A world where everyone has a decent place to live is an incredible vision

Hannah Edwards, the Community Outreach Coordinator for Habitat for Humanity of Key West and Lower Florida Keys, joined Good Morning Keys on KeysTalk 96.9/102.5FM this morning to talk about what’s been going on with Habitat. 

The vision of Habitat for Humanity is a world where everyone has a decent place to live.

Edwards said, “You have to have a goal, right? That’s something that I’ve always felt passionate about when I was a kid. Have you ever seen that book? I had it when I was a little kid. It’s a little kid book. And it’s called, ‘Everybody has a House and Everybody Eats.’ It’s about animals, ? So it’s like, oh, the pig lives here. And the pig eats this. I had read that book. Then when I found out that there were people that didn’t have houses, I was just floored. I couldn’t believe it. So, it really is a passion for me to try to achieve that goal.”

The annual Gala is coming up.

Edwards said, “We have our annual Gala coming up on April 5. We try to avoid Easter and avoid all the other big events. Although we didn’t realize this year when we planned it that it is actually during a music festival called the Legends of Music Row, which is a new-ish festival for us here in the Keys. It’s country music, and it’s run by Sheryl Steinmeyer. So we’ve been talking to Sheryl about how we can kind of partner up so that’s actually kind of exciting. So yes, it will be at the Truman Little White House. It’s going to be tropical theme. We’ve been sticking with the tropical theme for the past couple of years and everybody loves that. We’ve got some guys that have these tropical pattern suits that they wear which are very cool. It should be a really fun event. We have delicious dinner, we will have games, we have auctions, we’re going to do a little bit of a live auction this time, we haven’t really gotten that together in the past, I’m going to make a little video. So that should be cool, hopefully. But it is a really fun event. And it’s a really great way to have a good time while giving back.”

There are advanced ticket sales.

Edwards said, “We’ll start anytime. They are $150 a person or you can do a sponsorship and then you’ll get a table and lots of advertising with us, get your name out there. It’s a really great way to promote your business and support Habitat. We are also accepting now silent auction donations, mostly focused on experiences. So if anybody has a skill, and they would like to share that skill for a good cause, also, please let me know.”

The home repairs program really helps Habitat’s mission.

Edwards said, “We have had a program in the city of Key West, for a few years now in partnership with the city, where we will do critical home repairs for homeowners that are low income. So often, that means we’re talking about an elderly homeowner, who is now on a fixed income and when a large home repair comes up, they don’t have the money for that. But we want them to be able to stay comfortably in their home and age in place. That’s the goal. We want everybody to be able to stay comfortably in their home if they have one. So we’ve been making a lot of repairs in the city and that’s been wonderful. But we didn’t have a source of funding for the county. So we still wanted to be able to expand our program to Stock Island through Big Pine. So we are very excited, we just got a grant award from the Community Foundation of the Florida Keys and an anonymous donor has matched that. So we now have a pot of money for some home repairs in the county. So we’re very excited about that. If you know of anybody that is in this situation where they are low income, they own their home, but they really need some help with it, please feel free to give us a call. It’s 305-294-9006. You can also email me. We’re very excited. We have had some people in the county that have been waiting for years for us to be able to help them so now we will be able to.”

Habitat for Humanity also has a warehouse.

Edwards said, “We have this warehouse but it’s pretty small and we had a wonderful VISTA volunteer running it. When her term was up, she went back to school. So we finally were able to hire a full time employee that is focusing on the warehouse. Her name is Tamika, she’s super fun. She’ll be open from nine to noon on Tuesdays and she’s doing a Facebook Live at nine every Tuesday. On that Facebook Live, she gives some little secret deals and tips. It’s good to tune in to know what’s really going on there. She is going to be doing sales certain Saturdays as well. So she has one coming up on February 3, at the warehouse at 111 Overseas Highway. It’s in the back of the SOS warehouse. That will be Saturday, February 3 from 8am to 11am. She was telling me she has lots of great furniture. She has some really unique pieces and she’s looking to clean it all out so she can accept more because she hasn’t been able to accept any more because the warehouse is full. If anybody wants to get in touch with Tamika, I can give you her phone number. If you have something to donate, or if you’re looking for something in particular, you can shop by appointment with her. Her number is 305-849-1946 and she’s happy to talk to anybody that’s interested in donating or shopping. We’re still looking for a new space to become a real restore. We made a business plan with Habitat for Humanity International and we’re really hoping that that will pan out soon as well. But for now we’re still doing the warehouse thing.”

Volunteers are always needed.

Edwards said, “Anyone that is interested in volunteering can also get in touch with us. We have lots of different fun opportunities for that, working on the gala party planning committee is really fun. We do a lot of crafts and stuff. So anybody who’s interested, just give us a shout.”

For more information, click here:  https://www.habitatlowerkeys.org/