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“Habitat for humanity is a program that completely changed my life forever and made a better person.”

Monica Elias is a cook at Pinellas Point Rehab and has over 20 years of experience in her field. She is on her journey with Habitat in order to provide herself and her grandchildren a safe and affordable home that will last them a lifetime. Monica describes herself as a family person, as she is one of eight children in her family. For a majority of her life, she has taken the role of caregiver for many family members. At the age of 15, she was pregnant with her daughter and at 18 she was pregnant with her son. Two years later, she gained custody of her two younger brothers. Now, after her children grown older, she has gained custody of her grandchildren as well. Her granddaughter, Yulkesia (age 14) will be living with Monica in her home. She is a freshman in high school and recently made the cheerleading team at St. Petersburg High School. She is involved with Majorette Dancing as well.

Despite facing many hardships in life, Monica never gives up. Affordable housing is a major challenge that Monica and many other families in our community are facing. “My life has been very difficult and challenging raising kids as a single parent. It is really hard and you the only one with the income trying to make ends meet. Some days I didn’t know where I was going to get food from. The food stamps that they gave me for my children and family was not enough to feed the kids for the whole month, so I had to figure it out.” Monica was thankful that at the Rehab center where she cooks, her supervisor allowed her to take home leftover food at the end of the day to help feed her children. “I had to pay half of my light bill so I could get personal items for my grandkids like deodorant.”

Getting accepted into the Habitat program was a dream come true for Monica. In her new forever home, she is looking forward to cooking great Sunday dinners and having friends over to talk about the good ol’ days. Monica believes the Habitat program is truly life-changing. “I started out with $0.57 in my savings account. Now, I look at my savings account every day and I am so proud of myself.” If you or someone you know is interested in applying for the Habitat program, please visit our Apply Page on our website to learn more.

“I applied for Habitat before. I guess God wasn’t ready for me to go through the program at that time. He was still working on me. Now, he says ‘Monica, it’s your time to shine’ and here I am.”

The Elias Family Home is sponsored by:

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