The Power of Perseverance: Darlene’s Story
Homeownership seemed almost impossible for former Nursing Assistant and disabled Senior, Darlene Campbell. When Darlene first saw a flyer about Habitat Seminole-Apopka in 2017 and applied for our program, she unfortunately got denied several times; but Darlene persevered. With Habitat’s assistance, Darlene worked on increasing her credit score and income. Her work paid off and she was accepted into our Homebuyers Program to become a Future Homebuyer in November 2021.
In June 2022, Darlene closed on her brand-new, energy-efficient home with an affordable mortgage in Seminole County’s Goldsboro community in Sanford.
“God really blessed me, and I appreciate everybody over at Habitat for Humanity Seminole-Apopka,” says Darlene.
Born and raised in hustling and bustling New York City, Darlene’s strong work ethic has never wavered. In addition to being a professional nursing assistant at multiple assisted living facilities, Darlene served as a cook for the Jewish Child Care Association, focusing on African American Cuisine.
When she moved her family to Oviedo, Florida in 2001, Darlene took a huge step backwards in life when her living wage plummeted. She moved to Casselberry in 2012, barely making ends meet while living with her oldest daughter. She was also contending with a physical disability in her right leg that she never let hold her back.
Darlene was hit the hardest during the Covid -19 pandemic. Unable to afford rent, build savings, and pay for other expenses due to low-income, she began working for rideshare companies such as Lyft during the daytime.
At night, Darlene cooked and sold barbecue to locals in the community. A very determined person, she took her earnings from ridesharing and cooking to gain income to apply for our Homebuyers Program.
Darlene admits she never imagined making it into the program because spots were filling up quickly and she kept missing our email communications. She found support through our Program Manager, Idalia Nunez, who assisted her in learning the technology to reach her goal of becoming a homebuyer.
Within three months of beginning the process, Darlene accrued her sweat equity hours and obtained the $4000 for closing costs. Since graduating from our Financial Academy and completing our Homeowner Foundation classes, Darlene now understands how to build savings, boost her credit, and become a successful homeowner.
Darlene plans to give back to her community by volunteering with the homeless population in Seminole County. She also plans to reenter the medical field in the future.