PANAMA CITY, Fla (WMBB) — A long time Bay County resident, Janeen Horton, was devastated to lose her home during Hurricane Michael. Now, almost two years since the storm hit, she finally has a place to call hew own again.
After the storm, Horton said she had to drive back and forth from Alabama for two months, before moving into a local trailer. She has been working with Habitat For Humanity to build a new house since then.
Administration Manager at Habitat For Humanity said there is no other better feeling than seeing these homes come up for people who desperately need them.
“We go through the process where the board approves them and then they begin the process of doing their sweat equity hours and we build their house.”
They don’t build that home alone, as sweat equity means approved applicants work a minimum of 500 hours learning and helping construct the home. After being approved for a home Horton put in an 300 extra hours of work.
“Well when the pandemic came and things were slowing down, I just tried my best to put in extra time to come over and help them so we could move things along expeditiously.”
The hard work she said was a rewarding experience.
“They are not a hand out, they are a hand up. Yes I have to pay a mortgage just like everyone else.” she said, “They, we put together, I can’t say they because you actually get to get in there and be hands on building your own house.”
The mortgage she pays has a 0% interest rate and those payments go into building more houses across the community. She is grateful for the program.
“We have been through so much, you guys, from Hurricane Michael to now the pandemic and I am totally blessed that I stand here today to say that this house is finished.”
The Habitat For Humanity team handed her the keys to her new home Friday.