Our own Homeowner Relations Case Manager, Sylvia Bautista, has the privilege of presenting keys to our new homeowners, which fortunately happens several times per month thanks to the Neighborhood Revitalization Program. In doing so, Sylvia provides us with photos so we can share these wonderful moments with the world. Recently, she told us about an experience that moved her tremendously and so we asked her to share her experience with a guest blog. We hope you enjoy and feel compelled to share it.
Shared by Sylvia Bautista:
I am a proud Habitat for Humanity partner
homeowner and my firsthand understanding of the Habitat experience gives me a
unique perspective on the life-changing power of homeownership. I have worked
in Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles’ Homeowner Relations department
for many years now and I have to say, a recent key ceremony with the Gomes
family in South Gate was the most emotional one I have ever experienced.
Mrs. Gomes has been crying tears of joy ever since I told
her the good news that she would soon be a homeowner. However, like many of our
applicants, she thought our program was too good to be true. So when I called Mrs. Gomes’ to tell her that
she would be getting her keys, her initial thought was that something was wrong.
In 1997, Mrs. Gomes was diagnosed with cancer and
given one year to live. She refused, however, to accept the possibility that at
her age she was going to die and leave her kids without a mother. After her
diagnosis she began accompanying people to hospice care centers, where she still
volunteers, to pray the rosary with them.
Mrs. Gomes did beat her cancer, but still requires multiple
medications. Even though she is still sick, she is an incredibly positive woman.
She loved being on-site volunteering because she felt like it gave her and her family
something to focus on other than her sickness. She is hoping that as she continues to get
better she will be able to go out to other build sites and pay it forward to
other families who may need help, like her family did.
When Ms. Gomes received the keys to her home she began
to cry as she told me about her experiences with Habitat. She is so amazed by
all of the volunteers that she met on-site and how selfless people are to come
out day after day and work hard without pay and without expecting anything in
return. Her sobs became uncontrollable as she described their former, dangerous
apartment to me and the fact she is able to provide a safe haven for her family
I believe this experience and this home is a gift
from God to Mrs. Gomes, a person who is always there for others. I am thankful
everyday for Habitat for Humanity and I know she will be too.
We'd like to send our congratulations out to Mrs. Gomes and her family and wish them generations of love and prosperity in their new Habitat home.
If you would like learn more about applying for homeownership with Habitat, please visit our website.
Labels: affordable housing, habitat for humanity los angeles, homeowner relations, key ceremony, los angeles low income homeownership mortgage, sylvia bautista