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“When you volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, know this: Your precious time and sweat is helping families to become a homeowner and you are making a positive change in their life forever.”

Semhal Liham is a maintenance assistant at the Pinellas Regional Detention center who is on his journey towards his forever home. He attended Phoenix College in Arizona where he received his AA in general study. Semhal is a single man who is eager and excited to start a family in the upcoming years in his brand new home!

The past four years has been a struggle for Semhal, as he has lived in multiple apartments where the rent continues to climb higher and higher. He tells us “The rent fee does not include utilities, water, sewage or trash. My studio has a tiny stove, a bathroom without vanity, and an old and loud window air condition. It is located next to a busy road in downtown St. Pete. The high traffic sound keeps me awake at night, especially those annoying sports cars that rattle the department as they speed by in the early mornings.”

Receiving the news that he was accepted into the Habitat program was life changing for Semhal. “When Jack called me to tell me that I was accepted into the program, I was ecstatic and extremely happy knowing that my dream of owning my own home was getting closer to become reality.”

“I have never bought a house before, but it feels more personal to be part of it from the empty lot, to the groundbreaking, to the finished home. By participating in the process from painting, planting trees, and landscaping in hot Florida weather gave me a perspective what it takes to build a house. Now I have a high regard and appreciation for the people who do this on a regular basis. I truly believe now that people who work in the construction field are the hearts and souls of American dream.”

Semhal has learned a lot through his Sweat Equity and classes with Habitat and is excited to put his knowledge into action when he moves into his new home. With

everything that he has learned, Semhal says that “My future with Habitat home will be secure and stable”.

“There will be challenges along the way into your dream home, but if you communicate with Habitat staff, there’s always a solution to every challenge. Just don’t give up.”

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