Home for the Holidays | Budgeting for the season | Giving Tuesday
Home for the Holidays | Budgeting for the season | Giving Tuesday
 November 2023                                                                                              Donate now

He prepares countless meals each day. None in a house of his own.

Meet Robert

Robert is a chef at an Orlando theme park and his wife, Jennifer, works at a fulfillment center. The couple has a 6-year-old son. The young family moved to Orlando from Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.
"If I can make sure our son gets everything he wants in life, that's fulfilling for me. However, to do that I need to provide him a stable foundation, so my house, his house, our house."
Through Face the Housing Crisis™, we seek not only to raise awareness about the housing crisis but also to mobilize resources, expertise, and public support to tackle this critical issue head-on. But we need your help.
Learn more & raise your hand

Looking for resources?

🏠 Homeownership Program applications will open on Nov. 29 for new construction homes in Holden Heights and Parramore. Learn more >
🌀 Habitat Inspects Program offers free wind mitigation inspections to reduce homeowners insurance premiums. Learn more >
🤝 HUD Housing Counseling offers free one-on-one counseling and First-time Homebuyer Workshops to those looking to buy a home or preserve their affordable home. Learn more >
🍎 Habitat U offers free classes on financial literacy, community engagement, estate planning, and more. Learn more >
Learn more

Home for the Holidays 2023 kicks off Nov. 27

Fourth Habitat home built by Williams Company will open doors of opportunity for Joselyn and her family

Meet Joselyn

Joselyn, a mother of two who works in records retrieval for a local cancer institute, will watch her home be built in just two weeks by Williams Company during Home for the Holidays 2023. Read her story >

Meet Williams Company

This is the local builder’s fourth consecutive year donating the labor and materials to build a Habitat home in this sped-up timeframe. The event kicks off with an airhorn start Nov. 27 in Orlando’s Holden Heights neighborhood. Read their story >

Follow along with Home for the Holidays on our social channels:

  • Nov. 27: Opening ceremony kicks off construction at 7 a.m.
  • Nov. 27-Dec. 8: Walls start to rise and a house takes shape over 2 weeks.
  • Dec. 8: We'll host a home dedication ceremony at 3:30 p.m. We'll broadcast this touching ceremony live on our Facebook page! Get a reminder to watch >
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Upcoming free classes

Habitat U classes and HUD First Time Homebuyer Workshops are free but space is limited, so please reserve your space today!

Home Maintenance 101

Dec. 13 at 10 AM

Financial Literacy: Credit

Dec. 13 at 6 PM
Learn more & register

Congrats to our 'Heavy Hitter'

During last week's OBJ Power Players awards breakfast, President & CEO Catherine Steck McManus was honored in the "Heavy Hitter" category, representing "Longstanding power players who always make the news year after year, and whose companies have a lasting legacy in the region." Your tireless dedication to making Central Florida a more affordable place to live is truly inspiring.
Read more

Thank you October Team Build volunteers!

Shoutout to WillScot Mobile Mini, Wesco, and Ravago! Last month, they not only volunteered their time on our build site but also donated to support our mission. Thank you for helping to Face The Housing Crisis™ with us.

Homeownership Tips

From the experts in our Program Services and Construction departments

Budgeting for the holidays and how to avoid impulse spending

The holiday season is a time of joy and togetherness. The season can also be a financially stressful time for many individuals and families. Here are some budgeting strategies to help you navigate the holidays without breaking the bank. 

1. Set a budget: Create a clear and realistic budget based on how much you can afford to spend during the holidays. 
2. Make a gift list: Instead of going on an impulsive last-minute shopping spree, plan ahead! Create a list of all the people you’d like to give gifts to and set aside an amount to spend on them. 
3. Give DIY a try: Consider making your own gifts and decorations. Handmade gifts carry a personal touch that store-bought items can’t beat. You can also give the gift of quality time or acts of service! Gift your grandparents some quality time by spending the afternoon with them or give your sibling a hand cleaning out their garage.
4. Shop smart: Take advantage of holiday sales and discounts retailers have throughout the holiday season. Plus, keep a look out for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and other holiday promotions that are opportunities to get great deals on gifts. 
5. Avoid credit card debt: Credit cards are convenient, but they can also accumulate charges quicker than you can pay them off. Avoid taking on debt by sticking to your predetermined budget and paying off your credit card bills promptly.

