Throughout a year of hardships, challenges, and sometimes grief, it's important to take the time to honor the happy moments; the official ribbon-cutting for the 2021 Houston Habitat for Humanity home was just that.
In January 2021, Alma Armendaris helped on the construction site of a home as part of her "sweat equity" with Houston Habitat for Humanity. To be considered a potential candidate for their housing program, each participant must spend at least 250 hours helping to build homes for others. It was that day that Armendaris learned she was standing up the framework of the future for herself and her two children.
For years, Armendaris and her two daughters shared a one-bedroom apartment with the goal of owning a home someday. Through her hard work and the help of Houston Habitat for Humanity and collaborators, such as The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth); UT Physicians, the clinical practice of McGovern Medical School at UTHealth; and KPRC-TV Channel 2, that dream was fulfilled on Tuesday, April 13.
As the title sponsors, UTHealth and UT Physicians were granted two representatives for the socially distanced ribbon-cutting event - Cynthia Huehlefeld, chief business officer at UT Physicians, and Babatope "Tope" Fatuyi, MD, chief medical information officer at UTHealth.
Both Heuhlefeld and Fatuyi helped to build Armendaris' home, along with other volunteers from UTHealth and UT Physicians, and were there when she learned it would be hers.
"Being able to work alongside Alma and seeing the joy and excitement that she had about this whole process, as well as hearing about all the hard work that she's put into this, it's really remarkable," said Huehlefeld.
Fatuyi, a physician, believes that being part of this sponsorship is another way we can give back to the community we serve.
"As doctors, we provide care, but sometimes that looks a little different," said Fatuyi. "Our collaboration with KPRC-TV Channel 2 and Houston Habitat for Humanity is another way we can provide care for Alma and her family."
The ribbon-cutting event was also an important day to the Houston Habitat for Humanity staff who have been with Armendaris during her road to owning her first home.
"Houston Habitat for Humanity is proud of the journey Alma has taken to build financial security for her daughters. We are thrilled that she chose to partner with us to make her dream of homeownership a reality," said Allison Hay, executive director of Houston Habitat for Humanity.
Since 2013, there have been eight homes, including Armendaris', built for local Houstonians through the collaboration between Houston Habitat for Humanity and KPRC-TV Chanel 2. If you are interested in helping on future home builds, fill out this form.