordable housing,” Kim said. “The U.S. Census Bureau reports 32 percent of families with a female head of household live in poverty. Forty-two percent of these families have children under the age of 18. Locally, 25 percent of families with female head of households live in poverty and 35 percent of them have children under the age of 18 in the home.”

The celebration at Voices of Pensacola will kick-off the construction stage of the Women Build campaign. Starting Friday, Women Build teams will begin construction on McCormick’s home. When completed, the home will be sold with a zero interest mortgage to McCormick and her son.

“When I was told I was chosen for Women Build 2017, I was so excited it was hard to contain myself,” McCormick said. “Habitat is an excellent program for people that are not so financially well off, as they give the opportunity for homeownership to the less fortunate.”

McCormick said that she would recommend this program to anyone who ever thought they wouldn’t have a chance to own their own home.

“I am looking forward to my own home being completed, so my son and I can start our lives in a place we can call ‘ours’ and begin to make memories of a lifetime,” she said.

“Women Build and Habitat have been a blessing to myself and my family, it has been an honor to be part of such an amazing group of people and I have to give God all the glory for the blessing of a lifetime.”

Women Build teams include Bank of America, Baptist Hospital, Breathe Yoga, Emmanuel, Sheppard, & Condon, Gulf Power, HabiChix, Junior League, Krewe of SWAT, Levin Papantonio, Nature Trail, Sacred Heart Health System, Studer Group, The ONE and Women of Hillcrest. Each team of ten had a fundraising goal of $5,000.

Amanda Everhart has been participating in Women Build since the program’s inception. The process technician at ExxonMobil Chemical reached an individual fundraising goal of $500.

“I love being a part of Women Build every year,” Everhart said. “It’s an opportunity to help a deserving family in the community and address the housing issues our area faces.”

As a former Pensacola Habitat construction crew leader, Everhart said that she’s looking forward to getting back to a build site, if just for a week.

“My favorite part is getting to the site that first day and seeing all the hard work everyone puts in,” Everhart said. “I can’t wait to get started on Adele’s home and see the transformation once it’s built.”

For more information and to donate, visit womenbuild.pensacolahabitat.org.