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Veterans Build: Habitat for Humanity, volunteers raise walls of future home for Army veteran

Habitat for Humanity of Lee and Hendry Counties is helping a local U.S. Army veteran achieve his dream of homeownership in Fort Myers. Greg, a former combat medic, is the first to have a home built as part of Habitat’s new Veterans Build program, highlighting the organization’s ongoing commitment to partnering with veterans.

Following his military service, Greg set his sights on raising a family, attending college and working full-time. Unfortunately, the dream of owning a home remained out of reach, forcing him to spend the last seven years renting and living with a roommate.

Habitat for Humanity held a Veterans Build on Sept. 9, when volunteers raised and completed the exterior walls of Greg’s home in Habitat’s new community off Prospect Avenue in Fort Myers. A team of Habitat volunteers, veterans and sponsors, as well as Fort Myers Mayor Kevin Anderson, came together to show their support and participate in the construction of Greg’s future home.

“It was so difficult to get a home through a [Veterans Affairs] loan,” said Greg. “Habitat made the process much easier and helped me with different programs and finances. They’re helping me build a home, so I’m paying for my future and my grandkids’ future.”

Habitat’s Veterans Build program aims to partner with local veterans to provide decent housing, an affordable mortgage and the skills to succeed. Greg will complete 300 hours of sweat equity, more than 20 hours of homeownership and financial literacy classes, and will pay $2,000 for the closing costs of his home through Habitat’s Affordable Homeownership Program.

“Habitat for Humanity understands the unique housing challenges our veterans are faced with in Southwest Florida, and we want to be a local resource they can seek out to help them on their journey to homeownership,” said Malaina Mote, Habitat’s director of donor development. “We are excited to launch our inaugural Veteran’s Build program, so we can partner with more veterans like Greg in our area.”

The Veterans Build initiative opens the door for partnerships with sponsors, individual donors, community organizations and volunteers to build homes with veterans to help them achieve their dreams of homeownership.

For more information or to become a sponsor, visit Habitat4Humanity.org/Veterans-Build.

About Habitat for Humanity of Lee and Hendry Counties

Habitat for Humanity of Lee and Hendry Counties is a faith-based private nonprofit serving families with a housing need willing to partner. As a developer, builder, mortgage lender, housing counseling agency, retail operator and hurricane recovery organization, Habitat partners with families to build, improve or retain places to call home. Since 1982, Habitat has partnered with more than 1,800 families to help them achieve their dream of affordable homeownership. In addition to putting in 300 hours of sweat equity into building their own homes, Habitat Homebuyers contribute to their closing costs, attend more than 20 hours of financial education classes, and pay an affordable mortgage set at no more than 30% of their monthly income. Through volunteering and providing financial or material donations, everyone can help Lee and Hendry County families achieve strength, stability, and independence. For more information, visit Habitat4Humanity.org.

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