As a husband, father, and a man of faith, Otis works hard to provide for his family and community. In addition to working at UF Health for the past 13 years, he is also a barber, a landscaper, and volunteers his time in many other ways. For Otis, the simple joy of making someone smile is the best reward. He often provides these services at no cost, especially for others in need.

Otis counts his blessings regularly and it is not afraid to put his faith in God when faced with life’s numerous challenges. When his aunt became ill, he made the decision to move in to help take care of her, despite the personal sacrifices it required. His aunt eventually moved into an assisted living facility, but Otis stayed to maintain the house and provide an opportunity for his aunt to spend time every month in her own home. Due to family circumstances, his two teenage daughters, Olana and Osha, also live in the two-bedroom home, but his wife, Ivera, lives in a one bedroom apartment. Although necessary at the time, these living conditions are not a conducive environment for a family working to build a better, stronger relationship.

In an effort to provide a healthier, more stable environment for his family, Otis started the process to become a Habitat homeowner. His house is currently under construction as part of Alachua Habitat’s partnership with Santa Fe College and Otis can’t wait until he and his family are settled in their new home in High Springs.

With the help of Habitat and the promise of a new home to call their own, Otis, Ivera, and their girls will once again be under one roof. Although the journey has been full of challenges, Otis and his family have remained positive, patient, and dedicated to each other and the community. They are looking forward to a new home and the next chapter of their story.

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