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Building healthier neighborhoods, Tampa Bay Lightning help repair homes

The community is stepping up to help people who need a few things fixed around their homes.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Imagine not having hot water for an entire year. That’s how one St. Petersburg woman lived because of a bad water heater. 

On Thursday, the non-profit group Rebuilding Together Tampa Bay teamed up with the Tampa Bay Lightning and Spectrum to help three low-income families rebuild their homes.

“When they replaced the hot water heater and I took my first hot shower in a while it was amazing,” homeowner Brandi Holroyd said. “It was so old but I couldn’t afford to fix it.” 

Holroyd applied for a grant with Rebuilding Together Tampa Bay back in January and months later this massive team showed up ready to help her and two of her neighbors.

“They just knocked on my door and asked if I needed help and the answer was yes,” homeowner June Armijo said. “They replaced my lock, motion sensors, walkway and back door which turned out to be on backward.”

The Building a Healthier Lealman Project’s goal is helping fix-up homes in the Pinellas County neighborhood. Organizers of the event said up to $30,000 worth of repairs were made for the three homes that were selected Thursday. Armijo said many older people can’t always keep up with what breaks down.

“A lot of them are on fixed-incomes. That’s why I haven’t fixed all the small problems with my home to tell you the truth because it adds up so fast and costs a fortune to fix,” Armijo said.

All three homeowners said they are so thankful for the help and that this is something that everyone should do for their neighbors when they can.

“I think it’s so important for people to give back you know help out when you can. Even if it’s not helping this much just go over to your neighbor and see if they need help with something small. Everyone needs help now and then, my family sure did,” homeowner Alex Keathley said.

If you would like to apply for help from this organization you can apply on their website.

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