“My home will be the permanent place I have dreamed of for my family to always have to turn to.”
Stephanie Smith is a Communications Teletype Technician for the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. She is a single mom to son, Thomas (17). She also has two older children, Evangeline and Zachary – who live independently. Stephanie has been driven to provide a home for Thomas and a place for her entire family to come together. “We love spending time together as a family,” says Stephanie. “We are very close-knit and love to do anything as long as we are together.” Stephanie is excited to see her son, Thomas, get his own space to grow his hobbies and studies.
Stephanie is a divorcee and has worked hard to keep her family intact despite one chapter in her life coming to an end. “I will be honest, I felt like a failure to my children after the divorce,” said Stephanie. “That failure just kept getting reinforced with every signing of a new lease.”
With rising rent prices and a real estate market that can be overwhelming for anyone, Stephanie felt like there would never come a time when she would own her own home and have a place for her family. “I just want to remove that feeling of failure and finally deliver something amazing for my kids,” Stephanie told us.
Enter Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties.
When Stephanie applied to the Habitat homeownership program, she wasn’t sure if she would be accepted. She didn’t know if she would be a fit. But she knew she had to at least try. Stephanie went through the pre-application process. She did all that was asked of her. Then, one day she was asked to come to the Habitat office to sign some papers. Instead she was presented with her certificate of acceptance in the program.
“I couldn’t believe that this program was even a possibility for me. Being chosen is a blessing sent just when we needed it the most.”
Stephanie was so excited to be accepted into the Habitat program and has been loving every minute of being part of the Habitat family. She believes that everything happens for a reason and has been working hard to pay it forward with all the other homeowner candidates she has met so far. “It’s all about doing something for others and setting us all up for success,” said Stephanie. “I love working on homes and helping out in the warehouse behind the Clearwater ReStore. You see how hard the Habitat staff works to makes dreams a reality.”
Stephanie can’t wait to become a homeowner and open the door to the next chapter of life. Her confidence has grown leaps and bounds during her time in the program and hopes everyone understands what Habitat is doing for families in the community. Stephanie invites anyone who is struggling or feels down on their luck to visit the APPLY page on our website take that leap of faith.
“Don’t give up! If first you don’t succeed try and try again,” says Stephanie. “For me, every step has been a learning experience. You will meet so many different people guiding you along the way and each one of them want you to succeed. Those are not just words. You are given the tools you need to succeed and that begins by filling out your application. You can do it!”
This home is sponsored by