Home for Mother’s Day: Women Build makes ownership possible for Cape mom
A mother of two young boys became a homeowner of a three-bedroom, two-bath north Cape Coral home Saturday morning after a weeklong Habitat for Humanity Women Build event brought approximately 40 women together to rehabilitate a foreclosed home.
A home dedication was given for Michelle Wolcott and her sons Adrien Wolcott, 5, and Isaiah Perez, 3, Saturday morning, which brought out many of her friends, family, volunteers and sponsors of the Women Build event that took place from April 30 through May 8.
The opening prayer was provided by the Rev. Susan Henderson and the blessing of the home was given by Robin King. Before the blessing began, everyone was asked to find a spot on the exterior of the home and place their hand on the wall while a prayer was read.
Vice President Tanya Soholt presented Wolcott with an assortment of gifts before she received her keys Saturday morning. She was given a pink hardhat and tool belt that the women used during the event, along with a hammer, paint brush, American flag, a tool kit and a Bible that had her name engraved on it.
After Wolcott received the keys to her home, she told the crowd smiling that she was speechless.
“It’s a hand-up, not a hand-out,” she said about her new home. “It is everything I need to make the boys feel comfortable.”
Wolcott said as soon as the last car left her home Saturday morning she was going to begin moving all of her furniture in and get settled. She planned to spend Mother’s Day unpacking all of her belongings, along with organizing her kitchen.
Wolcott submitted her request of interest to Habitat for Humanity in January after the application sat on her dresser for a couple of months as she tossed around the idea of filling it out and turning it in. Once her job was outsourced in October last year, the need to fill out the application began to grow.
Wolcott said right as she was being let go, the same company that dismissed her offered a job in a different division, which she took without hesitation. Unfortunately, the new job was a decrease in pay with a loss of benefits. The change with work led to her moving in with her parents a little over a year ago.
The Wolcott family stumbled upon a three-bedroom, two-bath home that was built in 2001 after being handed a list of foreclosed homes that she could choose from in Cape Coral, rather than building a new home. The home is 1,089 square feet with a 250-square-foot sun porch and a fenced-in yard with trees.
Over the course of the week up to 40 volunteers both young and old gave their time to help renovate the home by patching the walls, painting the interior and exterior of the home, installing new mirrors, replacing appliances, replacing the floors and any other rehabilitation that needed to be done.
CEO and president of Habitat for Humanity Kitty Green said it was all cosmetic work that was done over the course of the week.
“I think the women loved doing this,” she said. “The participation has been really enthusiastic.”
Vice President of Construction Jackie Williams said the last five days were an amazing experience because of all the women who came out to make the event successful. She said Women Build kicked off on April 30 with 28 women and one man who participated in the demo day.
The women were broken down into different groups to help with the rehabilitation of the home throughout the week. Williams said on demo day the women were already ahead of schedule due to their determination and finishing of removing old cabinets and baseboards, so they could paint the interior of the home.
“On Saturday we started painting,” Williams said about the women who were a step ahead of the plan.
The following day, she said the Wolcott family put new flooring in the bedroom before a group of five volunteer women continued the rehabilitation by painting the exterior of the home on Monday.
“When are volunteers come out they come out to work,” Williams said. “They take their work very seriously.”
Whatever they could salvage or recycle, Williams said they did.
Wolcott said she stopped by every day to see the progress.
“Habitat is the answer,” she said.
More than 140 businesses and individuals donated money to go towards the $50,000 sponsorship fee for the Women Build event. The event’s national sponsor, Lowe’s, provided a $5,000 store gift card, along with a clinic for the women who participated in Women Build.