Our Families

Tandra's Family

Tandra Islam

Tandra Islam has lived in Martin County for the past 10 years, moving here from Dhaka, Bangladesh. She currently works during the day for the Martin County School District as a pre-kindergarten ESE teacher. In the afternoons, Tandra works at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County 10-year old and up students.

She currently lives with her mother and two children, Safqaat, 6 and Tanjila, 10 in a two-bedroom apartment. When she purchases her Habitat home, she will be the first member of her family to own her own home.

When Tandra is not working, she and her family attend the Islamic Center of Palm Beach mosque in West Palm Beach. Both of her children enjoy playing soccer and they like to spend their spare time at the YMCA roller skating and doing gymnastics.

One of Tandra’s colleagues at Port Salerno Elementary told her about the Habitat for Humanity of Martin County homebuyer program. When she first applied to be a homebuyer in April 2010 she was told she would have to clean up some financial issues before she could proceed. Three years later she returned and has continued through the process.

“I actually started working on my credit in order to get it to be looking good and have been able to pay    everything on time,” she said. “Now, I am very focused on all of my bills.”

That focus has led Tandra and her children to the doorstep of their own home. A home which she hopes will provide stability for her children as they move through the school system. Not that they need that much help with their studies, Tanjila was the youngest student at the District Spelling Bee and finished fourth overall.

For her part, Tandra will spend the first few months in her home finishing the tests that will lead to her teaching certificate.

“My main hope is to be a great Habitat for Humanity homeowners and I hope to build a better life for myself and for my kids,” Tandra said.

The Hall Family

Taneka Hall is a single mother of four children; Keasia, 12; Omarion, 10; Shaire, 7 and Harmony, 6. She works hard to raise her family, economizing and being smart with her money to provide the most opportunities for her children.

 Taneka was born in Stuart but she moved to Pahokee when she was three. Her stepmother raised her and was the most influential person in her life. She returned to Martin County in 2012 to help take care of her biological mother.

The Hall family has lived in subsidized housing for four years, where they are forced to confront many limits that often do not contribute to a secure and happy family life.

The landlord at her subsidized housing told her about the Habitat for Humanity Homeownership Program and she decided to contact Habitat to see if she could qualify. She went through the qualifying process and didn’t really believe she would get a home until she started her first homeownership class. This experience made it very real for her.

Taneka has worked for the Martin County School District’s Head Start Program as a substitute teacher for the past three years. She enjoys her work with the children.

The Hall family belongs to the New Zion Baptist Church. This family likes to spend free time watching a movie, cleaning house or attending Omarion’s football games.

She is the first person in her family to own a home and she is overwhelmed and overjoyed all at the same time. She never dreamed that she would ever own a home for herself and her family. She and her children are very grateful to everyone that has volunteered and worked to make this happen for them.

“I am looking forward to moving into my new home and enjoying it with my children. It will be very gratifying to me to see the smiles on their faces when they see all that they will have in this new home,” Taneka said. “Habitat for Humanity has warmed our hearts.”

The Carbajal Lopez Family

David Carbajal and Marbel Gutierrez heard about the Habitat for Humanity Homeownership Program from Marbel’s brother and sister-in-law who were working toward qualifying for a home of their own. Both couples were eventually qualified and they are building their homes at the same time. They are excited about becoming neighbors.

David Carbajal was born in Fresno, CA and moved to Martin County when he was five years old. Marbel was born in Mexico and came to Martin County when she was fifteen years old. They married in December of 2013.

The couple rented an apartment in Joseph Lee Gardens in Indiantown, but the rent increased and the apartment became too high for their budget. They now rent a bedroom in the St. Lucie Mobile Village Park while they wait for their home to be completed.

They have two children, Mayda, 7, and David, 17 months. Mayda attends Hope Rural School and will be entering the Second Grade when school starts this fall.  The family likes to go for walks, eat ice cream and spend time with their extended family. The time spent helping to build their new home keeps them busy. They look forward to helping future Habitat families build their homes.

David works as a painter at Ryan Baum Painting. He has been with that company for five years. Marbel works in the cafeteria for the Indiantown Head Start Program. She loves her job because she enjoys working with the children. 

