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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.

In this issue, we have stories on the 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance, Signature Event "There's No Place Like Home," Phil and Barbara Emmer, Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative, A Brush with Kindness program, Family Partner Mortgage Payoff, Board Member Profile and ReStore Renovations.

Kayla Ellsworth, Michelle Jackson, Mahiza Moore & Candice Wynter

Editors of The Habitat View

September 11th Day of Service 
and Remembrance 

L-R: UFPD Deputy Chief Darren Baxley, State House of Representative Keith Perry, Gainesville Fire Chief

Gene Prince, Captain Bill Pokorny Retired,

 Habitat Executive Director Scott Winzeler

 and Associate Pastor Vince Amlin.

Gator Guard Drill Team

presentation of the colors.

In This Issue
9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance
There's No Place Like Home
Phil and Barbara Emmer
Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative
Joyce Law: ABWK
Family Partner Celebrates Mortgage Payoff
Building Bocks: Tim Flanagan
There's no place 
like home...

Join us!
 Dinner, Silent Auction 
and Entertainment 

Friday, Nov. 14 
6 - 11 p.m.
All monies raised continue to support the Habitat mission of bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope.

Tickets and Sponsorships Available


Lewis Profit tackles his 3-acres of field grass at his Habitat home, BEFORE GoFundMe fundraiser... 

Lewis Profit, with a smile on his face, tackles his 3-acres of field grass, AFTER GoFundMe fundraiser!
Thank you to Home Depot, and all the donors that participated in the GoFundMe fundraiser.
Donate Now!
Click to donate
Text to donate:
Text "HOME" to 72881

Women Build volunteers, including Phi Sigma Rho Engineering Sorority, partnered with Alachua Habitat for the "A Brush with Kindness" neighborhood revitalization project on Saturday, August 23. 
If interested in volunteering with Alachua Women Build, please contact

Habitat for Humanity's A Brush with Kindness (ABWK) has a goal to serve low-income homeowners who struggle to maintain the exterior of their homes.  The work is done by volunteers who use donated materials whenever possible. 
ABWK is aimed at providing services such as painting, landscaping, weatherization and minor repair service.
Applications are currently being taken for residents in the Greater Duval community to have their homes painted. 
For more information, please contact Kristine Johnson
Phone: 352-378-4663

Be sure to check out our website by clicking the link below:

Alachua Habitat for Humanity
Building Lots Needed

As our affiliate expands the number of families served, we have an increasing need for lots on which to build homes. Traditionally, lots used by Habitat for Humanity have come in the form of donations. Over the past several years, Alachua Habitat has received real estate donations from both private and corporate donors such as:

- Kirk Reeb Associates
- Chase Bank
- Bank of America
- City of Gainesville
- City of High Springs
- The Estate of Beverly Thomas
- City of Alachua
- The Robinson Family

Do you know of any individuals, corporations or other organizations with lots they would like to donate?
If yes, contact our Executive Director, Scott Winzeler.


The Habitat View


Kayla Ellsworth

Newsletter Layout

Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative

Signature Event "There's No Place Like Home"


Michelle Jackson

Tim Flannagan, Board Member Profile

Joyce Law, A Brush With Kindness


Mahiza Moore

ReStore Renovations

Candice Wynter

9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance

Family Partner Celebrates Mortgage Payoff

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

Alachua Habitat Partners With Campus Chapter for 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance

Alachua Habitat for Humanity worked collaboratively with the University of Florida Habitat Student Chapter to host the September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance at the J. Wayne Reitz Union Breezeway. 


Special guests, Representative Keith Perry, Captain Bill Pokorny (Retired), Gainesville Fire Rescue Chief Gene Prince, and University of Florida Police Department Deputy Chief Darren Baxley, spoke at the event to pay tribute to the men and women of 9/11.


Alachua Habitat hosted two days of service through its Brush with Kindness Program on the Friday and Saturday following the remembrance event, joining hundreds of thousands of Americans across the country in volunteer service. Greater Duval-area residents Arthur and Avis Clark and Julia Minor had the exterior of their homes cleaned and painted by groups of volunteers. 


"September 11th is a day of history, emotion, and reflection," said Scott Winzeler, the executive director of Alachua Habitat. "For many Americans it is also a day of service that provides an opportunity to join neighbors and local leaders to rekindle the compassion and unity shown on that day."


September 11th was designated a national day of service by the 2009 Kennedy Serve America Act. The Corporation for National and Community Service leads the annual event, working with MyGoodDeed and hundreds of nonprofit groups, faith-based organizations, and schools and businesses nationwide.  

