By Kole Moxley.
As part of Habitat for Humanity’s annual women’s empowerment project named “Women build,” women come together and volunteer their time to construct a home for an individual or family in need.
Not only does this event help empower the women volunteers, but it also helps break the cycle of poverty many families face as Habitat for Humanity Hillsborough County CEO, Tina Forcier told Fox 13 News,
"We are able to work with families to break the cycle of poverty and we do it through housing. What we’re doing is somebody comes in and they’re actually paying an affordable mortgage and what we’re doing is providing them education along the way and then we’re partnering with volunteers, community donors, the local government to get the housing cost down enough that they can afford the payment. Once they get in there, they are building generational wealth. They realize the equity in the home once they leave a rental situation and it passes on to their family."
The Women Build team in Temple Terrace, Florida has over 100 volunteers who are helping to build 12 homes. One of these homes will belong to Barbara Colon upon completion.
Barbara grew up in the foster care system and lived in a homeless shelter while attending high school. She’s been living between shelters and family with her 13-year-old son. The two currently live in an unsafe, substandard rental apartment because it’s all she can afford while working at a caregiving center.
Working alongside her son and the 100 volunteers as part of the Women Build project, Barbara’s first home is expected to be completed mid-July. As the team builds the foundation to her home, Barbara told Fox 13 News that, "It’s just the foundation for me and my son. This is our future right here. This is anybody’s dream. Any parent’s dream, any individual who is just tired of moving. I don’t want to move. I love Florida."
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Kole works as an intern for RoofersCoffeeShop and AskARoofer. He currently attends Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon where he studies graphic design and plays football.
Photo credit: Fox 13 News
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