“I imagine the success my children will have not having to worry about where we will live and having a place to call home. I believe having a nice home and stability will make my children more successful than I could have imagined.”
Melissa Amaral and her four daughters are on their journey towards homeownership with Habitat for Humanity. For the past 14 years, Melissa has worked in the Nutrition and Food Service Department at the Bay Pines Department of Veteran Affairs. All of Melissa’s daughters are very bright and enjoy school. They are all close with one another, despite their wide age gaps. Her oldest, Juliyana, is a freshman in college, followed by 16-year-old Janiya. The second youngest is 6-year-old Jessalynn and finally 5-year-old Jacinta. Melissa says that “my children are interested in arts, music and video games. They also love to play and explore the outdoors.”
Prior to applying to Habitat, Melissa lived in a 3-bedroom apartment with Section 8 Housing in St.Petersburg. The place was cramped and shootings were happening in the complex, which made Melissa nervous about living there. After she gave her notice that she was leaving the apartment, she struggled to find another Section 8 Housing option that was able to support her family. She is currently living in a 2-bedroom apartment with her four children, making it a tight squeeze for the family. Her teenage girls are always looking for a quiet place to study and it is nearly impossible in their over crowded space.
When Melissa found out that she and her family were accepted into the Habitat program, she was in disbelief and wanted to cry! “I am so grateful to have this opportunity for a stable home for my children. This will allow them to focus on school and have a stable environment.” In her new forever home, Melissa is looking forward to her girls each having a space to call their own.
Our Habitat for Humanity affiliate is making a further commitment and investment advocating for the advancement of affordable homeownership. If you are interested in learning more about our advocacy efforts, including our new Advocacy Ambassador Program, you can visit our Advocacy Page on our website for more information.
“It can be a tough process to get everything together that is needed to make this happen. Just do what is needed and you can have a home of your own.”
The Amaral Family Home was dedicated on October 5th, 2022.