Youth Empowerment Program-Blueprints4Life

YEP 2014-2015

YEP Website Logo!

YEP Website Logo!


YEP Mentors

YEP Mentors


September 13, 2014-Rebranding with Dr. Traci Baxley

Questions: How do you present yourself?

What symbol represents all that you are?

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Getting to know the Members of YEP

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YEP Mentors 2014-2015

In 2007, Habitat Broward launched its youth enrichment program, the Youth Empowerment Program, as an expansion of the education and support services provided to homeowner families.

Program Goals:

  • Youth will learn life skills needed to successfully manage their daily lives and help break the cycle of impoverishment.
  • Youth will be encouraged to develop positive self-images by receiving mentoring and support from caring adults. 
  • Youth will build positive relationships with their peers (future neighbors) and adults.

By collaborating with a diverse array of community volunteers, sponsors, and organizations, the Youth Empowerment Program strives to provide enriching workshops for children and teenagers.

The program offers a variety of activities geared toward fostering youth to succeed academically and socially.  It also provides a meaningful way for children and teenagers to contribute to their families’ journey of homeownership.

2013-14 YEP/Blueprints4Life Collaborative Partners

 &  Saint Anthony Catholic School

YEP Field Day 2014YEP-Nov-2013-bYEP-Nov-2013-aYEP-Nov-2013


Habitat Broward collaborates with a number of businesses and organizations to facilitate monthly workshops for our partner families on topics such as credit & budgeting, insurance, preventative health care, wills and estate planning, effective parenting, home maintenance, and much more. Through these workshops, families gain access to the skills and resources they need to become responsible homeowners and achieve long-term stability and success.

2010-11 HomeWORKS Sponsors & Collaborative Partners

  • Community Foundation of Broward
  • William R. Watts Foundation
  • Wells Fargo Home Mortgage
  • First Presbyterian Church of Ft. Lauderdale
  • Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc.
  • Consolidated Credit Counseling
  • Women in Distress of Broward County, Inc.

Family Support Program

Habitat Broward recognizes that an affordable mortgage is only one part of becoming a successful homeowner.  The Family Support Program empowers families through education, resources, and ongoing support in order to create independence and health in individuals and families and improve the overall community.

Program Goals:

  • Empower families by requiring an investment in the process of securing affordable housing
  • Increase knowledge and life skills needed to acquire and maintain homeownership
  • Create a sense of pride in ownership and increase residential stability
  • Promote the development of positive support networks among Habitat families.

In addition to fulfilling their sweat equity requirements on the construction site, future homeowners participate in HomeWORKS, Habitat Broward’s adult homebuyer education program. At the same time, Habitat youth ages 6 to 17 participate in Blueprints4Life, our youth enrichment program, offering them a meaningful way to contribute to their families’ journey to homeownership.

Each homeowner family is also assigned to a volunteer Nurture Partner who provides individualized support and encouragement as well as serves as a resource, mentor, and mediator throughout the program.

For as long as families remain in their home, Habitat Broward continues to assess their needs and link them to resources (e.g., no-interest loans, credit counseling, insurance, medical) necessary to succeed in homeownership and in the community.

Sweat Equity Program

Sweat equity is the single most important strategy Habitat uses to empower future homeowner families and one of the features that sets us apart from other affordable housing providers.

IMG_0323Habitat uses the term “sweat equity” to refer to the hours of labor our homeowners dedicate to building their homes and the homes of their neighbors, as well as the time they spend investing in their own self-improvement. Habitat Broward homeowners begin their sweat equity after being accepted into the program, and they must complete a minimum of 300 hours before they can move into their homes.

Sweat equity reduces the amount of paid labor needed for a house, which in turn helps reduce cost. Additionally, time spent building their own homes instills a sense of pride and ownership, teaching the basic building and house-maintenance skills that are necessary for homeownership.

Most importantly, by going beyond a mere financial investment in their property and performing sweat equity alongside other volunteers and neighbors, Habitat homeowners gain a greater sense of self-worth and become more personally invested in their community.

Future Homeowner FAQ

Who Are Habitat Homeownership Applicants? Habitat for Humanity builds affordable homes for low-income families who need decent affordable housing.


Types of Homes Available: HFHB builds single-family homes. We also rehabilitate existing homes. All homes come with our standard Homeowner’s Warranty and are built to be energy-efficient. Depending on the size of your family when you apply, we build homes with three to four bedrooms and two bathrooms.


