Everyday, we at Habitat see first-hand the role that decent and affordable housing plays in creating positive outcomes for our local community. In Bonita Springs, there’s a critical need for affordable homes – a need that we are poised to address. As such, we remain steadfast in our commitment to expanding home affordability in the area.
As an organization, we rely heavily on the support of donors, sponsors and volunteers who help us drive our mission forward. Recently, the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation (RMSFF) has agreed to a $175,000 challenge grant to fund the development of a Bonita Springs property located off Carolina Street. Through the challenge structure of this grant, RMSFF hopes to inspire local philanthropists, businesses and community members to join them in supporting the development of this property, by making their own charitable contributions. If the $175,000 grant is matched by the community, all funds will go towards developing the Carolina St. Property for the benefit of 14 families in need of a hand up. The deadline is April 30, 2021.
According to our Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, Vince Modarelli, the development of the Carolina Street property means “14 more families in Bonita Springs will be able to raise their children in a stable, secure home, and have a relatively short drive to work.” He adds, “with a quiet, safe, healthy place to study and grow, those children will perform better in school and have better prospects for future employment.” Studies show that children who grow up in a home that their parents own are 116% more likely to graduate college. “With a mortgage based on 30% of their income, parents can afford better food and school supplies, and even save for emergencies, reducing the need for other social services. Eventually, the home will be fully paid for, enabling the homeowners to retire with security,” says Modarelli.
A permanent resident of Southwest Florida, RSMFF founder Richard M. “Dick” Schulze, is also founder and chairman emeritus of Best Buy Co., Inc., the world’s largest multi-channel, consumer electronic retailer. A desire to identify and fund “transformative changes benefitting mankind” led Schulze to start The Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation in 2004. According to RSMFF, “We invest in “best in class” organizations with strong leadership and capacity to scale. Organizations that help families move toward self-sufficiency by providing food, meals, and housing or shelter get our attention.”
“We are humbled and grateful for this level of support from the Schulze Family and the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation,” said Modarelli. “Likewise, we are inspired by the possibility of our community coming together to match this generous gift.”