Coakley Family

Faith, hard work, and perseverance are three core attributes of Paulette Coakley, a soon-to-be St. Lucie Habitat for Humanity homeowner. Paulette is a single mother to son John (aged 13) and daughter Sa’Rae (aged 10), the primary caretaker of her mother Daphne who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, and a full-time medical transcriptionist. Currently, the Coakleys share a single family home with two other adult family members — due to their overcrowded living situation, John and Sa’Rae share a single bedroom that lacks the privacy kids deserve as they grow into young adults.

For so long, Paulette has felt like she was stuck in the middle, working hard to provide for her family yet unable to afford to give them a home within the traditional marketplace. Through all the denials of her home loan applications, her faith endured that hard work and determination would allow her to build better lives for herself and her children. Now, she has that opportunity through her partnership with St. Lucie Habitat for Humanity. John and Sa’Rae witnessed the moment their mom received the call from SLHFH Program Director DonnaLea that she had been accepted into the New Homeownership program. They heard her shouting with joy and knew that, one day soon, they were going to have a place to call home.

“Seeds of hope” is how Paulette describes the contributions made by SLHFH’s donors and volunteers. Their aid creates a tangible and lasting difference in someone’s life — Paulette will be able to afford her mortgage and provide stability for her children in a safe, decent home. And should Paulette decide to sell her Habitat home one day, another single mother like her will be able to afford it thanks to SLHFH’s Community Land Trust model. Started in 2021, the CLT will keep all new Habitat homes affordable in perpetuity. But for now, Paulette looks forward to building her very own home with the help of the SLHFH family.

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