Where Is HFHB Building? HFHB builds throughout Broward County, in places we can find affordable land. Currently, we are building primarily in the City of Miramar and the City of Pompano Beach. After being selected into the program, once you have completed 100 hours (single applicant) or 150 hours (co-applicants) of sweat equity, we will meet with you to review your site assignment.


How Long Does the Program Take to Complete? Although it may vary, the average length of time it takes homeowner candidates to complete the program is 18 months. You must attend 12 homeownership classes, complete a total of 300 sweat equity hours and save for closing costs ($2,000). To keep you on track, you are required to put in a minimum of three Saturdays each month and attend monthly workshops as scheduled.


What Makes a Habitat Broward Home Affordable? Because of volunteer labor and donations from organizations and individuals, Habitat homes are sold to homeowners at no profit. Also, they are financed with a 0%-interest mortgage that is fixed typically for a 30- year term.


How Much Will My Mortgage Payments Be? Depending on the appraised value of the home,  the average 3-bedroom home could have a monthly mortgage payment as low as $1100 (which includes taxes, insurance, and HOA fees, if applicable).


What is Sweat Equity and How Much Do I Need to Invest? Sweat equity is an exciting cornerstone to the Habitat program designed to meet three important goals: partnership, pride in homeownership and development of skills and knowledge. Sweat equity hours can be earned by volunteering on our construction sites or at the Habitat ReStore. You will be required to complete some of the hours yourself. Family, friends and co-workers can help you earn the remaining sweat equity hours. All volunteers must be at least 16 years of age to work on site.

Application Process

Pre-Applications are Closed

The application process is currently closed. Check back later or, to stay updated about our next enrollment period, please subscribe to our email newsletter.

Phase 1: Pre-Qualification Questionnaire

Complete and submit online questionnaire.

Phase 2: Mandatory Orientation (Adults Only – No Children Please!)

Orientations will be held via Zoom and dates will be provided by email to those eligible for this next phase.

Phase 3: Financial Analysis Review and Home Visit

Each completed  questionnaire and documentation will be thoroughly evaluated; all documents submitted will be reviewed and verified, including your employment, housing, and family information.

NOTE: Home applicants must submit the following documentation for each individual over 18:

  • Complete tax returns for last two years
  • W-2 forms from all jobs for all applicants for the previous two years
  • Proof of additional income or public assistance (current benefits letter), including SSA, SSI, food stamps, workers compensation, pension, etc.
  • Verification of Child Support, including court letter, child support agreement, proof of receipt of funds actually being received, etc.

If information provided meets all of the criteria and guidelines, a Habitat representative will contact you to schedule a home visit to assess housing need, an important part of program criteria.

Due to the rigorous evaluation process you may not receive an update of your status for several weeks. During this time, please do not call to check on your status. The process is managed by an independent Family Selection Committee, and the office staff will have no information. You will receive a response via email,within 30 days. You may submit all questions via email to

Phase 4: Application and Face-to-Face Interview

Interviews are conducted by appointment only.  A Habitat for Humanity representative will meet with you to conduct a financial analysis of your debt-to-income ratio and determine your ability to repay the required monthly mortgage.

Final acceptance into the program will be determined once all applicants have completed Phase 4. The Family Selection Committee will notify each applicant of the outcome of this process.

Habitat for Humanity is an equal opportunity program. We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the nation. We encourage and support an affirmative advertising and marketing program in which there are no barriers to obtaining housing because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin. Individuals from all races, sexes, and creeds are encouraged to apply.

For additional information, please read our Future Homeowner FAQ.

The History of Habitat for Humanity

Since its founding in 1976 by Millard and Linda Fuller, Habitat for Humanity International has built and rehabilitated more than 350,000 homes with families in need, becoming a true world leader in addressing the issues of poverty housing.

Habitat affiliates around the world follow the same basic model – volunteers work with future homeowners to build or renovate houses, which are then sold to partner families at no profit, with no interest charged on the mortgage. The money from the sale of each house goes into a revolving fund to support future building projects.

“Habitat has successfully removed the stigma of charity by substituting it with a sense of partnership. The people who will live in the homes work side by side with the volunteers, so they feel very much that they are on an equal level.” – Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter

History of Habitat International

The concept that grew into Habitat for Humanity International was born at Koinonia Farm, a small, interracial, Christian farming community founded in 1942 outside of Americus, Ga., by farmer and biblical scholar Clarence Jordan.

