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Alachua Habitat For Humanity
The Habitat View
Dear Reader, 

Welcome to The Habitat View. The Habitat View is a bi-monthly newsletter to keep you updated on upcoming projects, events and interesting stories.

Brock Seng

Editor of The Habitat View

UF 2015 Bateman Team with Habitat Family Partners

In This Issue
Eat At Satchel's In March
Bring Your ATM Card! 


Women Build is Satch Cash's Beneficiary in March


Eat delicious pizza and help raise funds for Women Build. Women Build will start its 9th house in Alachua County this Fall! Satchel's donates the profits of its ATM machines to local non-profit organizations each month, and Women Build will be the recipient of the ATM fees during March.




Presented by:



Annual Azalea Sale

O'Connell Center


 Proceeds Benefit


Alachua Habitat for Humanity


March 7-8


Donate Now!
Click to donate
Text to donate:
Text "HOME" to 72881




Monday through Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Wish List

Additional construction pick-up truck

ReStore truck (box truck with lift)

Saw blades

Paint rollers/brushes

Microsoft Project Software

Class facilitators - Family Partner classes

Fire proof file cabinets

Build site supervisors

Professional volunteers

Office chairs

Real estate lots

NR/ Family Services staff


Donate Now!
Click to donate
Text to donate:
Text "HOME" to 72881

Almost Home:

Jaclyn Crawford Fell In Love With The Habitat Experience

Jaclyn Crawford on the build site for her new home.

At Alachua Habitat, plans come together to bring local places of faith together to help build a house for a family. They call it the Interfaith Build. For Habitat, it is another milestone house, but for Jaclyn Crawford, it is home.


Jaclyn, a single mother of three, hasn't had a home since 2005, when she divorced and sold their home. Since then, she's been living in an apartment with her three children, 17-year-old Ashton, 14-year-old Jaden and 12-year-old Senae trying to take care of her children with little support.


The 800 square-feet, two-bedroom apartment just isn't enough space for three growing children, almost all teenagers, and a mother to live in. The boys share one of the bedrooms while Senae and Jaclyn share the other room and the neighborhood isn't safe either.


"It's hard," Jaclyn said. "Everybody is just stepping over everybody. You can't go anywhere without being this close to somebody."


For years since her divorce, Jaclyn has looked into buying, or renting, a house. She would look into it and back out. Look into another one and back out again. The struggle with money was always too real and too difficult.


"I would rather just live on top of each other than to be upside down with money," she said.


Thankfully, Jaclyn was blessed with a decent job enough to keep food on the table, and her children clothed. She works at RTI Surgical, Inc., a leading provider of sterile biologic implants around the world. There, Jaclyn works customer service: She receives the orders in for human tissue and sends them out.


It was here at RTI Surgical that she heard someone mention Habitat for Humanity. She had thought about it in the past but never thought she would qualify for a house. She had a friend who had a house built through a program similar to Habitat because hers was falling apart and it convinced her to apply. She was dedicated to improving the living situation for both her and her children. 


"I was ready to be in a house," she said. "I was ready to have something that's mine, that's in my name. Where each of my kids can have their own room and their own space."


And so Jaclyn began attending homeowner meetings to learn about the process. After a meeting, she received an application, filled it out and submitted everything she needed to apply and started working on here volunteer hours to qualify.


She was ready to own her own home. She was dedicated to improving the living situation for both her and her children.


After application approval, construction began on her home in the Fall of 2014. From the start, Jaclyn fell in love with the experience.


"It's been great," she said. "You learn a lot. You work with a lot of different people. Some that you see once and some that you see multiple times."


Her fellow employees helped, too. Each year, RTI Surgical does United Way Day of Action and even though Habitat for Humanity and United Way aren't affiliated, it was still a non-profit. So, the people at RTI Surgical gathered together and filled up all 22 volunteer spots for the weekend to help build her house. 


"We still have people asking if they could volunteer," Jaclyn said. "I've actually had four ladies who have come back since then and helped more. It's really nice because these aren't even people in my department."


People Jaclyn doesn't speak to on a daily basis, whether through personal contact or email, have shown up at the build site and helped out. She hopes that it won't end when her house is finished and that they will continue to volunteer.


In all, Jaclyn Crawford is overwhelmed with joy from the experience. 


"What other opportunity do you have to do stuff you've never done before, like putting down flooring in a home?"


Jaclyn does have some advice for other people going through Habitat for Humanity: make it a learning experience. 


"It's going to make me appreciate having this house more than if I just went and bought a home," she said. "You learn a lot about putting things together, using saws and all this kind of stuff that you wouldn't know unless you had someone to teach you."


"The house that you own and live in is the house you helped build yourself," Jaclyn said.


And that is the Habitat experience.


Welcome Women Build Chairperson 
Cheryl Kays


When former banker Cheryl Kays signed up as a Habitat volunteer at an art festival years ago, she was just looking for a way to get involved and give back. Now 5 years, four houses and one Steering Committee later, she is not only a dedicated volunteer, but also the new chairperson of Alachua Habitat for Humanity's Women Build Project. 


Women Build is a national effort to build homes that are funded and constructed by women, empowering women to learn new skills and take leadership roles in construction while building a home for a hardworking family in need of safe, affordable housing.


Kays began her work with Women Build while they were building a High Springs house in 2010, and she said the build sites were so much fun, she couldn't help but want to be more involved. 


"I was learning how to do everything from hammering to drywall, just all kinds of things," Kays said. "I have great memories of those because those are such outstandingly hard things to do."


Kays said this is partially what makes the Women Build projects so rewarding. It offers an environment exclusively for women to develop skills they may not have been able to develop otherwise. 


