Building a place of refuge with Habitat for Humanity
Raymond James partners with Habitat for Humanity to empower individuals and families throughout their homeownership journeys.
Elizabeth Brown, a health insurance worker and single mother to 4-year-old Ma’khadiance, applied for the Habitat program to provide her daughter a “better and more spacious environment.”
“My house will be my refuge and where I go when my heart is overwhelmed,” Brown said.
After several months and hundreds of hours of construction completed by Habitat staff, Raymond James volunteers and Brown herself, the mother-daughter duo received the keys to their brand new home in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Habitat for Humanity and Raymond James
For more than 20 years, Raymond James has partnered with Habitat for Humanity chapters across the country to help make homeownership dreams come true. As part of this commitment, the firm has sponsored 13 full home builds for Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas & West Pasco Counties.
Habitat empowers individuals and families to build and buy their own homes with the help of people in the community. Homes are sold at cost and financed with zero-interest loans to families who may not qualify for a traditional mortgage. The program prepares homeowner partners with educational courses on topics like budgeting and home maintenance.
“With my forever home, I can now provide more stability and structure for my daughter,” Brown said.
The Brown family home build
More than 90 Raymond James volunteers collectively spent over 500 hours building the Brown family’s home. Volunteers helped build the home from the ground up, installing shelving, cabinets, doors, windows and insulation, as well as painting, sodding, landscaping and more.
Raymond James is proud to have donated over 7,000 volunteer hours over the course of our Habitat partnership, helping more than 40 families become homeowners. Additionally, Raymond James Bank has supported Habitat over the last decade through volunteerism and loan purchasing. In 2022 alone, the bank purchased 22 Habitat loans, totaling $5.2 million, and provided them at 0% interest rates, saving families over $7.5 million over the life of the loans.
“Volunteering is far and away the most rewarding part of my involvement,” Raymond James Bank Chief Financial Officer and Habitat Board Member Ken Ginel said. “I love being able to put in sweat equity right alongside the homeowners.”
The dedication ceremony
On April 13, 2023, after completing homebuyer education courses and hundreds of hours on her home and surrounding homes in the neighborhood, Elizabeth Brown gathered with her friends, family, Raymond James associates, Habitat staff and Pinellas County community members to celebrate a new beginning for herself and her daughter. Raymond James Head of PCG Supervision and Habitat Board Member Chris Majeski presented the keys to the home.
“Every time you use these keys, it’s so important to know that you’re not alone,” Majeski said. “You will always have people rooting for you. You will always have people in your corner.”
As of 2023, Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties has built more than 800 homes for deserving families like Elizabeth and Ma’khadiance. Learn more at habitatpwp.org.