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“I am building because it will allow me to create a brighter future for my son and open doors for other families.”

Nilda, mother to 11-year-old Rodney, is a graduate from University of South Florida with a degree in Biomedical Sciences. She currently works as a Disease Investigator for the Florida Department of Health. Her son, Rodney, is very intelligent, athletic, and remains on the honor roll list at his school. His interests are soccer, science, SQL code writing, and playing video games. Nilda says, “Most of all we love to laugh, because God gave us life and it’s too short to wear a frown.”

The family currently lives in a small apartment, where Nilda constantly worries about their safety and privacy. “There are times when we have homeless people come onto our property, and dig through our trash. This makes us feel like our privacy has been violated to the fullest extent.” The family also has neighbors who are “constantly in chaos.” Nilda does not want her 11-year-old son to grow up in these circumstances, and says “it is difficult due to not having a say as to who is permitted on or near your property.”

Nilda could not be happier to have been accepted into the Habitat Homeowner Program, and is excited to learn the foundations and effort which goes into owning a home. “I could not believe that I could be owning a home with a zero percent interest mortgage, and I just needed to donate my time, which is what I normally do for my church.” Although completing her sweat equity hours may not be easy with her busy work schedule, she says she is excited to “learn what actually goes into creating and building a home from the ground up.”

“My life will be amazingly different in my own home. My son will have a backyard, where he is able to run around and play in. He will be able to decorate his room without any regulations. We will also be able to host more family events at our home, without any worry. I imagine that this will inspire my child to own his own home one day.”

Nilda closed on her home in August 2020. Special thanks to her sponsors, “Your Friends from USF”. Habitat is grateful to the following contributors that helped us build a home for Nilda & Rodney: Les & Pam Muma, Jeff & Brandy Fishman, David Goldstein, Joanne Nelson, Fred & Kay Meyer, Terry & Carol Mullane, Kate Tiedemann & Ellen Cotton. Because of their support, Nilda & Rodney will always have a place to call home. Bulls making an impact!

Watch her home dedication at https://youtu.be/XNr7jYEb_6I.

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