ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — Single mother of two Artesha Adras of Pinellas County finally has a home she can call her own.
“I have gone through so many challenges,” Adras said. “This was so rewarding, It was hard work. It was lots of fun. It was something. It was something that my children and I got to do together.”
Through a partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County and BayFirst National Bank, Adras’s family and countless volunteers invested 350 to 450 “sweat equity” hours to build the three-bedroom, 2-bathroom home from the ground up. It’s now a place where her children can make lifelong memories.
“It’ll give my children stability, safety, love, peace, happiness, and it’s just something that is really joyful for me to able to give them as a parent,” Adras said.
Sandra Holmes with Habitat for Humanity said this isn’t a handout but a hand-up. To qualify for a home donation, families are required to take part in a rigorous financial program.
“We do a loan for their house at a 0 percent interest rate mortgage and they learn through the education program’s 32 classes how to manage their money, how to save for the future, how to save for emergencies,” Homes said.
A program that is setting up hundreds of families for financial success. And it’s an experience for which Adras is more than grateful.
“It’s a huge accomplishment that I never I would ever be able to do,” said Adras.
Since 1985, 900 families have benefitted from the new homebuyer program of Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties.