Local Veteran Raises the Wall of New Home in City’s First Female Veteran Habitat for Humanity Community

Oct 21, 2019 at 12:42 pm by pj

With a donation by The Home Depot Foundation, local Home Depot volunteers will lend a helping hand for the wall raising ceremony 

Cocoa  - Habitat for Humanity of Brevard, Inc., will begin building its second of six planned Habitat homes in its first Female Veteran village Thursday, October 24. Lisa, a Habitat homeowner and U.S. Navy veteran, is the second homeowner to join the community and is joined by local Home Depot associate volunteers to build her dream of a decent and affordable home. 

Female veterans in our community face significant economic challenges and are particularly vulnerable to housing costs burdens,” said M. E. Kelly, Habitat for Humanity of Brevard Executive Director. “That’s why we’re especially thrilled about this community that will create an atmosphere of comradery and safety with our local women veterans. This wall raising ceremony is an important step, marking the beginning of a remarkable journey for our Habitat homeowner, Lisa.”  

According to a report by the National Housing Conference, there are estimated over 67,000 veterans age 18 and older in Brevard County. Half of single veterans, including mothers, spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing, making it more difficult to provide the most basic needs like food and paying bills all that more challenging. 

A member of the U.S. Navy in 1989, Lisa was assigned to the USS Puget Sound during Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm. During her service tour, she sustained traumatic injuries which resulted in PTSD and received 100 percent disability pension. Throughout many challenges, winding roads and family deaths, she never gave up. Because she didn’t think she needed, qualified or deserved disability benefits, she had never thought to apply for Habitat for Humanity until recently. 

Lisa said Habitat “is a new start in life for her.” Adding, “Jesus is my corner stone; my home is the ending of His path for me.”  

The Home Depot Foundation is a national partner of Habitat for Humanity International and has invested more than $19.2 million in Habitat’s Repair Corps program since 2011. In addition to the donation to Habitat Brevard County’s first all-women veteran community, The Home Depot’s associate volunteer force, known as Team Depot, will join Habitat of Brevard County to build and celebrate this monumental day of wall raising. 

In addition to the support of The Home Depot Foundation, Habitat Brevard County would not be able to complete this important work without the generosity of the city of Cocoa, Diamond Square Redevelopment Agency, Leonardo DRS, Northrop Grumman, Center State, Next Era Energy, Pen Fed Foundation, Guy and Delores Spearman and State Farm, Lisa will now have a safe and affordable place to call home.  

For More Information about Habitat for Humanity of Brevard and upcoming builds, contact Carey Gleason at 321.728.4009 x113 or Carey@BrevardHabitat.com 


Why Female Veterans? 

Nationwide, nearly 4 million veterans pay at least 30 percent of their income toward rent or mortgage, while more than 1.5 million pay at least 50 percent. Using half of your income to pay your rent or mortgage is an enormous strain on any budget.  The veteran population in Brevard County age 18 or older is estimated at 67,084 or 15.02% of the total population.  Of the total Brevard veterans, 13,674 or 20.4% are veterans with service connected disabilities. Among them are 4,764 living below the poverty level, and 1,844 with both a disability and living below the poverty level.   


Our female veteran population is in need as well as they are typically overlooked. According to a report by the National Housing Conference, nearly half of our veterans who are single and or single mothers spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing. Our female veterans face significant economic and housing challenges and are particularly vulnerable to housing cost burdens. Likewise, our most recent veterans who served following 9/11 have returned to a slow-growing economy and rising housing costs. These economic factors have made the transition from military service to civilian life difficult for many of our veterans. 


About Habitat Brevard 

Safe, decent and affordable housing is the centerpiece of all Habitat builds. Habitat offers limited income Veterans the opportunity to purchase affordable, secure and well-built homes with a zero-interest mortgage. Program requirements for qualifying applicants include 300 sweat equity hours and completion of homeowner preparatory classes.  


Celebrating more than 35 years of building houses, building hope in Brevard County, Habitat for Humanity of Brevard is a non-profit, non-denominational Christian housing ministry that has successfully constructed recycled and remodeled more than 450 homes. Dedicated to eradicating substandard housing by building simple, decent, affordable homes in partnership with low and very-low income families in need, Habitat for Humanity is a catalyst for individual and community transformation.  Learn more at www.brevardhabitat.com 


About The Home Depot Foundation 

The Home Depot Foundation works to improve the homes and lives of U.S. veterans, train skilled tradespeople to fill the labor gap and support communities impacted by natural disasters. Since 2011, the Foundation has invested more than $315 million in veteran causes and improved more than 45,000 veteran homes and facilities in 4,300 cities. In 2018, the Foundation pledged an additional $250 million to veteran causes taking the total commitment to half of a billion dollars by 2025. 


To learn more about The Home Depot Foundation, visit HomeDepotFoundation.org and follow us on Twitter @HomeDepotFound and Facebook + Instagram@HomeDepotFoundation.