Newest Habitat for Humanity of Bay Co. home dedicated to local mother and son

Panama City

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — With their latest home dedication on Thursday, Habitat for Humanity of Bay County is getting closer to having dedicated 100 homes over the past three decades.

The process for their newest home took eight months for a deserving, local Panama City family.

“Excited, overwhelmed, nervous, thankful, everything… all of the above,” Tamara Middleton said she has many feelings about becoming a first-time homeowner.

Habitat for Humanity of Bay County made this achievement possible.

This is their newest completed home, and they dedicated it to the Middleton family. Program manager Vickie Johnson said Middleton has earned it.

“We’ve been working with Tamara for about eight months. She’s done over 500 sweat equity hours helping to build her home and the home of her neighbors…Very excited for her,” Johnson said. “She’s worked extremely hard. She had priorities and she set her goal, and she wasn’t afraid to work for it, and that’s what we’re here for. That’s what we’re about.”

This is the 93rd home Habitat has dedicated in Bay County since 1990. The homes are built by volunteers, with donations of materials and money.

The organization said the homes are later sold to the homeowner with a zero percent interest loan.

Johnson said the process is not easy or free, but it is rewarding.

“They not only have the home but they’re also prepared for financial issues,” Johnson said. “We also offer resources if that should happen, but we educate them through the process, whether it be financial, budgeting, those types of things. But we also educate them on site so they’ll know how to maintain the home.”

Middleton said she is excited to spend the upcoming holidays with her 8-year-old son and the rest of her family in the brand new home.

“I was so thankful to get to know everybody at Habitat,” Middleton said. “They’re truly a blessing, and I’m just happy.”

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