Sebastian R, girlfriend and Ann Felton Gilliland

Sebastian R.

Young Family Begins ‘Real-World Journey’ During Central Oklahoma Habitat’s Home Dedication on June 6, 2024, in Spencer, Okla.

Sebastian R. is father to a daughter, Leilani R., age 4, and his girlfriend, Nayeli M., is now expecting a baby boy in the months to come. Living in what Sebastian R. described as an overcrowded and unsafe neighborhood, the young construction foreman applied earlier this year to buy a new home from Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity (COHFH).

“We’re looking for our forever home and a safe and clean environment,” Sebastian R. stated in his application. “The house we stayed at was overcrowded and not in a safe area. I’m excited to have our own space with my little family.”

Sebastian R.’s wish for a new Habitat home was answered on June 6, 2024, during a home-dedication celebration with COHFH staff and community members at the couple’s new house in Spencer, Oklahoma.

The young father wrote last month thanking COHFH for the experience of participating in the nonprofit’s New Home Construction program.

“Our need for a Habitat home was for us to begin a new chapter in our lives as parents and adults,” Sebastian R. stated. “This home will truly make a difference in my life and my family’s lives because we can finally be together and experience the real-world journey that’s ahead of us. Habitat has built us a beautiful home where our kids can grow up and be a part of this journey with us.”

Habitat homes are built by COHFH staff, volunteers and future homeowners fulfilling their sweat-equity hours by volunteering and building their own and other future homeowners’ homes through the nonprofit’s New Home Construction program. Future homeowners must be able to get a regular mortgage, have a credit score of 600 or more and be good citizens. All participants attend homeowner-education classes to learn about budgeting, maintenance and other aspects of being responsible homeowners.

COHFH Chair/CEO Ann Felton Gilliland said Habitat’s home dedications are a tradition that brings Habitat staff, community members and usually a faith leader together to bless the family with prayers and present gifts for their new home.

“Our home dedications are strengthened by participating members of the community and our faith leaders who pray for blessings for the new homeowners and their new home,” Felton Gilliland said. “It is a joyous occasion and today’s event marks our 1,097 affordable home built by Habitat since 1990.”