Donation shortfall jeopardizes Habitat for Humanity homes in Hernando County

Something Good

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Habitat for Humanity of Hernando County typically builds one home a year for a family in need. But, in 2020, the non-profit organization had a big goal: build six new homes.

Unfortunately, however, the pandemic brought those plans to a standstill and forced the organization to scale back to three homes.

Now, that goal may be in jeopardy because financial donors, now strapped for cash, aren’t able to deliver on their pledge money.

“Rather than having a little shortfall, we wound up having a big crater,” said Richard Savanero, the executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Hernando County. “So, we’re trying to fill the crater, where we thought we’d have the funding to create the three houses.”

With the help of trades companies who work with Habitat for Humanity, the organization has the basic structures of three homes in place, including walls and roofs, built on adjacent properties donated by Hernando County. But, the interiors of each are barren.

Habitat hopes that an annual golf tournament scheduled for Oct. 1 at Southern Hills Plantation will bring in enough money to begin finishing the interiors of the homes.

Meanwhile, three families, approved for homeownership by Habitat for Humanity, and who have worked on the homes during the building process, hope they’ll be able to move in later this year. But, doing so requires the support of the community.

Savanero said home ownership gives people roots in their community.

“That makes them even better citizens because they’re able to give back. They know what it means to work for everything they’ve gotten,” Savanero said.

You can help Habitat for Humanity of Hernando County by donating household items, electronics, and clothing to ReStore, a thrift store that supports Habitat for Humanity. Monetary donations can be made on the Habitat website.

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