Managing your finances can be challenging, not just during the holiday season. Habitat U offers free financial literacy courses to everyone to help them with budgeting, saving, and understanding their credit report. Visit the Habitat U webpage to find class dates and register. 

How to prevent household appliance fires

House fires are the third leading cause of damage to residential structures in Florida and appliances are a significant culprit. The information below covers common causes of fires in household appliances and tips for preventing them. 
Cooking Appliances. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, in 2021, fire departments in the United States responded to 170,000 fires caused by cooking equipment, resulting in close to $500 million in property damage. While many of these fires resulted from unmanned appliances, uncleaned cooking appliances play a significant role in preventable fires. When using your stove or oven, always ensure you clean any grease or other flammable liquids that might spill onto your cooking surface. If your stove catches fire, either cover it with a nonflammable pan or lid, pour baking soda over the fire, or use a fire extinguisher to smother the flames. 
If the fire is inside your oven, do not open the door! Fire needs oxygen to sustain itself. Turn off the oven and the fire will eventually put itself out. Allow everything to cool before opening the oven to deal with the resulting mess. If the fire escapes the oven door, it’s time to call 911 and leave your home until the fire department deems it safe. 
Clothing Dryers. As mentioned in the last issue, it is important to ensure your dryer vent is free from lint. The high heat generated by the dryer can cause an accumulation of lint to catch fire and can quickly get out of hand. Ensure your dryer has a lint trap installed and clean it out after each use. Every six months, be sure to disconnect your dryer vent hose from the vent and either vacuum or blow out the buildup of lint from the duct where it connects to both your dryer and the exterior of your home. 

Dishwashers. Perhaps a surprising addition to this list, dishwashers still can pose a potential hazard if water makes its way into the electrical components of the appliance. To maintain your dishwasher, make sure you regularly check the plastic components of the appliance (i.e. dish soap dispenser) to ensure they are still intact to keep the dishwasher watertight. 

All Major Appliances. Always plug your major appliances, including refrigerators, stoves, washers, and dryers directly into a wall outlet. Plugging them into extension cords can overload the cord, causing it to melt and potentially catch fire. 
For more information on maintaining your household appliances to minimize the risk of house fires, check out the U.S. Fire Administration’s site.

Closing corner

Congratulations to new homeowners Gracy, Terry, and Zanda! Closing on your energy-efficient Habitat homes marks the beginning of a transformative journey. Your stable, affordable home is the foundation for a brighter future. May your homes be filled with warmth, comfort, and lasting memories. Welcome home!

Interested in homeownership or know someone who is? 

We'll be accepting another round of applications for our homeownership program on Nov. 29! Learn more and get your documents ready here.

Delegates working on comp plan to Face The Housing Crisis™

Guided by the Cornerstone Housing™ Framework

We are excited to have the support of community leaders to work toward innovative solutions to the ‘wicked problem’ of the affordable housing crisis. Each month, the Cornerstone Housing™ Delegates are pooling their resources, expertise, and influence to create a comprehensive plan to Face The Housing Crisis™.

Learn more about joining our monthly workgroup sessions here and watch our orientation video:

Supporter Spotlight:

PNC & First Horizon Foundation

We are immensely grateful to PNC and First Horizon Foundation for their support of our Habitat U classes, which empower Central Floridians to build more financially secure futures. These outstanding partners have generously shared their expertise on crucial topics such as foreclosure prevention and budgeting during our in-person classes. We extend our heartfelt thanks for both your valuable knowledge and financial support, which are making a significant impact on our community!

Give with confidence

You can give with confidence knowing that we have been independently evaluated and given the highest rating of 4 stars.
Check out our Charity Navigator profile to learn more!

Giving Tuesday is Nov. 28

Consider donating appreciated stock or giving from your IRA

Both of these methods are powerful, tax-savvy ways to help us build affordable housing, revitalize neighborhoods, and strengthen communities. When you use the tools from our partner, FreeWill, to make your contribution, you can elevate your impact. Learn more, and let’s bring people together to build homes, communities, and hope today!
Give today

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