Signature Event
"There's No Place Like Home"
This year's signature event "There's no place like home," is November 14th at Rembert Farms in Alachua.
Please join us for this special evening as we celebrate the many years Phil and Barbara Emmer, of Emmer Development Corporation, have contributed to affordable housing in southeast Gainesville.
Individual tickets are still for sale at $75 a piece. You can also sign up to be a sponsor.
For more information on the various sponsorship levels and other event details, please visit
Phil and Barbara Emmer
"Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country."

-President John F. Kennedy


These words inspired Phil and Barbara Emmer...


Many people don't know of the significant contribution Phil and Barbara made to affordable housing in the early 60's. They moved from Miami to Gainesville in 1961 inspired by John F. Kennedy's call to action, "Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country."


What the Emmer's saw in Gainesville was a segment of the population that lacked safe, decent, and affordable housing simply because of their race and ethnicity. They decided to do something about it.


The first barrier this group faced was obtaining a credit report. At that time, there was one person in charge of authorizing the issuing of these reports who would routinely deny this part of the population. Phil went to work addressing federal officials from the predecessors of today's Department of Housing and Urban Affairs saying that unless they did something about the situation, he would contact his senators and representatives. Eventually, this barrier was broken and credit reports were issued.


The next obstacle was educating homeowners on how to build up their creditworthiness to qualify for homeownership loans. He counseled many families on how to build credit, working with them in detail on what they could do to raise their scores. To facilitate their saving for down payments, he placed envelopes around his office with each family's name written on it. Each week, families would stop by his office and drop off $5.00 which Phil would then record and place in their corresponding envelope. In this way, the families were able to save toward their down payment and eventually reach the goal necessary for obtaining a loan.  


The Emmer's built over 600 homes in Lincoln Estates in southeast Gainesville and although he went on to create much more affluent developments in his long career; he will tell you that Lincoln Estates is what he is most proud.


Homes provide stability for families, allowing them to live healthier more productive lives, obtain higher educational accomplishments and become more involved in their communities.


Thanks to the Emmer's efforts, generations of leaders, educators, lawyers, judges, health professionals, and other hard-working citizens were able to emerge from within the community who would not have otherwise had the opportunity.

Event Sponsor Profile


Florida Credit Union is celebrating 60 years serving members in North Central Florida. From humble beginnings as a credit union founded by educators, to now serving 26 counties and more than 61,500 members, FCU has never forgotten that members are the reason for their success.


FCU is happy to continue our partnership with Alachua Habitat for Humanity. Just as FCU's initiative is to help build financial stability within our membership, Alachua Habitat for Humanity's initiative is to provide stability and a comfortable place to live for the residents of Alachua County.      

Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative

As part of the Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative, Habitat has partnered with CRA to complete 10 "A Brush with Kindness" projects in the Greater Duval neighborhood.


So far we have completed 4 out of the 10.


If interested in volunteering for an ABWK project, sponsoring a house, or to find out how to apply for ABWK on your home, please contact Jill Carter at

Joyce Law, A Brush with Kindness

Joyce Law has a new reason to look forward to coming home.


In August, she was chosen to be a participant in Habitat for Humanity's A Brush with Kindness program, which gave her house of more than 40 years an instant makeover.


"I was pleased with the work ethic and attitude of everyone involved," Law said. "The experience from beginning to end has been really rewarding. It's inspired me to volunteer to do what I can to help."


Alachua Habitat is partnering through the Greater Duval Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative with the Gainesville Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) to paint and revitalize 10 homes in the coming year. The Law home was the first home completed through the initiative.


The trained professionals and volunteers from Alachua Habitat inspected her home for minor repairs, power-washed it and painted it a fresh color of her choosing.


"Every time I turn the street corner to go into my house it stands out. It makes the neighborhood look nicer," Law said.


Law lives with her husband and two grandchildren in the same house she's lived in since 1974. The house, located in the Duval area, was chosen for the Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative partnership.


Since her experience with A Brush with Kindness, Law has become an advocate for the program, referring friends and encouraging people to find out the opportunities available for the neighborhood.


"The focus is getting the people aware of this initiative so we can all help to revitalize the neighborhood," she said. "It's not just about home improvement, but also about every aspect of the community - crime watch, neighborhood clean-up, libraries and parks."

Family Partner Celebrates Mortgage Payoff
Victoria Morrison
Family Partner, Victoria Morrison

For some people, paying the monthly mortgage bill is an unpleasant task, but for the Morrison's it always gave them a sense of pride.


Victoria Morrison, a first-time homeowner, is celebrating the mortgage payoff for the home her family closed through Alachua Habitat for Humanity in 1994.


