Habitat For Humanity Opens A Satellite Office In Belle Glade

Bernard Godek, Danny Mejia, South Bay Mayor Joe Kyles and Belle Glade Mayor Steve Wilson.

Habitat for Humanity of Palm Beach County recently announced the opening of its satellite office in Belle Glade, located at 1077A South Main Street. An official ribbon-cutting ceremony took place on Jan. 28.

The Lake Okeechobee-area cities of Belle Glade, Pahokee and South Bay are home to some of the lowest-income families within the Habitat for Humanity of Palm Beach County service area, and now thanks in part to grants, donors and sponsors, Habitat for Humanity can enhance the focus on home-building efforts in the Glades communities. In addition to improving convenience, this new western office will make it easier to build relationships within the community, recruit volunteers and demonstrate Habitat’s commitment to serving the Glades.

The establishment of this new satellite office continues the recent momentum Habitat for Humanity has had in the Glades area. The affiliate recently dedicated a home in Belle Glade and four more are scheduled to be built during this fiscal year. In addition, leaders in South Bay recently transferred five vacant parcels to Habitat for Humanity, and the City of Pahokee transferred three vacant parcels. The Glades-area office will also be used by the Family Services Department, which oversees recruiting and evaluating Habitat applicants and providing pre-purchase classes to future homeowners.

According to recent data, the per-capita income in Belle Glade is just over $13,000 per year and 60 percent of residents rent, rather than own, their homes. Homeownership in West Palm Beach is closer to 50 percent and, countywide, almost 70 percent of residents are homeowners. Per capita incomes are also higher outside of the Glades, with the average falling around $31,000 in West Palm Beach and $34,000 countywide.

“Affordable homeownership opportunities are clearly needed in Palm Beach County’s western area,” said Bernard Godek, CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Palm Beach County. “Owning a home has repeatedly been shown to be transformational for individuals, families and the communities they live in. Extensive evidence supports homeownership as a driver of social change. From financial stability to physical health, homeowners tend to fare better than renters in every analysis.”

Habitat for Humanity of Palm Beach County, founded in 1986, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to building strength, stability and self-reliance through shelter. To learn more, visit www.habitatpbc.org.