Linda and Millard Fuller, circa 1965

Millard and Linda Fuller first visited Koinonia in 1965, having recently left a successful business in Montgomery, Ala., and all the trappings of an affluent lifestyle to begin a new life of Christian service. At Koinonia, Jordan and Fuller developed the concept of “partnership housing”—where those in need of adequate shelter would work side by side with volunteers to build simple, decent houses.

The houses would be built with no profit added and no interest charged, and building would be financed by a revolving “Fund for Humanity”. The fund’s money would come from the new homeowners’ house payments, donations and no-interest loans provided by supporters and money earned by fund-raising activities. The monies in the Fund for Humanity would be used to build more houses.

In 1968, Koinonia laid out 42 half-acre house sites with four acres reserved as a community park and recreational area. Capital was donated from around the country to start the work. Homes were built and sold to families in need at no profit and no interest. The basic model of Habitat for Humanity had begun.

Millard Fuller studies house plans with a man in Zaire, circa 1974

In 1973, the Fullers decided to apply the Fund for Humanity concept in developing countries. The Fuller family moved to Mbandaka, Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo). The Fullers’ goal was to offer affordable yet adequate shelter to 2,000 people. After three years of hard work to launch a successful homebuilding program, the Fullers returned to the United States.

In September 1976, Millard and Linda called together a group of supporters to discuss the future of their dream, and Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI) as an organization was born at this meeting.

Phenomenal Growth

In 1984, Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn took their first Habitat work trip, the Jimmy Carter Work Project, to New York City. Their personal involvement in Habitat’s ministry brought the organization national visibility, and HFHI experienced a dramatic increase in the number of new affiliates around the U.S.

Habitat Today

Through the work of Habitat and its partner affiliates in nearly 90 countries, thousands of low-income families have found new hope in the form of affordable housing. Corporations, churches, community groups and others have joined together to successfully tackle a significant social problem—decent housing for all.

To date, Habitat has built more than 350,000 houses, sheltering more than 1.75 million people in more than 3,000 communities worldwide.


Staff & Board

Nancy Robin, CEO and Executive Director

Denyse Peterson, Executive Assistant

Homeowner and Neighborhood Empowerment Department 

Donald Smith, Director of Homeowner and Neighborhood Empowerment

Cynthia Martin, Homeowner Services Coordinator

Construction Department 

Alex Nesar, Director of Construction

Phil Roy, Project Manager

Steve Belec, Construction Assistant

Dave Chimel, Construction Assistant

James ‘Jim’ Coffey, Critical Home Repair Project Coordinator

Programs Department

Thor Barraclough, Chief Program Officer

Fund Development Department

Brian Jones, Director of Charitable Giving

Volunteer Engagement Department 

Gina Caballero, Director of Community Engagement

Community Outreach, Gov. Policy, and Advocacy Department

Justine Morgan, VP of Strategic Capital & Community Relations

McHenley Castillo, Strategic Project Manager

Finance & Operations Department

Melonie Bully-Chambers, Director of Finance & Operations

Zayn Frost, Finance Operations Associate

Cheryl Williams, Loan Processor


ReStore Associates

Casey Huber, ReStore General Manager

Pana Guerrier, ReStore Manager

Glenn Leins, ReStore Assistant General Manager

Andriana Clairizier, Donations Manager

Deandre McKinnie, Assistant Manager

TBD, Donations Ambassador

Melvin James, Donations Ambassador

Luchian Gayle, Donations Ambassador

April Hepburn, Restore Phone Associate

Vena Delzince, Cashier

Joann Brown, Cashier/Floor Associate

Ricardy Voltaire, Donations Ambassador Assistant

Stanley Voltaire, Floor Associate

Kenjerry Guerrier, Floor Associate

William Vereen, Floor Associate

AmeriCorps Members

Nicolas Letin, AmeriCorps Construction Crew Leader

Board of Directors

Executive Committee

Kelly Kolb – Chairman of the Board
Attorney at Law, Buchanan Ingersoll Rooney

Robert W. Barron – Secretary
Attorney at Law, Berger Singerman

Stephen R. Palmer – Treasurer, Chair-Finance Committee
Chief Operating Officer, Stiles Corporation

Lily Pardo – 1st Vice Chair
Director of Public Relations & Community Affairs, WSVN-Channel 7

John RomandettiChair-ReStore Committee
Independent Director, JR Consulting

Board Members

Brian Abel, Sr.
VP Hotel Operations, Celebrity Cruises

George Barbar
Sr. Managing Director, Mesirow Financial

Michael Bessette
VP Fleet Operations, Southeast Toyota Distributors

Gary Bitner
Bitner Group

Raquel Case
General Manager, Rick Case Automotive Group

Gail Daley
Vice President of Operations, Sunshine Health

Melanie Dickinson
President & Publisher, South Florida Business Journal

Kelly Koenig
Executive Director, City Furniture

Patrick McCall
Partner/President/Co-Chief Investment Officer, Financial Trust Asset Management

Julie Medley
Executive Director, ULI Southeast Florida/Caribbean

Burnadette Norris-Weeks, P.A.

