CRESTVIEW— Habitat for Humanity in Okaloosa County donated their 58th home to a Crestview family with the help of more than 450 volunteers contributing more than 2,100 hours.
Rosalind Cruz and her mother, Carol, said they are excited to finally be homeowners after moving around frequently.
“I’ve always moved around from house to house, especially when I was younger,” Rosalind said. “I haven’t really had any stable place to call home.”
Thanks to Habitat for Humanity, now she does. After completing an application and volunteering for the organization, the Cruz family was handed the keys to their home in front of dozens of supporting guests.
“There are some financial requirements… and then you have to complete 300 hours between a previous house and your house,” Rosalind said. “The application was maybe 10 questions and I got approved within two or three months.”
Members of the Habitat for Humanity board of directors, volunteers and community members joined the Cruz family at their home to congratulate them on their hard work and accomplishments.
Debbie Bodenstine, chairman of the board, welcomed attendees to the Cruz home and introduced special guests.
Pastor Jeff Burnett of Crosspoint North Crestview blessed the home and the family, and recited the Litany for Shelter which is done at every Habitat for Humanity home dedication.
Jack Robinson of ReStore, a company sponsor, said a few words to the guests. ReStore is a nonprofit home improvement store and donation center that sells new and gently used furniture, appliances, home accessories and building materials to the public at a lesser cost.
Karl Jackson of Gulf Power then awarded the organization with a check for $50,000, and Kate Beam of ERA Realty also presented a check.
Nitsi Bennett, president of ReStore, spoke about Rep. Mel Ponder’s dedication to low-income housing and presented him with a plaque for his commitment.
Mary Hauge, a member of the Habitat for Humanity board, presented Rosalind and her mother with a Bible signed by volunteers and guests at the dedication. A Bible is given to every new homeowner from Habitat for Humanity.
A gift basket with kitchen supplies, a welcome mat and a fire extinguisher from B&C Fire Safety was given to the family, along with an embroidered plaque with their name from the Embroidery Guild and an American Flag from the Republican Women of Okaloosa.
David Hyre and Dick Davitt managed the construction of this home in downtown Crestview; Hyre congratulated Rosalind and Carol and presented them with the keys to their new home.
Although Rosalind said she was shy, she thanked everyone who came and all those who made her dream a reality. Pastor Burnett ended the dedication with the benediction, and guests were offered refreshments and a tour of the home.
Rosalind and Carol will be living in the home with their three pets.