The Gomes Family Receives the Keys to their New Habitat Home - A Moving Experience

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 now.

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

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