The first seven families received the keys to their new homes at “A Rick Case Habitat Community” in Pompano on June 27 during a private dedication ceremony attended by Governor Ron DeSantis and other dignitaries.
The homeowners included Cassandra Baker, Krystal Brown, Tiesha Duncan, Deresha Ferguson, Victoria Griffin, Erneika Mejia and Edna and Tyrone Mckinney. “These are hardworking, deserving families who earned their homeownerships” said, Nancy Robin, CEO/Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity of Broward.
The total project is estimated to cost over $18 million in funds that will be raised and leveraged through partnerships with corporations, foundations, government agencies, the faith community and generous individuals.
“We are honored to join alongside Gov. Ron DeSantis to demonstrate what’s possible when churches connect and collaborate to solve our community’s problems like affordable housing,” said Eddie Copeland, Church United Director.
Welcoming the first seven families into their new homes, Rita Case said, “Its heartwarming to know we were a part of this life-long achievement.” Rita and Rick Case have been connected with Habitat for over 18 years, and Raquel Case co-chairs Habitat Broward Women Build and serves on the board.
“A Rick Case Habitat Community” will feature 77 affordable homes consisting of 42 one story and 35 two story units with sizes ranging from 1,200 to 1,300 sq. ft. homes. All homes feature sustainable, energy-efficient materials, including impact windows, to minimize environmental impact, improve indoor air quality, and reduce utility and maintenance costs. Additional features include a park and children’s playground that will be accessible to residents of the community and the surrounding area.
New homeowner Cassandra Baker, a single mother of four with two jobs as a Campus Safety Officer for Broward College and an Aviation Escort Officer for Akina Security Inc., gained custody of her nephew after the passing of her sister. Currently, the family of four is temporarily living with Brown’s mother. Brown said, “Homeownership means not having to move every time the lease is up, forcing my kids to switch schools.”
A mother of two, Duncan has been an OBGYN Medical Assistant at Holy Cross Medical Group for 10 years. After being forced to move out by the father of her children, she had to move in with her mother where space is extremely limited.
Ferguson, a mother of two, works as a Service Coordinator for JM Lexus.
Griffin is a single mother of two who has been a Patient Access Representative at Boca Regional for 15 years. “This home means everything to me,” said Griffin. “Being the youngest out of five and the first homeowner, I feel accomplished and proud of myself. Our current situation is overcrowded and there is structural damage. I can’t wait for Xavion and Javares to sleep comfortably in their own rooms with no worries.”
A single mother of four, Meija has been a Financial Crime Specialist for Wells Fargo Bank for nine years. The family currently resides in a small apartment in an unsafe neighborhood. In fact, Mejia was the victim of a shooting a few years ago. It was then she decided that she had to find a safe, stable place for her children.
The Mckinney’s are the proud parents of two. Tyrone Mckinney works as a delivery driver for Kennesaw and Edna Mckinney has dedicated over 18 years as the registrar at William Dandy Middle School. Currently, they are renting a two-bedroom house in an unsafe neighborhood.
Robert Tayler Jr., Board Chair, Habitat for Humanity of Broward, said, “In a county where so many families cannot afford decent housing, we are grateful to be able help these seven families achieve their dream of owning a home.”
Visit habitatbroward.org for information.