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Friday, June 9, 2017

Building Homes, Communities and Futures

Draper and Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County Partner to Help Local Families Obtain Dream of Home Ownership

ST. PETERSBURG, FL – One in four households in the U.S. who spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing struggles to afford basic necessities. Research has found that equipping families with an affordable home frees up resources for healthy food and consistent health care. Being in a stable home also improves children’s educational outcomes, which contributes to lower incarceration rates.

Draper is addressing the need for more affordable housing by partnering with Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County to help local families obtain their dream of home ownership. Nineteen Draper team members are volunteering approximately 150 hours on June 9 and 16 to build and improve Habitat homes with low-income homeowners. 

“Draper has always been about investing in the communities where we live and in putting our talents to work on challenges where we can have the most impact,” said Larry Kent, Senior Project Engineer at Draper, which operates a Rapid Prototyping Facility at 11208 Blue Heron Blvd., St. Petersburg. “We support Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County and its mission of a world where everyone has a decent place to live.”

Since it was founded in 1976, Habitat has built homes for over 9.8 million people worldwide using a combination of federal dollars, private investments and philanthropic donations. Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County, which was founded in 1985, recently constructed its 400th home for families in Pinellas County using locally raised funds.
“Habitat Pinellas promotes family stability by providing innovative and affordable housing solutions to qualified individuals and families,” said Jack Shanks, Director of Volunteer Services at Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County. “In partnership with Draper, we are working toward our ultimate goal of eliminating substandard housing throughout the county.” Shanks added that 94 cents of every dollar donated to Habitat Pinellas goes directly to building affordable homes for low-income families in the community.

About Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County

Since 1985, Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County has constructed 416 homes for struggling families in Pinellas County, using locally raised funds. Volunteers and the future homeowners construct the homes, which are sold at no profit and financed with a zero-interest loan. Habitat Pinellas homeowner candidates earn 30 to 80 percent of area median income. For Pinellas County, that translates to as little as $27,000 a year for a family of four. Candidates must also demonstrate need for adequate shelter, ability to pay back a zero-interest loan and willingness to partner with Habitat Pinellas to invest 350 to 450 sweat equity hours. Mortgage monies are used to build even more homes, making each donation to Habitat a perpetual legacy to the community. Habitat believes that home ownership contributes to family stability, leading in turn to community stability. Additionally, Habitat Pinellas raises funds through their ReStore, a home improvement outlet where donated household and building items are sold to the public. 
For more information about Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County, contact 727-536-4755 or visit

Draper and Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County, Florida, are partnering to help local families obtain their dream of home ownership. Pictured are Draper’s Habitat team members at the company’s offices in St. Petersburg, Florida.
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Human-Centered Solutions

Draper has continued to advance the understanding and application of human-centered engineering to optimize the interaction and capabilities of the human’s ability to better understand, assimilate and convey information for critical decisions and tasks. Through its Human-Centered Solutions capability, Draper enables accomplishment of users’ most critical missions by seamlessly integrating technology into a user’s workflow. This work leverages human-computer interaction through emerging findings in applied psychophysiology and cognitive neuroscience. Draper has deep skills in the design, development, and deployment of systems to support cognition – for users seated at desks, on the move with mobile devices or maneuvering in the cockpit of vehicles – and collaboration across human-human and human-autonomous teams.

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