The “Girl PowerHouse” was funded by Habitat’s women’s philanthropy group.
ST. PETERSBURG, FL – December 10, 2014 – The determination of one woman to build a better life for herself and her adopted daughter has been exponentially magnified by the hard work and generosity of nearly 150 women volunteers who came together from all over Pinellas County to build her a Habitat for Humanity home known as the “Girl PowerHouse.” At 5:30 p.m. on Monday, December 15, this all-woman effort involving 1,500 volunteer hours comes to a joyful conclusion when Altamease Mack, a Hospice care team assistant, receives the key to her home at 7265 34th Avenue North, St. Petersburg.
In addition to the women volunteers who worked side-by-side with Mack since early October to help Habitat Pinellas build the home, the Girl PowerHouse build was sponsored by Habitat Pinellas’ women’s philanthropy group, Hammers & Heels. Launched in June of this year, Hammers & Heels currently has 56 members and is led by honorary chair Judy Mitchell, former president and owner of Peter R. Brown Construction. The Girl PowerHouse is the group’s first dedicated project.
“As women, we are acutely aware of how important a stable, secure home is for nurturing our families,” said Mitchell. “Habitat homes offer affordable, zero-interest mortgages that free up money for food, child care, medicine and other necessities for low-income families and moms like Altamease. Through collective giving, the women of Hammers & Heels are committed to helping Habitat make a life-changing difference for families in our community.”
The property was donated to Habitat Pinellas by Bank of America as part of a national partnership with Habitat for Humanity International through which the bank will donate vacant properties for renovation or reconstruction. The local Bank of America property donation and Habitat Pinellas program provided an opportunity for homeownership that Mack could afford with her modest income.
For the past five years, Mack has rented a cramped single room in her mother’s three-bedroom home, which houses eight people. Because the room she shares with her two-year-old daughter lacks closets, their clothing and other belongings are kept in an exterior storage closet on the back patio. Mack has longed for a more nurturing and stable environment for her daughter, but her limited income prevented her from qualifying for a traditional mortgage. She turned to the Habitat Pinellas program to pursue the opportunity to own an affordable home suited to her income. After completing Habitat Pinellas’ required 20 courses and 250 “sweat equity” hours, Mack’s dream of homeownership has come true.
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