For single mother, new Habitat home a dream realized

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - A South Florida organization gave a single mother and her children the keys to a better future: a home of their own.

Cortina Simpkins took 7News on a tour of her new Fort Lauderdale home. “My own personal bath … to the left, I have my first bedroom,” she said.

Simpkins said she had waited to be able to show off her home — her very own home — to a guest for as long as she can remember.

Habitat for Humanity of Broward made this longtime dream come true for the hardworking mother of two. The nonprofit held a special dedication to help her roll out the welcome mat, Saturday.

7News anchor Craig Stevens hosted the ceremony, presenting Simpkins with the keys to her home.

“My family’s lives changed with an opening of one envelope,” said Simpkins as she addressed attendees. “We received the letter stating that my family was accepted into the Habitat for Humanity program. Feelings of deep humility and thankfulness flooded my heart.”

Simpkins’ new home, where she will live with her two sons, is the culmination of a yearslong process that involved the help of dozens of volunteers and sponsors, like the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.

“Food, shelter and water are the basic necessities of life. Years ago, the Seminole Tribe didn’t have any of that, and this community embraced them,” said Seminole Hard Rock spokesperson Susan Renneisen. “Fast forward to today, they’ve been blessed in many ways, and now they’re giving back in a lot of ways, and shelter is one of them, by being involved with the amazing organization Habitat for Humanity.”

7News, a proud Habitat sponsor, was also there to lend a helping hand. “We’ve been around for 20 years now. This is our 18th home; we’re looking forward to our 20th,” said WSVN Executive Vice President Robert Leider. “We have another dedication in another couple of months in Broward County, so it’s really been a great journey for us, and we love giving back to the community.”

It’s a community that has long benefitted from Habitat for Humanity, which continues to connect people and homes in an effort to build community.

For Habitat of Broward CEO Nancy Robin, helping make these homes a reality is a deeply personal mission. “In a market where we’re so house cost-burdened, and the need is so great, to be able to make a difference one family at a time is a dream come true,” she said.

The Simpkins family is now ready to begin making memories in their beautiful, brand-new home. “I’m very humbled by this experience with Habitat, because other lives have touched my lives, along with my children, and now we are able to impact the community,” said the proud homeowner, “We’re able to meet new friends and family, and now we’re able to give back the support that has been given to us, and I indeed count it a privilege.”

If you’d like to contact Habitat for Humanity, check out the links below:

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Miami
(305) 634-3628

Habitat for Humanity of Broward
(954) 396-3030

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