How A Round of Golf Helped Build a Habitat Home
St. Petersburg, FL – Halloween 2022 will always be a special day for Jaime Pitt. That was the day she spoke in front of a group of golfers at the 12th Annual Golfing Fore Habitat Partner Tournament on Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor. Pitt told the crowd that their support meant she and her three children - Julian, Ja'Nee and Deontae- would be realizing the dream of affordable homeownership.
"The Habitat homeownership program is designed to break generational curses," said Pitt. "It also builds generational wealth and stops the cycle of renting. We will never again have to pack up and move because this home will be ours."
The event raised over $135,000 and the construction of the Pitt Family home would be happening in a matter of months.
Fast forward to Tuesday, June 13, 2023. Jaime Pitt and her children stood on the porch of their completed Habitat home in St. Petersburg.
"I am overwhelmed by this day," said Pitt, who earned her home, and an interest-free mortgage, by partnering with Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties and completing the homeownership program. Homeowner candidates take 32 homebuyer education classes and complete between 350-450 sweat equity hours by volunteering on Habitat construction sites, Habitat ReStores, and at special events like Golfing Fore Habitat.
"The Annual Golfing Fore Habitat Tournament is a sellout every year at Innisbrook," said Habitat President & CEO Mike Sutton. "Between businesses and friends of Habitat it's a fun day of golf, but they know why they are there - to help us raise funds to build homes for deserving people like Jaime and her kids."
Sutton explained that since the pandemic the construction of Habitat homes has gone up roughly $45,000 per build. "It takes an entire community to move our mission forward and we are lucky to have great support," said Sutton. Habitat of Pinellas and West Pasco completed 73 new home builds this year - a new affiliate record.
One of those homes is now owned by Jaime Pitt.
"I am so grateful to everyone who teed it up at the golf tournament and supported me and my family," said Pitt, while she held up the keys to her brand new Habitat home. "Greatest round of golf ever."
Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County and West Pasco Counties
Driven by the vision that everyone needs a decent place to live, Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties has served over 800 homeowner partners since 1985. Over the last 12 months, Habitat Pinellas and West Pasco completed more new homes than any other affiliate in the country - earning a ranking of #1 producing affiliate in the network. Volunteers and the future homeowners construct the energy efficient homes, and candidates purchase the home with a 0% interest mortgage upon completing the program. 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 complete a robust homebuyer education curriculum and invest 350 to 450 “sweat equity” hours. Additionally, the affiliate raises funds through their 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 visitwww.habitatpwp.org.