Habitat for Humanity helps build a new home for SWFL family

Published: July 9, 2022 5:27 PM EDT
Updated: July 9, 2022 6:15 PM EDT

Habitat for Humanity and students from Florida Gulf Coast University is making one family closer to their dreams of homeownership a reality.

WINK News attended the wall-raising ceremony on their soon-to-be home.

Ashley Gonzalez is a mother of two and works full-time, but couldn’t afford to rent or own in Southwest Florida.

Habitat for Humanity
Gonzalez family (CREDIT: WINK News)

That’s until she found Habitat for Humanity and they raised the walls on her future home.

“I’ve never actually picked up a hammer in my life. And being through habitat, I’ve actually learned a lot, to actually put walls together, these walls I’ve actually put together myself,” Gonzalez said.

She said she’s thankful for everything habitat does. But she wasn’t alone in raising the walls.

A team of volunteers from FGCU were also on-site, helping with the heavy lifting.

Tiarra Woods, a student volunteer said, “I decided to come out here and volunteer to someone who needs a home and someone who’s taking the proper steps to get obtain a home, and also assist me in getting my service-learning hours to graduate.”

Habitat for Humanity relies on volunteers to help keep homes affordable.

But during COVID-19, their volunteer program shut down.

Now, they are trying to get back to pre-pandemic levels.

Henry Goldfarb, a student volunteer said, “It makes me feel good knowing that I’m building a house for somebody so they got a place to live.”

The time these students are putting in is more important now than ever.

Brett Harety, a student volunteer said, “it’s amazing to be not just part of the process, but to meet the people that you’re actually helping and having an impact on.”

Katie Cribbs, Habitat’s Public Relations Coordinator said, the cost to build new homes has gone up in the last two years because of supply shortages.

“The fact that they’re giving up their Saturday, their free day potentially, to roll up their sleeves and work with the future homeowners to build their home is just invaluable,” Cribbs said.

Gonzalez’s future home is expected to be completed in 2023.

She said she’s looking forward to moving in, but she’s most excited to decorate her own place.

If you’re interested in volunteering please visit, Habitat for Humanity.