“I am building because I want to have a solid foundation to provide my kids a bright future.”
Homeownership has always been a dream for Ciera Antone, a Branch Leader at Amscot and a single mother of three. Her dream is about to come true because of Habitat for Humanity. Ciera is very close with her children Yesenia (age 9), Jayceon (age 5), and Illiana (age 3) and considers them to be her best friends and her everything. Yesenia is a great big sister and daughter and loves to help take care of them. In her free time she enjoys gymnastics and karate and is currently a camouflage belt! Jayceon is also very helpful with his baby sister and is an amazing son. He is very athletic and enjoys karate (yellow belt!), baseball, soccer, and swimming. He just started his first year of school and is doing great so far! Illiana is the baby of the family and was originally in the NICU for 28 days after being born. Her mother claims that this made her very spoiled! Ciera says “Illiana is my fire ball and has so much personality. She sings her ABC’s and happy birthday daily.” Ciera loves to spend time with her children by going out to eat and taking them to theme parks. She says “I love the time and memories made with my family they are the greatest part of me.”
Before applying to the Habitat program, Ciera faced many challenges with her living situation, especially when she found out about her third pregnancy and was also going through a divorce. She was forced to move back in with her family and had to sleep on a twin mattress on the floor while pregnant and her kids slept in a bunk bed. The space was very cramped and uncomfortable, but she was thankful that her mom and step dad opened the door for her family. Ciera had included her children every step along the way of her Habitat journey, including her acceptance. “When I heard from habitat they heard from me. We screamed and celebrated because things were finally moving in a positive direction for us.” Her first thought after being accepted was gratitude. “I was very grateful that the Habitat program saw my family and I fit for this opportunity. After having to work on things before fully applying, the selection process, and checking my email at least 20 times a day, we made it!”
So far, Ciera has enjoyed working on sweat equity and considers it to be amazing and very informative. “I’ve done quizzes, landscaping, painting, special events, and put up hurricane shutters. I have learned how to install a toilet, sink, and a few other things. Getting to meet other homeowner candidates who are going on the same journey as you has been very inspiring as well.” At Habitat for Humanity, we rely on volunteers from our community to work alongside out homeowners and construction crew to help build our homes. Ciera says she encourages everyone to become a volunteer. “You get such a rewarding feeling knowing you are helping to fulfill a families dream, you also get to meet amazing people while doing it.” For more information on how to get involved with volunteering on a jobsite, at the ReStore, or with special events, please check out our Volunteer Page.
“With a habitat home my kids and I will be able to have our own rooms and space to play. They won’t be confined to one room nor will we have to tiptoe around the house in the morning not wanting to wake up their grandparents. It will also be very affordable. The habitat program provides us with many tools to be successful. They show us how to budget and save so we can be successful homeowners.”
The Antone Family home was dedicated on September 14th, 2021.