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Habitat for Humanity and Tampa Bay Lightning team up to build four homes for families in Fort Myers

By Staff | Sep 5, 2023

PROVIDED

Habitat for Humanity of Lee and Hendry Counties welcomed 125 volunteers with the Tampa Bay Lightning Foundation to help build four homes in Habitat’s new neighborhood off Prospect Avenue in Fort Myers.

Staff and season ticket members with the Lightning Foundation and Vinik Sports Group, the umbrella company of the Tampa Bay Lightning professional hockey team, volunteered alongside Habitat staff and future homeowners on Aug. 10-11 to build and raise the walls on four single-family homes on Journey Together Street. Over the two-day span, 125 Lightning volunteers dedicated 566 hours of work installing pre-built interior and exterior walls, hurricane straps and clips, and more among the four homes. In addition, nine volunteers from families of future Habitat homeowners also participated, contributing 60 hours of sweat equity to help build their future homes.

“We are extremely grateful to the Tampa Bay Lightning organization for its willingness to roll up its sleeves and make a difference in our community,” said Becky Lucas, CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Lee and Hendry Counties. “Together, we are building more than houses; we are building brighter futures. These four homes will not only provide shelter but will serve as the foundation for new beginnings, empowering families to thrive through the power of affordable homeownership.”

In response to Hurricane Ian, the Lightning Foundation pledged to support hurricane relief efforts in areas most impacted by the storm, resulting in partnerships with Habitat for Humanity of Lee and Hendry Counties and other local affiliates. The Lightning Foundation sponsored one of the four Habitat homes on Journey Together Street, which covers the full cost of building materials, supplies and skilled labor needed to complete the home. The four homes are expected to be move-in ready by early 2024.

Since 1982, Habitat has partnered with nearly 1,800 families to help them achieve their dream of affordable homeownership. Alongside volunteers, Habitat homeowners help build their own homes by completing more than 300 hours of sweat equity, in addition to attending financial education classes, paying $2,000 in closing costs and committing to pay a zero-interest mortgage set at no more than 30% of their monthly income.

PROVIDED

Situated between McCormick Street and Prospect Avenue, Habitat for Humanity’s newest neighborhood is a 6-acre HOA community in the City of Fort Myers. Planned for 29 single-family homes, the neighborhood features three-and four-bedroom designs ranging from 1,200 to 1,400 square feet. The initiative is part of Habitat’s ongoing commitment to providing affordable housing solutions in Lee and Hendry counties.

To learn more about Habitat for Humanity or to become a home sponsor, visit Habitat4Humanity.org.

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.

About Vinik Sports Group/Tampa Bay Lightning/AMALIE Arena

PROVIDED

The three-time Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning (2004, 2020, 2021) of the National Hockey League and the leasehold rights to AMALIE Arena, the 19,092-seat home in which the team plays its games, were purchased by Tampa Bay Sports & Entertainment, an entity established by Chairman and Governor Jeff Vinik, in March of 2010. Since that time, the Lightning and the arena have undergone a complete brand and business transformation, featuring a $100 million dollar renovation of the publicly owned facility as well as back-to-back Stanley Cup Championships in 2020 and 2021. AMALIE Arena serves as the centerpiece of the vibrant Water Street district of downtown Tampa, a development spearheaded by Vinik and his partners with Strategic Property Partners. In February of 2020, the organization announced the creation of Vinik Sports Group, which now serves as the parent company of the Lightning, AMALIE Arena and other sports and entertainment assets, including management of the Yuengling Center on the campus of the University of South Florida, as well as multi-media rights for USF Athletics. AMALIE Arena hosts over 200 events per year with over 2 million guests walking through the doors, while Yuengling Center hosts over 250 events per year with more than 1 million guests. Both have the mission to provide world-class entertainment for sports fans and music enthusiasts alike. Serving the community is a pillar of Vinik Sports Group and remains a core component of the fabric of the organization.

Source: Habitat for Humanity of Lee and Hendry Counties

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