Miguel Palacios
Executive Vice President, Amerant Bank

Susan Renneisen
VP of Community Affairs/Special Events, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino

Romney Rogers
Managing Partner, Rogers Morris Ziegler, LLC

Robert Taylor
President, Burdette Beckmann, Inc.

Gordon Weekes, Jr.
Broward County Public Defender, Broward County Courthouse

Honorary Board Members

Gale Butler
VP Corporate Affairs, AutoNation
Executive Director of the Friends of Birch State Park, Inc.

Kathy L. Craven
Vice President, Craven Consulting

Nancy A. Daly

Bill Feinberg
President, Allied Kitchen & Bath

Linda D. Jones
Senior Loan Officer, Supreme Lending

Lisa Kitei
Executive Director, Broward Center for the Performing Arts

Monica Maroone
Community Advocate

Dr. Eloise McCoy-Cain

Myths & Truths

Myth: Habitat for Humanity gives houses away to poor people
Fact: Habitat for Humanity offers a homeownership opportunity to families unable to obtain conventional house financing. In most cases, prospective Habitat homeowner families make a down payment and contribute 300 hours of “sweat equity” on the construction of their home or someone else’s home. Because Habitat houses are built using donations of land, material and labor, mortgage payments are kept affordable.

Myth: Habitat houses reduce property values in a neighborhood
Fact: Housing studies in the United States and Canada show affordable housing has no adverse effect on other neighborhood property values. In fact, Habitat houses have increased property values and local government tax income.

Myth: Habitat builds houses only for minorities
Fact: Habitat builds houses in partnership with families in need – regardless of race, religion or any other difference – who meet three criteria: need, willingness to partner; and the ability to repay the no-interest, no-profit mortgage.

Myth: You have to be Christian to become a Habitat homeowner
Fact: Habitat for Humanity is a Christian organization. However, homeowners are chosen without regard to race, religion or ethnic group. Habitat also welcomes volunteers from all faiths, or no faith, who actively embrace Habitat’s goal of eliminating poverty housing.

Myth: Habitat houses allow people to move from poverty to fancy new houses
Fact: Any newly-build house is going to be a dramatic change for a family that has been renting and has never owned before, but Habitat houses are not extravagant by any standard.  Habitat’s philosophy is to build simple, decent, affordable homes.

Myth: Habitat for Humanity was founded by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter
Fact: Habitat was started in 1976 in Americus, Ga., by Millard Fuller along with his wife Linda. President Carter and his wife Rosalynn (whose home is eight miles from Americus, in Plains, Ga.), have been longtime Habitat supporters and volunteers who help bring national attention to the organization’s house-building work. Each year, they lead the Jimmy Carter Work Project to help build houses and raise awareness of the need for affordable housing.

Why Habitat is Needed

Broward County, Florida, has an urgent need for programs that provide both stability to low-income families through affordable homeownership as well as overall stability to the South Florida housing market, which has rapidly deteriorated as a result of foreclosure and abandonment.

Unable to qualify for a home loan or afford a quality rental, many of Broward’s 160,000 low-income families spend greater than 50% of their income on substandard, overcrowded housing (Census 2000).

Few areas have been hit harder by the foreclosure crisis, which further restricts the availability of quality affordable housing, particularly for very low to low income renter families and in predominantly poor minority neighborhoods.

Importance of safe, decent, and stable housing
Living in substandard housing endangers a family’s health and safety, erodes their hope and self-worth, and can impair the ability of their children to succeed. Impoverished children are at increased risk of juvenile delinquency, substance abuse, teen pregnancy, school drop-out and employment problems later in life.

Habitat for Humanity has shown that with safe, decent, affordable housing, along with access to the proper resources:

  • Families can provide stability for their children
  • A family’s sense of dignity and pride grow
  • Health, physical safety, and security improve
  • Educational and job prospects increase