Collier residents can still apply for assistance through Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity says Collier residents can apply if you still need help with your home.

Volunteers continue to work on homes, one year after Hurricane Irma, and one homeowner’s story of recovery is what keeps them inspired.

“You can see where the Clorox marks are from where the neighbors cleaned up the blood,” said Sarah Shaw. She was evacuating when a gust of wind lifted her off her front steps and knocked her hard onto the cement.

She spent four months in the hospital.

She says returning to her Collier County home was just as painful.

Retired and a veteran with no family in the area, she tried to clean up the home from her walker.

“I just piled everything on that and took my time little bit stops little bit stopped,” Shaw said.

That’s when volunteers stepped in.

The nonprofit Community Foundation of Collier County has donated $740,000 to Collier County Habitat for Humanity since Hurricane Irma in order to rebuild and repair homes like Sarah’s.

“I was at my wits end because I could see absolutely no light at the end of the tunnel,” she said.

A light that is vital to some of Collier’s most vulnerable people even a year later.

“People don’t realize how badly collier was hit and i think the other thing is people think collier’s a very wealthy community so therefore there won’t be problems,” said Eileen Connolly-Keesler, the CEO of Community Foundation of Collier County.

Donations are still needed because repairs are still needing to be completed. And for people like Sarah, every day that goes by with a roof unfixed becomes more urgent.

“We are inviting anybody that has damage that is yet to be repaired to come in to apply, we are receiving those applications everyday,” said Lisa Lefkow, CEO of Collier County Habitat for Humanity.

Sarah’s application for a new roof, windows and a washer-dryer was approved and is on the way to becoming a reality.

If you would like to apply for assistance, you can visit their website. 

Reporter:Anika Henanger
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