Once David and Marbel learned what the criteria and requirements were they felt that they could be a good fit for the program and that they would be great homeowners.

Marbel said: “We always dreamed of owning a home and feel blessed and grateful to Habitat for Humanity for giving us the opportunity, not only to become homeowners, but to have it happen so quickly. We would like to thank all the groups, organizations, staff and volunteers who one way or another helped us build our home. At the construction site we always had someone to show us how to do the different jobs and at the Habitat Homeowners Education Workshop we learned about budget, credit, banking, homeowner insurance, home maintenance and much more to help us become successful homeowners.” 

Once they have moved into their new home they are looking forward to becoming dependable Habitat homeowners by paying their mortgage on time, being courteous to their neighbors and ambassadors for Habitat for Humanity.

The Lopez-Loredo Family

Rommel Lopez Gutierrez and Gabriela Loredo are moving into their new three bedroom Habitat for Humanity home. They are very excited to be homeowners and will have a safe and secure place to raise their children, Joseph Lopez Loredo, 7, and Coralie Lopez Loredo, 2. They cannot wait to have the key to their new home in their hands.

Rommel arrived in Martin County in 1999, hoping to provide a more stable life for himself and his parents.  Gabriela moved here in 2004, as her parents felt Martin County would provide her with a better life and that she would have many more opportunities here. Gabriela and her parents moved into the St. Lucie Mobile Village in Indiantown which happened to be where Rommel lived. They became neighbors, saw their relationship flourish and married in 2008.

After they married Rommel and Gabriela moved to an apartment in Stuart, but the rent became too           expensive and they bought a trailer at the St. Lucie Mobile Village. Rommel has works as a painter for Premium   Painters for the past four years and Gabriela has worked in the cafeteria at Warfield Elementary School for three years.

Rommel and Gabriela are members of Holy Cross Catholic Church in Indiantown. They have been busy working and raising a family and, once they are settled in their new home, Gabriela hopes to volunteer for Habitat for Humanity of Martin County to mentor other families who will be moving into Carter Park. She sees this as a way to give back for all that has been done for her family. She also feels that this will build friendships in her new community.

When Gabriela and Rommel have free time they like to spend it together. They go to the park or the movies and spend time with their parents.

They heard about the Habitat for Humanity of Martin County housing program from a friend. She told them how great the program was and the importance of investing in their family’s future.

When construction began on their home Rommel and Gabriela began to believe that this was actually going to happen for them and they were thrilled. They have enjoyed meeting the volunteers and staff that have made this miracle of homeownership come true. They will be forever grateful and want to give back in return for what they have received.


The Garcia Family

For the past eight years Francisco and Norma Garcia, along with their three children Alejandro, 8, Daniel, 6 and Litzy, 3, have lived in a trailer park in Indiantown. The trailer does not have central air conditioning, so the family uses window air conditioners. Regardless, the trailer is very hot, especially in the summer. During the winter, when it is cold outside, the trailer is even colder inside. The roof is in bad shape and, when it rains, there are leaks. The walls are full of termites.  The Garcias do not feel secure in the park. Their car windows have been broken twice and the windows on the trailer once. They installed bars on the windows for security, but now they worry about a fire because, if the front door is blocked, they won’t be able to get out of the trailer.

Francisco works as a boat builder for LH Boats. He has done this work for many years, while Norma is a homemaker and has her hands full caring for three small children.

In their spare time they love to spend time together, going to the park with the children, shopping or spending time with their extended family. They have been members of Holy Cross Catholic Church in Indiantown for nine years.

Their main focus right now is helping to complete their new home and, once moved in, making it their own, little by little.

Norma says, “We are really excited about becoming homeowners. We did not have any hope of owning our own home, much less owning a brand new home. We are happy because our children will not be suffering from the hot or the cold inside our home. Most of all for the first time in the last eight years we are going to feel safe and secure. No more worries about all the crime around us or living in a home with so many problems. It has been a great experience helping to build our home and the home of other future Habitat Homeowners. We had the opportunity to work along with and get to know the volunteers who came to the construction site to help us build and we learned many skills that will help us maintain our new home. We cannot wait for the dedication and the day we finally have the keys to our home in our hands. That day our dream of owning our own home will become a reality.”