State Farm Grant Helps Spark New Beginning in Naples

Naples, FL (January 25, 2024) —Grace and her seven-year-old daughter have been living with her parents for the past several years as she completed her master’s degree and entered the workforce. Even with a steady job as a school therapist, the cost of housing in Collier County is just too high for her to be able to afford a place of her own— unfortunately, an all-too-common story for so many young professionals in Collier County. She came to Habitat looking for a way to provide her daughter with the kind of life she’s always wanted for her. She came hoping for an opportunity to purchase her own affordable home.

“My primary role is in working with children. All I want in life is to be able to give my own child a beautiful life and a home to call our own,” she stated in her application to Habitat. “I want to keep her safe and prove to myself that being a single mom doesn’t mean your child has less than other children. A home from Habitat for Humanity would change my life and give me and my child everything we need to continue to thrive.”

Thanks in part to a grant from State Farm, Grace will soon be able to call herself a homeowner. She was just approved to partner with Habitat Collier this month and will begin working on what Habitat calls “sweat equity”— a program requirement of 500 hours of volunteer time on the construction site and in homeownership education classes that all partner families must complete prior to purchasing their home. Her daughter was excited to learn that her good grades will also help earn sweat equity hours, too.

State Farm’s $10,000 grant will help fund the construction of Grace’s home, the fifth Habitat home in Collier County that the insurance company has helped make possible.

“It takes so many of us in the community working together to fund and build these homes,” says Habitat Collier CEO, Rev. Lisa Lefkow. “That’s why partners like State Farm who understand the importance of affordable housing are such an important piece of the puzzle.”

With the rising cost of housing, many in Collier County are struggling to secure safe, adequate, and affordable shelter. Habitat is one of few organizations offering a pathway to affordable housing in the community, working to respond to the need for more than 45 years.

Once Grace has completed about half of her sweat equity hours requirement, she’ll work with Habitat staff to select her home from those available and will likely close on her home in the next 6-12 months.