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Explore Habitat for Humanity of Lee and Hendry Counites’ rich history – its beginnings, growth and milestones.


February 23, 1980

The Lee County Mission Board broke ground on the first Lee County home in Harlem Heights with Habitat for Humanity founder Millard Fuller in attendance. The family moved into the new home by Christmas.

October 8, 1982

Received charter to be an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, becoming Habitat for Humanity of Lee County, Inc.


The first phase of Harlem Heights, which included 21 homes, was completed. Construction expanded from Harlem Heights to Sabal Palms, Pine Manor, Dunbar, Alva, North Fort Myers, Lehigh Acres, Cape Coral and Bonita Springs.

May 1990

Vern Archibald was appointed as the first Executive Director and first paid staff member.


The Furniture Committee was formed to help families furnish their homes. As a result, a retail outlet for Habitat families was opened. Supporters were so generous that the resale shop was soon opened to the public and named the Habitat for Humanity ReStore.

March 1995

Dedicated 100th home. Lee County and the City of Fort Myers issued a proclamation marking the milestone as “Habitat for Humanity Week.” President Clinton sent a letter of congratulations.


The mission expanded to Hendry County, with the first home closing in 2001.


The construction warehouse is built at the North Fort Myers administration campus. Originally designed to store materials in bulk to take advantage of discount pricing, volunteers recognized that the organization could streamline its bricks-and-sticks method of building homes on-site and created a wall-assembly unit in the warehouse.


Volunteers finish the wall-assembly system, which consists of template tables where volunteers build the exterior walls of each home. Walls of Habitat homes are constructed in this warehouse, strapped and stored until they are ready to be transported to worksites where onsite volunteers complete a wall-raising. This system boosted Habitat’s house production from 40 homes annually to more than 80.

Commercial properties on Gladiolus are acquired and demolished—revitalizing the Harlem Heights neighborhood.


Dedicated 500th home.

Broke ground on landmark senior housing complex located in North Fort Myers. The ten, six-unit buildings were completed in July of 2006 with all new appliances and handicapped accessibility for tenants in Habitat’s senior housing complex. The project was a first-of-its-kind idea for any Habitat affiliate to take on. The concept was to provide decent, affordable rental units for low-income senior citizens.

March 2006

Received the “Affiliate of the Year” award from Habitat International.


Named second-largest Habitat affiliate in the country for production and celebrated 25 years in the community.

2009 and 2010

Due to the economic downturn, Habitat sold most of its homes to low-income families as rehabilitated existing homes, which helped stabilize hard-hit neighborhoods.

March 14, 2009

Dedicated 1,000th home.


President and CEO Vern Archibald retired after 20 years of service, and Katherine “Kitty” Green was named the second President/CEO in three decades.

The Habitat ReStore expanded to a 26,000 sq. ft. facility in North Fort Myers, becoming the largest thrift store in Lee County.

The Women Build Campaign was revived to engage local women in Habitat’s mission.


The organization name was revised to “Habitat for Humanity of Lee and Hendry Counties, Inc.”

January 2012

The second Habitat ReStore opens in Bonita Springs on Bonita Beach Road.

Oct. 8, 2012

Celebrated 30th anniversary of serving the community.

July 19, 2014

Third ReStore Retail and Donation Center opens in South Fort Myers on South Tamiami Trail.


Broke ground on 26-home Red Hibiscus neighborhood in Bonita Springs.


Broke ground on 11-home FineMark Village neighborhood in Harlem Heights.


The highest number of volunteer hours was recorded, with 7,817 volunteers donating 74,750 hours of service.

Purchased 24 acres in Harlem Heights for a future 150-home neighborhood, Heritage Heights.

The organization became a HUD-approved housing counseling agency.


Named the number one tithing affiliate in the nation for market size.

Dedicated 1,500th home.


The Disaster Recovery Program was created to respond to the effects of Hurricane Irma (Sept. 10, 2017). A total of 109 repairs were completed for families directly impacted by Irma.

May 2019

Katherine “Kitty” Green resigns, and Becky Lucas is named the third CEO in the organization’s history.


Fourth ReStore Retail and Donation Center opens at the McGregor Point Shopping Center on McGregor Boulevard.

February 7, 2020

Broke ground on flagship Heritage Heights neighborhood, a planned community of 150 homes in Harlem Heights.


Developed operational goal to provide a pathway to homeownership to anyone who demonstrates a need and a willingness to partner, with intentions to dramatically expand the organization’s community impact.

Partnered with the City of Cape Coral to distribute $994,244 in Coronavirus Relief Funds to 193 Cape Coral families in response to the devastating impact of COVID-19 on local renters and private homeowners.

Broke ground on 14-home Partnership Place neighborhood in Bonita Springs.

April 2022

Reopened volunteer program after the COVID-19 pandemic.

May 2022

Broke ground on 29-home neighborhood Journey Together in the City of Fort Myers.

September 2022

On September 28, Hurricane Ian destroyed and damaged tens of thousands of homes and businesses across Southwest Florida, including Habitat’s administration offices in North Fort Myers and two of the four ReStores.

Despite catastrophic community losses, staff immediately returned to work serving families. We expanded our housing ministry outreach to include the Hurricane Recovery Home Repair Program for low-income homeowners while continuing our Affordable Homeownership Program.

October 8, 2022

Celebrated 40th anniversary.

November 14, 2022

Relocated Administrative Office to 12751 New Brittany Boulevard off College Parkway in Fort Myers. Situated between U.S. 41 and Summerlin Road, the office is centrally located for all families.

February 23, 2023

Broke ground on McNeill Village, a 36-home neighborhood in the city of Fort Myers.

May 9, 2023

Dedicated land in Heritage Heights in partnership with FEMA to temporarily house families displaced due to Hurricane Ian.

June 1, 2023

Habitat for Humanity of Lee and Hendry Counties was named one of the Best Places to Work in Southwest Florida in 2023 by Gulfshore Business Magazine.

June 30, 2023

Celebrated the most impactful fiscal year in our organization’s history, having served a record 1,687 new families through affordable homeownership, housing counseling and home repairs (including hurricane recovery).

November 16, 2023

Broke ground on Carolina Cove, a 14-home neighborhood in the city of Bonita Springs.