The Gramatica brothers, General Dynamics, MacDill Air Force Base, come together to celebrate a home dedication with disabled Army Veteran
New Port Richey, FL— On Thursday, December 10th, 2020, the Veteran community will gather to celebrate with Mary White, US Army Veteran, as she opens the door to her new Habitat home. Mary partnered with Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties and its Homes for Veterans program to build her home in New Port Richey, which she will purchase with a zero percent interest mortgage.
To extend honor to Veterans, the affiliate continues to increase the efforts of its Homes for Veterans program. “We are looking forward to celebrating with Mary White, our 3rdVeterans Build homeowner partner”, said Mike Sutton, Habitat Pinellas and West Pasco President & CEO. “We are grateful for the continued support of the Gramatica Foundation, Pasco County, and our new partners at General Dynamics”.
In honor of her veteran status, Mary’s dedication will be a special tribute to the Veteran community. The dedication will begin with a presentation of the Colors by the American Legion Paradise Post 79, and Brigadier General Clark Quinn, U.S. Central Command Vice Director, Strategy, Plans and Policy will present a flag to the homeowner. Martin, Bill, and Santiago Gramatica will present Mary with a hammer – symbolizing the significance of partnerships based on the belief that everyone deserves a safe place to call home. Tim Bagniefski, VP of Marketing at General Dynamics, served in the Marines. He will present Mary with the keys to her home.
About the Sponsors
In December of 2019, Habitat Pinellas and West Pasco partnered with Gramatica SIPS International to advance its affordable housing work with the organization’s line of Structural Insulated Panel Systems (SIPS). In addition to utilizing the SIP system to advance construction methods, Habitat continues to partner with the Gramatica Family Foundation, and their support of the Homes for Veterans program is aligned with organization’s mission.
“The Gramatica Family Foundation is proud to continue our partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties. We look forward to working with them on many more veteran home builds so we can help our community’s heroes live in dignity and comfort”, said Martin Gramatica.
A new partner to Habitat, General Dynamics, also supported this home build. “At the heart of General Dynamics’ culture is our unwavering commitment to our military, our veterans and their families. We are deeply grateful for the opportunity to partner with Habitat Pinellas and West Pasco in support of the heroic men and women in our community and look forward to future collaborations focused on the enrichment of veteran families”, said Tim Bagniefski.
Habitat homeownership partner families must demonstrate a need for adequate shelter, the ability to pay back a zero-interest loan and willingness to partner with Habitat to invest 350 to 450 “sweat equity” hours. These soon-to-be homeowners also completed 20 homeowner education classes, from budgeting to how to be a good neighbor, to prepare for their new chapter as homeowners.
Typically, the community is invited to join the new homeowner at their home dedication in person. Due to the pandemic, Habitat invites supporters to tune in virtually via Facebook Live stream at https://www.facebook.com/HabitatPinellasPasco/.
About the Homeowner
Soon-to-be homeowner, Mary White, is a disabled Army Veteran and proud mom of five-year-old, Aspen. After entering into a homeless program to better her family’s life and get back on track, Mary completed her Master’s degree in Clinical Social Work. She currently works as an Employment Security Representative II at Career Source Pasco Hernando for the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.
After going from a two-family income down to one, financial troubles escalated. “We had to leave our apartment behind, to avoid eviction on our record. We found ourselves homeless. Eventually, the VA helped us into a housing program and we couched surfed until we were able to move in.”
“Going through any rough financial period takes its toll. It has taken me years to get out of the hole we were in, and to this point of qualifying for Habitat. It has been a lot of hard work to get here.”
Like many Habitat homeowners, Mary knew that her acceptance into the Habitat homeownership program would open a new chapter for her and her son’s life. “When we were first accepted into Habitat, I didn’t think it was real. I was waiting for that second call to explain they made a mistake. They never did.”
On December 10th, Mary will celebrate with the Veteran community as she opens the door to her new home. To future homeowner candidates, Mary says, “Starting something new can be challenging, but nothing worth it ever comes easy.”
In the midst of the pandemic, Habitat Pinellas and West Pasco partners remain supportive of its mission to provide safe and affordable homeownership opportunities for those in need. The 3rd Veterans Build home was sponsored by 4-Star sponsor, General Dynamics, 3-Star sponsor, Gramatica Family Foundation and many other generous donors.
Media are invited to attend this event and are required to follow CDC guidelines. For interviews with the homeowner and/or Mike Sutton, Habitat President and CEO, please contact Morgan Brochetti at email@example.com or 727-536-4755, ext. 203.
WHEN: Thursday, December 10th, 2020
Dedication will begin at 9 AM
WHERE: 5413 Portola Avenue, New Port Richey
For more information, please visit https://habitatpwp.org/volunteer/veterans
Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County and West Pasco Counties
Since 1985, Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties has served over 840 families and individuals through its new home buyer and exterior repair programs using locally raised funds. Volunteers and the future homeowners construct the homes, which are sold at no profit and financed with a zero-interest loan. Habitat homeowner candidates earn 30 to 80 percent of area median income. Candidates must demonstrate need for adequate shelter; ability to pay back a zero-interest loan and willingness to partner with Habitat to invest 350 to 450 “sweat equity” hours. Mortgage monies are used to build even more homes, making each donation to Habitat a perpetual legacy to the community. Habitat believes that homeownership contributes to family stability, leading, in turn, to community stability. Additionally, the affiliate raises funds through their two ReStores, home improvement outlets where donated household and building items are sold to the public.For more information about Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties, call (727) 536-4755 or visit www.habitatpwp.org.
Gramatica Family Foundation
Founded by the Gramatica brothers, Martin, Bill, and Santiago, in 2012, the mission of the Gramatica Family Foundation is to positively impact the quality of life of our community’s veterans through housing initiatives.
General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems (OTS)
General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems (OTS) is a global systems developer and manufacturer of munitions, weapons, and tactical systems. It is the purpose of General Dynamics-OTS to empower the United States Armed Forces and its Allies through readiness and innovation to protect what is most important – the warfighter. General Dynamics-OTS is dedicated to its people, its products, and its processes to ensure that every day they are Delivering the Best to the Best ®