Homeowner Gwendolyn started in the HabiJax homeownership program in October 2016. Whether actively volunteering at the HabiJax ReStore or at one of our construction builds in New Town, she enjoyed every moment of completing her sweat equity hours. Originally from Portsmouth, Virginia, Gwendolyn has been living in Jacksonville, Florida for the past 27 years. Although, she’s retired, she currently works part-time for Visiting Angels as a live-in caretaker three days per week. This did not stop Gwendolyn from completing 300 sweat equity hours, which is a requirement for every homebuyer in order to purchase a HabiJax home. It was through her faith in God, that Gwendolyn was determined to get her HabiJax house.
Gwendolyn became a new homeowner in New Town in February 2017. She is still actively involved in the New Town community through the community organization, the Vision Keepers. She chose to be in our homeownership program, because she feels that Habitat for Humanity of Jacksonville does an awesome partner for individuals and families who dream of owning an affordable home. She encourages and advocates for individuals to apply to the HabiJax homeownership program; whether it’s in her church or grocery store—she even made sure to tell everyone she met on a recent cruise! Gwendolyn advises people who want to become homeowners, to always pay their bills on time, to always find ways to increase their credit scores, and to go into the program with a solid plan in order for to complete their 300 sweat equity hours. She said, “Although 300 sweat equity hours seems like a lot, you’ll be surprised how your hours do add up when you volunteer at the ReStore and attend the Vision Keepers meetings.”
When asked what her favorite volunteer experience was as a homebuyer, she said, “I loved it all!” When volunteering at the HabiJax ReStore, she had a clear vision of what the customers see on a daily basis. That led her to organize and clean the merchandise, from the kitchen cabinets to the appliances, to ensure the customers had a wonderful shopping experience. When volunteering at construction sites, her favorite experience was doing final punch projects on homebuyers’ houses. She said, “It showed others a shared sense of pride on how to keep your own house in order.” While, being on construction sites, she enjoyed working with AmeriCorps Construction Crew Leader, Eddy, because she felt he did an amazing job leading and took pride in the projects as if he was building his own home.
When Gwendolyn isn’t riding her new bicycle, reading or listening to jazz and gospel music, she’s involved with Vision Keepers of New Town and encouraging other people to apply for affordable housing through Habitat for Humanity. We’re thrilled Gwendolyn is enjoying her new home and appreciated her dedication to volunteering with HabiJax while she worked toward her goal of homeownership. New Town is fortunate to have Gwendolyn as one of its newest residents!