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“The Habitat program is a marathon, not a sprint. There are many unique experiences and so much to learn along the way.”

“I am dependable, hardworking, and will often help others before seeing about myself,” said Dionate, a Human Services Counselor for the State of Florida Healthy Start program. “I give everything I do 100% effort and attention. My family loves the Lord, cheering each other on, and spending time with each other.”

Dionate is a mother to Javaris and Jai’Asia. Javaris is an athlete, and enjoys playing basketball and football. He currently plays on high school varsity team. Jai’Asia loves being a cheerleader for their local football organization. She also enjoys dancing, acting, and cooking. “I am very supportive of my children in their academics and extracurricular activities, and they are very encouraging and supportive of me and my journey to finish college.”

The family has been in their home for nine years. Although it was ideal at the time, the home is now older, small, has a leaky roof, and they have outgrown the space. Their landlord only uses temporary solutions to their problems, causing them to deal with hazards over and over again. “It is difficult to find decent, safe, and affordable housing. Every time I look into moving, I can never find anything where my children and I would be comfortable.”

“I was excited and proud of the hard work I did to get accepted into the Habitat program. I knew the program took a lot of hard work, and I was ready to learn how to become a successful homeowner. Acceptance into this program means my children will always have a place to call home.”

Dionate is excited about working her sweat equity hours. “I have learned so much already. I have learned about budgeting, credit, insurance, and home maintenance. I have met and connected with staff members, and other homeowner candidates. The sweat equity hours not only allow me to learn about my home, but it is rewarding to help other families achieve the same goal.”

“To know that we will have a place to call home for years to come is comforting. I am looking forward to making life long memories and traditions with my children, especially around the holidays.”

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