Our Families

The Moreno Family

What is one of the most exciting parts of becoming a Habitat Homeowner for the Moreno family? The chance to add a little bit of color to their lives.

The Morenos – all six of them – have been living in a 4-bedroom apartment for several years and, while it’s comfortable, they are not allowed to paint the walls. For a family that enjoys being outdoors as much as they do and traveling around, a colorless house just doesn’t quite cut it.

“The day we move to the new house, the first thing we will do is paint our rooms because where we live now we cannot paint and the whole house is white,” Enelida said. “Having a home of our own will be our family's dream come true.”

Enelida and her husband, Arturo, both came to Martin County from Mexico. He left 30 years ago, when he as 14, arriving in time to finish high school in the area and she arrived here 23 years ago when she was 17 with the hopes of finding financial success. They met three months after she arrived in Indiantown.

They have four daughters: Arely, 21; twins Aylin and Alyah, 15; and Annelyz, who is 7. The children have been very successful in school. Arely recently finished her studies to become a medial assistant. Aylin and Alyah are freshman at South Fork High, on track for college, and Annelyz, who is in second grade, loves reading and is a Girl Scout.

When the kids aren’t in school, the family likes to travel and explore new places. Enelida said they take about two trips per year and like to mix up the places they visit.

“We do a couple family trips per year. We like to go camping, paddling canoes, going to the beach, visiting parks, aquariums and zoos,” she said.

The Morenos are very familiar with Habitat for Humanity of Martin County as two of Arturo’s sisters and his parents all live in their own Habitat homes. But, more importantly, they understand that being a part of a community means doing what you can to strengthen that community when the opportunity arises.

“We like to donate snacks to the school and send gifts to a child from another country through the church,” she said.

In the meantime, Arturo has worked as a painter for the past 23 years. All the family wants is the chance to have him put in a little overtime on their own home.      

“The happiest day for us was when we spoke to Ms. Sonia and she told that we had qualified to own a Habitat home,” Enelida said. “We can’t wait to own our own home. It is a dream come true."

The Russel Family

Whether it’s trying to escape dangerous living conditions, make a better life for your family or even just having a place to call your own, there are many benefits to owning a Habitat home.

In James Russell’s case, his quest to become a Habitat homeowner was simple: He just wanted to put him and son in a situation where both would be able to prosper for may years.

That dream became reality when James and Bryce, 17, moved into their home in Carter Park in June.

“I am very grateful for all involved in helping me to become a homeowner,” James said. “It means the world to be able to afford living expenses and still be able to save for the future. The biggest difference will be the ability to be financially sound and afford life’s ups and downs.”

James moved to Martin County from Pittsburgh in 2017 to be closer to Bryce as he entered high school. The two have been sharing an apartment in Stuart in which James said the only issue was the exorbitant monthly cost.

With the chance to save a little money each month, James will now be able to spend more time playing video games with Bryce, going to movies, on bike rides and playing golf, along with his other hobbies.

James, who works as a Certified Dietary Manager at Treasure Coast Hospice, is looking forward to the little things that make homeownership a goal.

“Having my own washer and dryer. Having a dog with a yard to run. Having a lawn to care of – I love yard work. Just calling it my home is what I’m looking forward to most,” James said. “I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to become a Habitat homeowner.”

The Chavannes Family

Merissaint Chavannes married Marie Dorcely on December 15, 2001 in Haiti. During the last 17 years, they have raised three beautiful daughters together; Michaella, 16, Kensta, 14, and Kendra, 7.

Four years ago, the Chavannes family emigrated from Haiti to the United States and settled in Martin County. Merissaint found employment as a stacker for Boral Roofing and Marie is a private home caregiver for MENTOR in Stuart.

Their combined income is enough to rent an overpriced apartment in Indiantown.

“The home we are currently living in is not comfortable,” said Marie. “There are a lot of issues with the plumbing, electrical problems and the air conditioner doesn’t always work.”

The Chavannes family is deeply rooted in their faith and are faithful members of the Indiantown Haitian Church of the Nazarene. Marie helps lead worship at their weekly services and Michaella serves as a children’s teacher during Sunday school classes. Michaella excels in her studies, has won numerous academic awards and likes to play basketball. Kensta also enjoys math and her sport of choice is volleyball. Kendra’s favorite subject is reading and she likes to play soccer.

After a friend told them about Habitat for Humanity of Martin County, Merissaint and Marie quickly applied for a no-interest mortgage.

"Becoming homeowners will make a big difference in our lives. We won’t have to spend so much money in rent and now it will be affordable and it will be something that is ours,” said Marie. “What we are looking forward to the most as a family is being able to have a garden.”   

“I feel really happy about becoming a Habitat homeowner. It means that my family will live in a stable home and we will not have to move around all the time. Thank you to everyone for this opportunity,” said Merissaint.