"It's fantastic for women, and it's a delightful experience for us all," Kays said. "It's hard work, but we can see the product of our hard work, and we learn some important skills." 


Kays said these skills aren't all that Habitat has to offer, however. She believes the confidence you gain while working on the projects is what truly sets the Women Build apart from other Habitat projects. 


"What we believe is that we're empowering women," Kays said. "I see it every day. I see it in every build. I see it in every woman." 


Now that she's chairperson of Women Build, Kays said her new role is much more administrative, but she's happy to be able to continue her involvement in any area of the organization.


 "I really enjoy these people," she said. "I think we have a tight-knit group, and I enjoy being with them."  


The Women Build recently received a $5,000 Lowe's Grant to help with funding their next project, and Kays said thanks to the grant and all the terrific fundraising the organization has been able to do over the year, they will be able to build again in the Fall. 


"[The grant] helped us nearly pay for another house," Kays said. "We are very, very close." 


Kays said she isn't sure what new opportunities her new role with the organization will bring, but as always, she's looking forward to the next house. 



For more information on the Women Build or ways to get involved, check out our Facebook page  at or email us at 


Gainesville Modern Weekend 2015

March 20th and 21st

Gainesville Modern, in conjunction with the University of Florida Historic Preservation Program, invites you to Gainesville Modern Weekend 2015, including a tour of five of the area's finest Mid-Century Modern residences.


The two-day event kicks off on Friday, March 20th with a film screening. "The Siebert Effect" by Larry Reinebach showcases the story of Tim Siebert: a University of Florida trained architect who later became part of the influential Sarasota School of Architecture movement. The film will begin at 6:00 pm in the Hippodrome Cinema. The screening is followed by a cocktail reception and Q&A session in The Hipp Down Under at 6:30 pm until 8:30 pm. Cost for the pair of events is $35, $15 Students. Space is limited.


The weekend concludes with the Second Annual Mid-Century Modern Home Tour on Saturday, March 21st. The tour can be started at any of the five area homes and runs from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. Admission is $15 cash at the door, $10 students. For home locations, purchasing tickets to the Friday night event, and more information, visit, , e-mail , or call (352) 562-1904.


Proceeds from the tour will support the work of Alachua Habitat for Humanity, the University of Florida Historic Preservation Program, and Gainesville Modern - preserving Gainesville's modern architectural past and promoting its future.



2014-2015 Interfaith Build Nears Completion


Jackie Crawford's dream of having a place to call her own for her family are steadily coming to fruition.  A unique collaboration of financial supporters and volunteers has come together for this house, called the Interfaith House.  Consisting of over 17 local congregations, the Interfaith house brings together people of all faiths to pray and build in unison for someone in our community.  The project began in September and will soon be complete with only the finishing touches of such as installing interior doors, cabinets, and flooring as well as landscaping yet to complete.  Habitat Construction Director, Brian McFather, estimates the project should be finished before the beginning of May.  Thanks to those devoted to this effort from all congregations involved for their willingness to put their faith into action on the Interfaith Build.


Scott Winzeler

Executive Director


Church Partners:



Parkview Baptist Church

Hoda Islamic Center

Islam on Campus

Temple Shir Shalom

United Church of Gainesville

First Presbyterian Church

Westminster Presbyterian Church

Trinity United Methodist Church

My Alive Church

B'Nai Israel

Lubavitch Chabad Jewish Center

First Christian of Gainesville

Kanapaha Presbyterian Church

Unitarian Universalist

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

St. Joseph's Episcopal

St. Patrick's Catholic Church

Queen of Peace Catholic Church Knights of Columbus

Bahai Faith


UF Bateman Team Recruits Volunteers For Habitat Family Support Programs

Helen Warren with a family partner


Alachua Habitat for Humanity is collaborating with the 'Imagine...a place called Home!' campaign to launch a new Support Persons program for Habitat families. 


Five University of Florida students, all public relations seniors, created the 'Imagine...a place called Home!' campaign as part of the UF College of Journalism 2015 PRSSA Bateman Case Study Competition. The campaign is supports Home Matters, a national coalition of housing groups that focuses on the importance of access to a stable, affordable home for every American.


"We wanted to create a new opportunity for members of the Gainesville community to get involved with the issue of housing," team member Valeria Yulee said. "We were thrilled with the response from the community and are excited to see this program grow."


The Support Persons will be responsible for guiding families receiving homes starting with the Third Step Agreement when property and funding are secured and Habitat begins building the house. The Support Person is the contact for the homeowner during the time of construction and for one year after the closing.


Seven prospective Support Persons attended an orientation on Wednesday, Feb. 11. On Tuesday, Feb. 17, they were matched with Habitat families. 


The student designed a "speed dating" format to match the Family Support volunteers with the individual families. The Habitat families were requested to bring their children to also participate in the vetting process.


Because of the rules of the Bateman competition, the 'Imagine...a place called Home!' campaign must end on Feb. 28. However, the team members have worked with Habitat to ensure the Support Persons program will continue long after the campaign has ended.  


"We want this campaign to leave a lasting impact on the community," Yulee said. "Helping to create the Support Persons program is a perfect way to do just that."


For more information about the 'Imagine...a place called Home!' campaign and the Home Matters movement, visit  For more information regarding how you can become a Support Person contact Kristine Thompson at Alachua Habitat for Humanity at (352) 363-6495.


Founded in 1986, Alachua Habitat for Humanity is the local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing ministry.  We seek to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness from the world and to make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action. To accomplish these goals, we invite people of all backgrounds, races and religions to build houses together in partnership with families in need.