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Lee BIA Builders Care, Stevens Construction reveal home rebuild for Fort Myers family in need

Home rebuilt in just 48 days at no cost to the family

A Fort Myers family received the life-changing gift of a new home thanks to a partnership between nonprofit Lee BIA Builders Care, local construction company Stevens Construction and a variety of community partners.

Myrtle Dillard is a longtime Fort Myers resident who has lived in her home for 33 years. Originally built in 1927, the 958-square-foot, two-bedroom, one-bathroom dwelling had fallen into a state of disrepair. As time passed, the family faced significant challenges in maintaining the home. Caring for her daughter and twin granddaughters, Dillard’s health concerns and the recent passing of her husband, Joseph, made Dillard’s need for support more critical than ever. The home required extensive repairs and lacked necessary accessibility features, posing serious safety risks for Dillard, who relies on wheelchair access.

Recognizing the urgency of the situation, Stevens Construction committed to rebuilding the Dillard family’s home from the ground up at no cost. Rather than opting for minor renovations, the decision to rebuild the entire structure ensured that the family could live safely and comfortably for years to come. The entire structure was demolished and rebuilt in just 48 days at no cost to the homeowner, and community partners came together on May 7 to welcome the Dillard family home with a curtain reveal of the newly completed house.

“It’s beautiful, it’s gorgeous! A brand-new house. That’s something I never had before and I’m just so grateful for it,” said homeowner Myrtle Dillard. “I didn’t know I had this many people on my side, I really didn’t.”

The new home is 1,347 square feet with three bedrooms and two bathrooms to accommodate the family’s needs. Accessible doorways, bathroom and a wheelchair ramp ensure Myrtle Dillard can navigate her home comfortably. Community partners and donors helped fill the new home with necessities, including furniture, appliances, decor and household supplies. Additionally, Harry Chapin Food Bank helped ensure the family’s kitchen cabinets and fridge were filled with food and essentials for their first night home.

“There’s over 48 companies, over 2,000 hours that went into the actual construction of this over the last 48 days, in addition to the several hundred hours of planning,” said Mark Stevens, president of Stevens Construction. “It’s a great example of what a community that’s dedicated and wants to give back can do and how quickly it can change lives.”

Dozens of industry partners contributed to the Dillard project through donation of labor and materials, including: American Builders Supply; Barraco & Associates; BH Flooring Studio; Bolaños Truxton, P.A.; The City of Fort Myers; Clive Daniel Home; Collins DuPont; Cougar Companies; Crowther Roofing; Ferguson; Floorcrafters; Ford Drywall; Hanlon; Honc Destruction; John’s To Go; Juniper Landscaping; Lee Designs; Liberty Aluminum; Mo Better Garage; Montgomery Cabinetry; MSI; Plumbing Solutions; Preferred Materials; Priority Marketing; Raymond Building Supply; Service Contractors; Sherwin Williams; Southern Door; SunCoast Contractors Supply; SunMAC Stone Specialists; Southwest Waste Management; Taulman Pest Control; United Mechanical; Universal Engineering; Valtex; Wilson Lighting; and York Electric.

“The blessing is indescribable. It wasn’t our doing; God had his hand here to bring us all together for this to happen. The result is that this family, the children and the momma who were in great need are going to have a change in their lives forever,” said Randy Thibaut, board member and co-founder of Lee BIA Builders Care and CEO and founder of Retland Holdings. “All the people who contributed get to give back to their community, which is amazing about Builders Care that all of our dollars go right here to a family that lives in our community and needs the help – not just wants it.”

Since 2005, Lee BIA Builders Care has helped nearly 500 individuals and families by providing A/C repairs, wheelchair ramps, roof replacements, remodeling projects and other critical repairs that allow deserving elderly and/or disabled homeowners, and their families, to live safely and comfortably in their own homes. Projects are made possible through generous donors and community partners who provide labor and materials to bring a project into reality.

For more information about Lee BIA Builders Care and its mission, visit LeeBuildersCare.org.

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