Habitat for Humanity

Middle Florida Keys serving Marathon, Florida

Equal Housing Opportunity

Habitat of the Middle Keys builds and renovates homes in partnership with families who qualify for home ownership based on three criteria: demonstrated need; willingness to partner with HFH; and an ability to repay a no-interest mortgage. Habitat sells its houses at no profit, with no interest charged to families who must invest hundreds of hours of labor- "sweat equity" - into building their homes and the homes of others. Their mortgage payments go into a revolving Fund for Habitat that is used to build more houses for other deserving families throughout the Middle Florida Keys. We build these homes and create truly affordable homeownership for those regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, family status and disability.

Our Volunteer Officers

John Johnson

2021 President: John Johnson
Fire Chief, City of Marathon

  • Resident of Marathon: for 9+ Years
  • Serves/Served also on: Rotary, Leadership Monroe County (VP of Board), Florida Fire Chiefs and Florida Fire Marshals
  • Brings to Habitat: Construction Background and knowledge that many of our service personnel cannot afford to live (teachers, police, Fire/paramedics, medical personnel, etc). They cannot afford to buy a home on the open market to become contributing members of our community. What Habitat does, the mission, creating our community is a value making the Keys stronger.
  • In 2021, he was blessed with his 2nd grandchild.
Mike Puto

2021 Vice President: Mike Puto
Retired, Consultant and Executive Director for FKCA

  • Resident of Marathon: for 73 years
  • Serves/Served also on: "every Board there has ever been in the Middle Keys".. most notable is FKEC, College of the Florida Keys, 16th Judicial Nominating Commission, Rotary, Childrens' Shelter
  • Brings to Habitat: Value. Knowledge of all things Marathon and in the Keys.
  • He loves golf and tennis and cherishes his title "Mr. Marathon" bestowed upon him many decades ago.
Ben Roche

2021 Treasurer: Ben Roche

  • Resident of Marathon: 30+ years
  • Serves/Served also on: Fishermen's Hospital, Marathon Chamber and others
  • Brings to Habitat: Passion to help people in our community and love of all things numbers.
  • He is a happy grandpa.
Tammy Collins

2021 Secretary: Tammy Collins
Advertising & Digital Sales, KeysNews.com/Adams Publishing Group

  • Resident of Marathon: 10+ years
  • Serves/Served also on: Zonta.
  • Brings to Habitat: Passion for people.
  • She came to the Middle Keys specifically for her job with Adams Publishing Group/Keysnews.com and had never been here before. Of course she fell in love with the islands.

Our 2021 Board of Directors

Erin Arnett
Principal and Business Owner, Appraisal Certified Services, Inc.

  • Resident of Marathon: 20+ years
  • Serves/Served also on: Rotary, Zonta and Marathon Chamber of Commerce
  • Brings to Habitat: Knowledge of real estate values
  • She has 6 siblings and her parents were happily married all their lives until her mother's passing a couple of years ago.

Ryan Elwell
Manager Royal Furniture

  • Resident of Marathon: his entire life 45 years
  • Serves/Served also on: MLKAR, KAIR, REACH and Marathon Chamber of Commerce
  • Brings to Habitat: Growing up here creates a strong love of our community and knowledge of it and fondness of all things "Keys"
  • His family has owned properties and businesses in the Keys since 1959 (some of which are in the same locations), growing up here he could not get away with anything because everyone knew his parents and grandparents, which was "a curse" but now raising his two beautiful daughters here he loves that — they can't get away with anything either.

Christina Gonzalez
Owner, Destination Designs Event Planning and in nursing school.

  • Resident of Marathon: her whole life 30+ years
  • Serves/Served also on: Take Stock in Children and Zonta
  • Brings to Habitat: Knowledge of the community and the struggles seen for working families, some having to move out of our community due to the cost of home ownership.
  • Her daughter is a Freshman in college (Tallahassee) and her son is a Freshman at Marathon High School (who made the varsity baseball team).

Dianne Weitz
Registered Nurse

  • Resident of Marathon: 22 years
  • Serves/Served also on: Zonta, FKEC Charitable Trust, Leadership Monore, and many more.
  • Brings to Habitat: Her love and care for people "If I can't help someone in some way, I will do my best to support and assist".
  • She grew up on and Island in Michigan with only 18 houses — surrounded by water — a water baby from the start and now enjoying the waters of the Keys, paddleboarding and more. She has 3 wonderful children and 3 wonderful grandchildren.

Our Staff

Our Operating Committees

  • Family Selection & Support Committee is responsible for selection process of family applicants for approval as prospective homeowners and for providing them support throughout their sweat equity, home ownership education, home purchase process, adjustment to new responsibilities and continued partnership with the organization.
  • Church & Community Relations Committee seeks to strengthen our relationship and support of our affiliate’s work by gaining volunteers, prayer, and partnership from our community churches and community overall.
  • Site Selection & Building identifies and evaluates potential sites and coordinates all labor, plans, materials and family interests to build a safe and affordable home for hard working families in Marathon, FL.
  • Resource Development & Fundraising Committee is responsible for developing and coordinating the raising of funds needed for Habitat Middle Keys to continue our mission.

Our Vision

A world where everyone has a decent place to live.

Our Mission Statement

Seeking to put God's love into action, Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities and hope.

About Habitat for Humanity of the Middle Keys

Habitat Middle Keys began in 1991 and is part of a global, nonprofit housing organization operated on Christian principles that seeks to put God's love into action by building homes, communities and hope. We are a volunteer based locally run affilate dedicated to eliminating substandard housing locally and worldwide. We believe that every man, woman and child deserve to have a simple, safe and affordable home to call their own.

All are welcome

Habitat for Humanity of the Middle Keys has an open-door policy: All who believe that everyone needs a decent, affordable place to live are welcome to help with the work, regardless of race, religion, age, gender, policital views, or any of the other distinctions that too often divide people. In short, Habitat welcomes volunteers and supporters from all backgrounds and also serve people in need of decent housing regardlesss of race or religion. A a matter of policy, Habitat for Humanity International and its affiliated organizations do not proselytize. This means that Habitat will not offer assistance on the expressed or implied condition that people must either adhere to or convert to a particular faith, or listen and respond to a messaging designed to induce conversion to a particular faith.

About Habitat for Humanity International

Founded in Americus, Georgia, USA in 1976, Habitat for Humanity today operates around the globe and has helped build, renovate and repair more than 600,000 decent, affordable homes sheltering more than 3 million people worldwide.