POMPANO BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - Several dozen dedicated business leaders rolled up their sleeves and got their hands dirty to build homes for hardworking South Florida families as part of the second annual Habitat for Humanity CEO Build.

About 50 CEO’s traded in their suits for a T-shirt and a hammer bright and early Saturday.

Volunteers got to work shortly after daybreak at a Rick Case Habitat community in Pompano Beach.

“So delighted to be here. Thank the good Lord,” said City Furniture CEO Keith Koenig.

“Last year was fantastic, except I’d never put up trusses before,” said Rita Case with Rick Case Automotive Group.

Koenig said he felt honored to help these families.

“These are good working families that are trying to make the best lives for themselves and their [loved ones], so we’re excited to help,” he said.

They worked to transform empty lots into forever homes.

“Today we brought together 50 generous business leaders, and together we are going to build these homes,” said Case. “Habitat for Humanity, for over 37 years, has brought people together to build homes, to build communities and to build hope.”

The community is the largest affordable single family housing project in Broward County’s history.

“I’ve never laid down grass,” said new homeowner Nico Huie.

Habitat’s goal is to provide a hand up to deserving families and allow them to achieve their American dream.

“They spend a year going to light skills classes. They have to build their own home,” said Case. “They have to make the down payment to earn the mortgage so that they can have the American dream of homeownership.”

“We worked on saving, budgeting. We worked on ourselves. We had to do 300 hours of sweat equity, just me and my husband,” said new homeowner Jeanna Huie.

The group of men and women behind the hammers and shovels represent a variety of businesses in South Florida.

Among them was WSVN’s Paul Magnes.

Building affordable houses not only benefits the families who will be moving into these homes. It also makes an economic impact across South Florida.

“Their kids are two times more likely to go to college. Their health outcomes — you wouldn’t think that that would be a ripple effect, but homeowners have 74% better health outcomes as a result of being a homeowner, and then it allows them to build net worth,” said Brent Burns, president and CEO of JM Family Enterprises, “so they’re 44 times more financially successful and financially stong than renters are, so it really is that virtuous circle.”

Within a few months, these walls will be filled with memories, laughter and endless possibilities for these families.

“Anything is possible with God,” said Nico Huie.

As Habitat of Broward continues to make homeownership a possibility for so many.

WSVN is a proud supporter and sponsor of Habitat for Humanity.

Habitat for Humanity of Broward County

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Miami

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