Serving our county is an honor and a privilege.  To serve in the military is to live (and sometimes die) with a sense of purpose.  Service in the military can be dangerous work, even in times of peace.

Men and women who serve our country by enlisting in military service, do so for various reasons.  Some want the opportunity to travel, get in shape, save money, take advantage of the GI Bill to further their education, get experience for a civilian career, or perhaps honor a family tradition of military service.

Hopefully, discharge from military service means returning to family, friends, and a community that honors veterans.  However, military veterans can experience uncertainty and nervousness about financial security, employment prospects, and an opportunity for stable and affordable housing.  Veterans with disabilities face enormous challenges when returning to civilian life.  It may be that disabled veterans have mobility issues that can be challenging when living in multi-story homes.

That’s why Habitat for Humanity Metro Maryland is building Universal Design homes with zero step entry, wider doors, and walk in showers.  Accessibility includes space provided for wheelchair, walker, or motor scooter use throughout the living space. For more information on Universal Design homes:

We are celebrating the sale of our first Universal Design home to a combat veteran.

Gilmore working on his home
Accepting his new home key from John Paukstis

A US Navy Veteran has been selected to purchase Habitat’s first Universal Design Home.  Originally from Dominica, Gilmore became a United States citizen in 2010 after joining the United States Military and his last command was at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

With his four year old son, Gilmore lived in an apartment that had pest infestations, poor air conditioning and heating, as well as no place for his son to safely play outside.  “My rent increases annually, yet the living conditions are not addressed.”

When Gilmore was told that he had been approved for homeownership with Habitat for Humanity, he was ecstatic.  “I was somewhat speechless but excited and elated to share the news of being selected.  Everyone is happy for me because they know how much I’ve long to become a homeowner.  Owning a home will provide a better level of financial independence.  I’m most excited about the improved quality of life for my family and I hope to have my disabled mother move in with us permanently.”

After Gilmore completed the required financial education workshops and sweat equity to build his home, Habitat for Humanity provided him with a 30 year, zero interest mortgage, with 1% down payment, and settlement costs rolled into the 30 year mortgage.

We are proud to provide veterans with the opportunity for housing that is affordable.