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“My house will be my peace, my confidence, my world, and will mean everything to my kids and I.”

Lecia Simmons is a certified nursing assistant that works in the medical records department for the St. Petersburg Nursing Rehab center. She is a single mother to four children: her oldest son, Terrell (17), her only daughter, Kamiya (16), her middle son, San’jae (11), and her baby boy, Jayden (8). Terrell recently graduated high school with a 4.0 GPA and will soon be off to college. He enjoys playing football in his free time. Kamiya will graduate next year with a 4.0 GPA as well and will attend college to become a cardiologist. San’jae loves to play football as a running back for his school and wants to go to college for football one day. Jayden is a very smart boy for his age and wants to become a scientist one day. The family is very close with one another and describes themselves as respectful, outgoing, and loveable. Lecia tells us “It’s a thing in our home that no matter what we do, we always keep a smile on our face everyday. The love we have for each other is unconditional love. Family is everything to me and my children.”

Lecia’s coworker first introduced her to the Habitat program after she was struggling with her current living conditions. Her electricity and water bills were very expensive and the landlord never stopped by to fix any of the issues in her home. Her air conditioning was down every other week and it forced her and her children to live in an 89 degree home with only one fan. Mildew also began to grow in her home and eventually she had to begin taking medicine because of it. Back in 2019, Lecia had saved enough money to close on her own home, but unfortunately all of her money was taken from her due to fraud the week before she closed and she was not able to recover it. She described it as the “worst feeling in the world”. She was set back to square one and had to start saving money all over again, all while still living in unsafe and uncomfortable living conditions.

After receiving the news that she was accepted into the Habitat for Humanity program, the first thing she did was call her “favorite girl”: her 83-year-old grandmother. The two of them started screaming over the phone in excitement. She was so excited that she began jumping up and down in her office. “I knew right then and there that God had big plans for me and my children and that we would never have too live like that again.”

The Simmons family is very excited to move into their forever home and the journey that comes along with the process. “I think that Habitat will teach me the bigger steps of saving, being a homeowner, and showing me the bigger responsibility of care for a home.” She is most looking forward to have her own comfort zone in her home. She is ready to stick her keys in the front door. At that moment, she says she will feel proud to say that “I am the owner of this home.”

Our affiliate is making a further commitment and investment advocating for the advancement of affordable homeownership. If you are interested in learning more about our advocacy efforts, including information on our Advocacy Ambassador Program, please check out our Advocate Page on our website.

“I want a foundation and a home for me and my children to call our own.”

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