Meet the Douglas Family

Thursday, July 2, 2020

When building a Habitat home, the foundation is everything.

Rebar reinforces the cement slab; supply lines prepare the slab for plumbing; and quality assurances, checks and inspections must be completed long before a truck even comes to pour the slab.

However, one of the most critical elements of that foundation is the footer. An unseen marvel that supports the entirety of a house. Without the footer, walls would crack and crumble.

The footer is the glue that holds a house together.

You might be wondering, “What does the construction of a house have to do with the people that dwell inside it?” Well, each family has a “footer.” The unseen pillar maintaining the integrity of a home – holding everyone up, and instilling lasting impacts.

At Indian River Habitat, we have learned that the foundation of a home is really built from the inside out – beginning first with the families that inhabit them, families like the Douglas’.

Betty Douglas (pictured in all black) with her children outside of their Habitat home in Vero Beach.

Betty Douglas, her husband, and four children live in a four-bedroom, two-bath Habitat home in the Oslo Park neighborhood of Vero Beach. However, this was not always the reality for the Douglas family.

Seven years ago, Betty (a single mom at the time) worked as a gas station attendant. With just Betty’s income, she struggled to find affordable housing, that is, until a friend shared information with her about Habitat.

Betty immediately researched Indian River Habitat. She filled out an application to buy her very own home, and once approved, began to build her savings and complete the necessary “sweat equity” hours.

In moving from subsidized housing to turning the key of her Habitat home, Betty unlocked the door to the opportunities that come because of homeownership.

Fulfilling the requirements of Habitat’s affordable homeownership program was not easy. Sheer willpower and determination fueled Betty. Juggling long work hours, “sweat equity”, and raising four children on her own, required perseverance.

Not only will Betty pass this home on to her children, but she has also passed on the discipline and determination it took to build it. Take her eldest and only son, Davion, for example.

Davion is a recent graduate from Indian River High School. This fall, Davion will begin college at Indian River State College (IRSC) on a full scholarship to study Dramatic Arts/Theatre.

His passion though might surprise you. It’s a passion that he’ll tell you is his calling in life – Christian ministry and preaching.

At only 18-years-old, Davion is already a seasoned minister. He delivered his first sermon at just 10-years-old. After he completes two years at IRSC, Davion plans to continue his education at South Eastern University where he wants to double major in Business and Ministerial Leadership.

Because of Betty’s tenacity, Davion and his sisters have a foundation that is serving as a launching pad to achieve all they set out to accomplish.

A foundation rooted in ambition.

A foundation reinforced.

A foundation that will last a lifetime.