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Homeowner StoryHurricane Recovery

Making a home whole again

The memory of experiencing Hurricane Ian is still raw for Eddie Mae.

“There were tears in my eyes like there are now from just thinking about what we went through,” she said.

The longtime Fort Myers resident has lived through several hurricanes that have impacted Southwest Florida over the years, but none were like Ian. The storm made landfall as a category four hurricane and caused devastation to Lee County.

“As it happened, I had to put my hand on the wall and pray,” she remembered. “I knew the wind was going to pick the roof up and take off. And I didn’t want that to happen.” Hurricane Ian caused damage to the interior and exterior of Eddie Mae’s home, including the roof and soffit. Unable to afford the costly repairs, she turned to Habitat for Humanity of Lee and Hendry Counties.

“They fixed the roof, the soffit and the inside of the attic wall they replaced and framed it,” she said. Habitat’s Hurricane Recovery Program is designed for qualified low- and moderate-income-earning residents who own their homes in Lee County and have storm damage. The program covers the cost of eligible repairs to make their home whole.

“Recovery takes a long time after the storm,” said Habitat’s Director of Home Resilience and Preservation Daniela Rambhajan. “Examples of repairs may include but are not limited to roof repair or replacement, siding, drywall, painting, windows and doors. You don’t have to be a Habitat homeowner to qualify.”

“When Habitat says they’re there for you, they’re always there for you.” The program is made possible by generous donations after the hurricane as well as funding from government partners. Ninety four families and counting have had repairs made to their homes as a result.

“We’re so grateful for the support from donors and our partners and are very proud to offer this program to eligible people from the entire community,” said Rambhajan.

You can help families like Edie Mae’s achieve homeownership by donating securely online today.