Monday, April 4, 2016

War Painting in Indiantown

Our team of Care-A-Vanner volunteers
Tim, Cindy, Jon, Susan, Peggy and Ralph

There was no war during our participation in a Habitat for Humanity build in Indiantown, FL last week, unless you consider our service there part of the war on poverty.  I was just trying to come up with a good title for this post. 

Jeff, site manager, and Ron, construction coordinator

But in a way, we were part of a strategic advance by the Habitat for Humanity of Martin County affiliate to complete four homes begun earlier this year by June 30th.  That's the deadline for a grant from the State of Florida.  







And I did spend the week painting the stucco on the exterior of two houses as well as interior baseboards and trim.

Tanika, her 3 daughters and son will move into one of the four houses we helped to build.

A Habitat volunteer I met last week lamented the fact that the "beautiful people" (the wealthy and the middle class) live on Florida's coastline while the poor who clean their homes, mow their lawns and wait on them in restaurants live in destitute towns a few miles inland.  That is certainly true of Indiantown.  Its demographics, noted in the U.S. census of the year 2010, describe a community heavily comprised of Latinos, blacks and Native Americans where 26.5 percent of the population live in poverty.

Renee, Jeff and Tim

So it's amazing that in the thirty years of this Habitat affiliate's existence, only two homeowners have defaulted on their loans, selling their property back to Habitat who has the first option to buy.  That's an astonishing fact for an affiliate that has served 300+ families in that time framework.


Nancy Prywitowski, Martin County HFH volunteer coordinator, also told us at our initial meeting last Monday morning that her affiliate donated a parcel of land to the Boys & Girls Club of Indiantown so that organization could build a new center.  

Boys & Girls Club of Indiantown

This new building is smack-dab in the center of the Carter Lane subdivision where we've been working this past week.  The club serves children ages 5-18 with programs that teach the younger ones life skills and resume writing and other job preparation skills to the older teens. Because of both organizations, these children may grow up in a stable home and learn skills that could help them break the circle of poverty that has trapped their parents.

"The thing I love about this house is my room." - Yosselin, age 9

"I like my house because it is big and nice." - Luis, age 8

Marilena, age 13

Although we won't be there to see families move into the four homes we helped to build, Nancy told us that a flag raising takes place at each dedication. A flag bracket is nailed to the front porch and an American flag is given to the new owner who solemnly places it in the mount.  Flying that flag has special meaning for the many immigrants who have become home owners, thanks to Habitat for Humanity of Martin County.  Perhaps such a flag raising also means that Habitat has conquered poverty for one more family.


  1. I loved the handwritten letters from the children. It looks like the Boys and Girls Club is in just the right spot for these beautiful new homes for their families.

    1. I loved the drawings and letters, too! The kids are so proud of their new homes.

  2. On average, Cindy & Tim, how long do you guys stay at a build site before moving along to your next destination?

  3. Terry,
    On average, we are doing two-week builds. However, on occasion, there are one-week builds for Care-A-Vanners. For example, we are signed up for a one-week build in late May in Santa Fe, NM.

    Hope the golf outing went well, Tim