Victoria moved into the home on 623 NW 6th Ave. with her husband, father-in-law and four children. Her husband, Jeffery, was a strong advocate for Alachua Habitat and the homeownership programs it provides.


"He always told people how great Habitat was and how it taught people to take care of and put pride in their home," she said.


Jeffery made it the family goal to pay off the home mortgage before Victoria turned 50. By doubling their monthly mortgage payments, the Morrison's paid off their home three years before deadline.  


Over the 20 years that it took to pay off the home, the Morrison's encountered their share of adversity. When her husband was diagnosed with cancer in 2008, Victoria said she was grateful that her family was living in a home supported by an organization as helpful and caring as Alachua Habitat.


To her relief, the low cost mortgage payment rates, with zero percent interest, fit the family's financial needs at the time.


"I was able to focus on the things that really mattered instead of worrying about the mortgage payments or losing the house," Victoria said.


When her husband passed in July 2011, it motivated her to secure the home for her children, and ensure that they knew the importance of pride in home ownership.


Victoria said she appreciates how Alachua Habitat's mortgage payments are recycled to build more houses. Now that one of Morrison's children is hoping to become a family partner herself, Victoria finds even more purpose in the payments the family made over the years.


The Morrison's plan to celebrate the mortgage payoff the same way they celebrated the home dedication, with a day of prayer and reflection among friends and family.  


"Even though my husband is not here, I know he's looking down on me and saying, 'baby you did it'."  


Building Blocks
Board Member Profile: Tim Flanagan
L-R: UVA Basketball Coach Tony Bennett and Habitat Board Member Tim Flanagan

Every construction project needs a mastermind to manage all the organization behind the scenes. One of the minds behind Habitat for Humanity is Tim Flanagan.

A graduate of the University of Florida School of Building and Construction, he has worked in construction for more than 25 years. He works in the administration and management of construction and specializes in green affordable housing. He currently owns The Flanagan Companies, Inc., a building contracting company located in Gainesville and has built more than 300 houses in the East Gainesville area.


His dedication and integrity extends beyond his work into his personal life. Flanagan and his wife have been married for 24 years and have two daughters ages 16 and 19. His eldest daughter recently graduated from the University of Virginia after attending with a swim scholarship. Flanagan was the "swim taxi" for her, waking up at 4:30 a.m. to drive her to practice. Now, he has taken over the role of soccer dad, traveling across the country from South Carolina to Las Vegas, Nevada with his youngest daughter's soccer team.


Flanagan is also an avid golfer, who would spend most of his free time at the golf course if he could. However, even with his commitment to his family and business, he finds time to help with projects at Habitat. He recently did construction work in the Habitat Humanity Restore reframing a wall and hanging a door. He has worked on build sites and helped to organize donations for builds.


"His construction standards are of the highest," said Carol Barron, Director of Construction. "He is a joy to work with."


Flanagan said his experience has taught him how much work is involved to consistently move forward as Habitat does.


"My wife and I feel like we've been blessed by having a successful business, so we always want to give back to the community," he said.

ReStore Renovations


The Alachua Habitat for Humanity ReStore has recently been renovated and store hours have been adjusted.


The ReStore is the thrift store attached to the Alachua Habitat for Humanity office on Southwest 13th Street. Items sold at the Restore are priced at pennies on the dollar, and all proceeds go directly into building a home for a Habitat partner family.


Now open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, the ReStore was given a face lift after the old walls were torn out and new walls were put in.


Alachua Habitat would like to recognize Tim Flanagan and Stan Kurtz for building the new receiving room wall and removing the wall in the showroom. Habitat would also like to thank Archer Electric Service Company for the electrical work and donation and Acousti Engineering Company of Floridafor repairing the acoustic ceiling in the showroom as well as the donation. We are also grateful for the substantial donation from Central Florida Office Plus.


If you have any gently used or unused items from your home to donate, including furniture, household items, building supplies and appliances in good condition, please donate them to the ReStore.


Currently, Habitat has stationed more than 50 clothing donation drop boxes around the city. The drop boxes house any unwanted clothes or shoes. The collected articles of clothing are first graded by Suncoast Recycling to determine what can be done with them.


If the item is not sellable but still acceptable, it is packaged and shipped out to disaster zones around the world where clothes are needed to aid rescue efforts. Clothes are also sent to small business owners in third-world countries to clothe people at a very low cost.


No donation is wasted. Even when clothes are in insufficient condition to send abroad, they are recycled and transformed into insulation, asphalt or other building materials.


The clothing drop boxes are located all around Gainesville. Several are found at Kangaroo Express convenience stores around the city.


With your donations to the ReStore and the clothing drop boxes, you will help build a home, save the environment or clothe someone in need.


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.