Volunteers build home for veteran in Charlotte County

Habitat for Humanity and AmeriCorps are teaming up to build a home for a local veteran this week.

AmeriCorps arrived in Florida to help relief efforts after Hurricane Irma and now they are staying to help build homes with Habitat.

Their goal is to build 30 homes in Charlotte County this year.

“It’s amazing to see how quickly you can help get the house up if you have a lot of people who are willing to help,” said Kayla Benjamin who works with AmeriCorps.

The team had a busy week. They took an empty lot and turned it into a foundation for a home that will be donated to a veteran and his son.

“Helping with a vet’s home is really impactful for this community especially,” Benjamin said. “The way this area is where there’s so many people who have expensive rentals because they’re here part of the year. So giving them the opportunity to have home ownership is Habitat’s goal.”

The team of young adults is determined.

“We got those interior walls up in one day, and those exterior walls up in two days because we just powered through it.”

Nora Elliot, the team leader, agrees.

“There’s eight of us and the volunteers,” said Elliot. “It’s amazing what we can do in a week and a half if you get the volunteers together.

The team members are from all over the country but they became a a part of the community when the Southwest Florida needed help after Irma.

“We found people whose trees were down and we cut up the trees and moved them from the street,” Benjamin said. “Then we found people whose roofs were leaking, so we took tarps and fixed the roofs.”

From disaster relief to community building, the team is embraced by Southwest Florida anywhere they go.

“It’s great to see how thankful people are,” said Elliot. “I’m at the grocery store buying something for my team and people will come and say thank you AmeriCorp, we appreciate what you’re doing. Keep it up.”


Writer:Emily Luft