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“My home will be a warm place where people feel welcome. It will be where I feel safe.”

Leonel Rodriguez is a Rehabilitation Specialist for Vincent House. He has been there serving others for two years. Leo is all about helping anyone whenever he can. He is always around his family, helping his parents and his grandfather, who has dealt with health issues in recent years. His grandparents introduced him to the psychology world, which he focuses on with an MS in Health Psychology.  “I learned from those books that I was meant to help people,” said Leo.

In this busy world, it’s easy to fall into the old way of thinking that you must make a lot of money, have nice things, and work long hours to maintain a certain lifestyle. But that did not seem to fit Leo. “I had a lot of people telling me the best way to make all this money or focus on having all this success,” said Leo. “That wasn’t me. I knew I could succeed by helping others, and my family has supported my goals.” Working with others who are in recovery can take a toll. It’s been hard for Leo not to focus more on others than taking care of himself. “I needed that push back to the middle where I did put myself first and want more for myself.” That is where Habitat comes into Leo’s journey.

When Leo was accepted into the Habitat homeownership program, he felt shocked. “I knew this was the chance of a lifetime,” said Leo. “I know how many families apply each month to this program, so to be chosen for this opportunity is humbling.” I can’t wait to be in my home and say that it is mine and I earned it.”

Leo encourages anyone hesitant to apply for the homeownership program to take that leap of faith and go for it. “It is scary, and I know what it means to keep putting it off and not applying,” said Leo. “Just remember that you deserve a safe place to call home as much as anyone in this world.”

To learn more about the Habitat homeownership program, visit the apply page of our site.

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