Habitat Orlando & Osceola: Home means serenity to this new homeowner

21 February 2021

Habitat Orlando Osceola Justin e 430wCongratulations to Justin and his family for closing and moving into their new home in February 2021, with the help of Habitat for Humanity Greater Orlando & Osceola County. This story takes a look back at the time when Justin had just been accepted to Habitat’s program. Florida Community Loan Fund provided financing to Habitat Orlando & Osceola to build affordable housing in the Juniper Bend community. FCLF provides flexible financing and expertise to help nonprofits succeed in their missions and provide opportunities for people and places outside the economic mainstream.


“Home” means serenity to future homeowner Justin. Home is a respite from work and stress. It’s where he should comfortably enjoy being with friends or family – including his three children.
It’s difficult for Justin and his family to feel these benefits in their current two-bedroom rental home. A lack of space makes the house “utilitarian,” the single dad described. The dining room is a makeshift bedroom for his youngest children.

“It doesn’t look like a home,” Justin said.

With the end of his lease nearing, Justin looked for alternative rentals but couldn’t find a larger home within his budget.

A friend suggested that he look into Habitat for Humanity Greater Orlando & Osceola County’s homeownership program. After learning more about Habitat’s requirements, Justin decided to apply despite not being confident in his chances. When he was accepted into the program in March 2020, he could hardly believe it. His home in Habitat Orlando & Osceola’s Juniper Bend community is slated to be complete in early 2021.

“This might have been the shot in the arm that I needed to feel like my life was turning around,” Justin said. “I’ve been down on myself since my divorce. I’ve been putting a brave face for my three kids, but I feel like nothing has been going right. It seemed like karma was turning around and allowing me to have a brief glimpse of happiness.”

He looks forward to giving his children room to grow – and more of an opportunity for privacy than at their current house.

“They are my entire world,” Justin said. Each of his children has a unique personality. There’s 13-year-old Mackenzie, who Justin calls his best friend. She’s recreating the floorplan of their future Habitat home in the Sims 4 video game. Justin describes his 10-year-old Jacob as brilliant, compassionate and genuine with a laugh that’s “one of the greatest sounds in the world.” His youngest daughter, 7-year-old fashionista Charlotte, has never had her own bedroom. During her weekends with him, Charlotte tells Justin how excited she is for her new home.

Justin never thought he'd ever be a homeowner, but the idea has grown on him.

“I can see the value in it now not only as an investment but as a safe haven that’s legitimately mine,” Justin said.

He hopes homeownership will give him the financial flexibility to get out of debt. From there, he is considering leaving his current career to start a small business – ideally his own comic book and board game store.

“This gives me the opportunity to start,” Justin said.


Interested in learning about or supporting Habitat Orlando & Osceola’s homeownership program? Please visit www.habitatorlandoosceola.org.

Habitat Orlando Osceola Logo

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Support from Valley Bank helps FCLF build strong communities.
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FCLF staff are active at statewide conferences and events.
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FCLF and the NMTC Program renovated a historic building into a small business incubaor.
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FCLF Board Members represent our investors, borrowers, and technical experts.
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DuPuis Pointe offers affordable, hurricane proof homes in Miami.
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FCLF projects create jobs and stimulate development in low-income communities.
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Residents at Neighborhood Renaissance's Mathis Place enjoy affordable rent.
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Support from Axiom Bank helps FCLF build strong communities.
Nutritious snacks are a part of the healthy focused curriculum at Emma Jewel Charter Academy.
Nutritious snacks are a part of the healthy focused curriculum at Emma Jewel Charter Academy.
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FCLF representatives are ready to talk about your project success.
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Rep. Daniel Webster visited FCLF staff.
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FCLF staff with local supporters at Metropolitan Ministries Tampa.
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Emma Jewel Charter Academy offers education for the whole child in Brevard County.
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FCLF Financing to Neighbor Up Brevard helps provide affordable rental housing.
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FCLF staff and supporters volunteer at Million Meals event.
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Rep. Ander Crenshaw visited KIPP Jacksonville School
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FCLF Staff meet and greet friends at an FLACDC event.
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FCLF Staff are on hand at conferences and events to discuss our programs.
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The duPont Fund used FCLF and NMTC Financing to revitalize downtown Jacksonville.
FCLF projects create jobs and stimulate development in low-income communities.
FCLF projects create jobs and stimulate development in low-income communities.
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TD Charitable Foundation and TD Bank have supported FCLF's mission since 2006.
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Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, financed the land for farmworker rental housing with FCLF.
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FCLF staff and US Legislative staff at an event honoring Youth of the Year.
New rental homes are available for farmworker families at Casa San Juan Bosco.
New rental homes are available for farmworker families at Casa San Juan Bosco.
FCLF and NMTC are creating a new facility for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County
FCLF and NMTC are creating a new facility for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County
FCLF financing to Housing Programs, Inc. helps provide affordable homes for ownership.
FCLF financing to Housing Programs, Inc. helps provide affordable homes for ownership.
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FCLF CEO and one of our supporters visit the ASPIRA Arts Deco school.
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Support from TD Bank Charitable Foundation helps FCLF build strong communities.
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FCLF supporter, the Northern Trust Company, hosted a housing roundtable in Sarasota.
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FCLF Chief Lending Officer visits with the Executive Director of Neighbor Up (formerly BNDC)
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The RCRI Conference allows FCLF staff to touch base with our religious supporters.
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Greater Heights offers new, safe, affordable rental homes in what was formerly a high crime area.
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Neighbor Up, formerly BNDC, offers affordable housing in Brevard County.
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ASPIRA of Florida offers education & mentoring with a focus on low-income and Latino students.
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Core Purpose FCLF exists to maximize opportunities for people and places outside of the economic mainstream.
Our Vision Opportunity and dignity exist for every person and community in Florida.
Our Mission Our expertise and capital make projects successful and help organizations improve lives and communities.