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Two Families to Achieve Homeownership on MLK Day

The Allen and Henderson families will celebrate their home dedications.


 Two families will celebrate achieving the dream of homeownership on Dr. MLK Day this year. In Clearwater and St. Petersburg, Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties will host two home dedication ceremonies for the Allen and Henderson families.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a civil rights icon who fought for equal rights, including fair housing laws. Spurred by the Civil Rights Movement and standing on the shoulders Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., housing advocates have sought to expand protections from various discriminatory practices, including discrimination based on; sex or marital status, age, religion, disability and other now protected classes. Due to Dr. King’s and others tireless efforts a new era of housing laws that helped countless families improve their housing conditions as well as participate in the American dream of homeownership.

Through this legacy of activism and advocacy Dr. King has improve countless families’ housing conditions as well as open doors to participate in the American dream of homeownership in ways that were unimaginable just 50 years ago.

“On this Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Habitat will take a moment to reflect on the historic contributions of Dr. King, who helped to pave the way for fair housing laws that continue to protect millions of Americans today”, said Mike Sutton, President and CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties.


WHAT:  Two Habitat Home Dedications

WHEN & WHERE: Monday, January 16, 2023


Henderson Family Home Dedication

9:00 AM – 9:15 AM

1108 Tangerine St., Clearwater, FL


Allen Family Home Dedication

11:00 AM – 11:15 AM

3639 Fairfield Ave. S., St. Petersburg, FL


Habitat has partnered with the NAACP St. Pete to celebrate with these families on MLK Day.

“The St. Petersburg branch NAACP is proud to stand with the Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties as they dedicate two homes to two well deserving families”, said NAACP – St. Petersburg CEO, Esther Matthews. “It is ALWAYS a great day when a family can turn the key on their new home. It’s no secret that Habitat for Humanity has made substantial impacts in combatting the affordable housing crisis in Pinellas and Pasco County.”

On community partnership, Esther Mathews continues, “When we look to align ourselves with community partners, we strive to ensure that the partner goals have a direct connection to at least one or more of our 6 Game Changers. The work of Habitat for Humanity is in alignment with the NAACP’S continued strategic focus on the 6 Game Changers in particular our Economic Sustainability Game Chamber. I look forward to many more opportunities to stand with Mike and his team and he pushes forward towards the goal of ALL families achieving the American Dream of Homeownership!”.

Habitat Homeowner Candidates complete the required 32 homebuyer education classes as well as 350+ required sweat equity hours.  They will purchase their respective homes with a zero-percent interest loan through Habitat, keeping their mortgage affordable.

The Allen Family

Terrina Allen is a Certified Medical Professional at Professional Healthcare. She is very close to completing her journey towards homeownership alongside her 19-year-old son, Amondrai.

“Homeownership is very important to me to have something to call my own. I will be the second person within the family to own a home and truly understand the process of homeownership which means a lot given my background. I was not taught about savings, homeownership, or reliability from my family. I am determined to defy the odds because I know what it’s like to sleep in a shelter and must guard your child and belongings. This experience has taught me to never give up and to keep my eyes on the prize and create a foundation for me and my son.” The Allen’s Family home is sponsored by generous Habitat donors, Michael & Carolina Holtz.

The Henderson Family

Niesha Henderson is a Medical Support Assistant at Bay Pines Veterans Affairs and a single mother to her 4-year-old son Jacion who also goes by “Jace”. Jace currently loves Spider-man and anything involving water. “He loves anything to do with going outside and running around. He’s a ball of energy,” his mother says. “My son is the sweetest kid ever. He has a big personality for a four-year-old and he’s so outgoing, silly, and funny.” Niesha describes herself as creative, helpful, determined, and loving.

This small but mighty family of two is currently struggling with what many families in our community are beginning to experience in the current housing crisis: space and affordability. Receiving her acceptance into the Habitat program was a dream come true because she knew that these challenges would be solved after moving into her forever home. “As soon as Jack told me I was accepted I cried like a baby,” she says. “There were so many emotions hitting me at once: joy, happiness, and most of all, relief.”

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