POMPANO BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - A group of students lent a helping hand to a South Florida veteran whose home was destroyed in a fire.
After he lost his Pompano Beach home to a fire and became displaced, Vietnam War veteran John Lee is getting a brand new home, thanks to teenagers he has never met before.
“I needed this kind of help,” Lee said. “I needed it very bad. These kids do marvelous work. I was amazed when they cleaned out the house, marvelous.”
Cameras captured students turned good Samaritans like Jayden demolishing the interior of the home, Wednesday. After demolition work is completed, the home will receive a makeover.
“It’s a once in a lifetime experience to be able to do this for someone so important to the city, to the community, and it’s good vibes all around,” Jayden, a student, said.
“These kids are locals to the neighborhood,” Habitat for Humanity Director of Construction Alex Nesar said. “The fact that Mr. Lee and his nephew are working alongside them, teaching them the importance of keeping it in the community, learning a trade and helping neighbors out is a great feeling watching this happen.”
The students are in a program called Building Futures with Habitat for Humanity of Broward. Some are also from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Broward County.
“It’s been very good to get him back in his own homestead, where he can live his life on his own,” Lee’s friend Vince Johnson said.
The rebuild is a win-win for Lee and the teenagers. The students are with the Rick Case Habitat Community, which has a new program called Building Futures. It gives teenagers eight weeks of intensive hands-on experience with skilled construction trades — like building affordable homes — to see if this is a career for them.
“In our county, we have a huge shortage of construction,” Habitat for Humanity of Broward Chief Program Officer Thor Barraclough said. “These are high paying jobs. There’s a real need, so these kids are not only learning those trades but those skills to help them build their own careers.”
Lee said he is thrilled to have their help and a new home.
“Very elated that this has happened to me,” Lee said. “I didn’t think this would happen to me.”
The Rick Case Habitat Community is the largest affordable single family housing project in Broward County history.
Those who wish to help can call 954-396-3030 in Broward County or 305-634-3628 in Miami-Dade County.
WSVN is proud to be a longtime sponsor of Habitat for Humanity.
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