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Home demolished, will be rebuilt for Fort Myers family in need

Lee BIA Builders Care
Fort Myers resident Myrtle Dillard's home of 33 years came tumbling down Friday, part of a rebuilding effort by local builders.

A Fort Myers family watched as their home of 33 years was torn asunder on Friday.

The demolition, however, was a good thing as the home's razing was a life-changing gift courtesy of a partnership between nonprofit Lee BIA Builders Care, local construction company Stevens Construction and a variety of community partners.

Myrtle Dillard is a longtime Fort Myers resident who has lived in her home for 33 years. Originally built in 1927, the 958-square-foot, two-bedroom, one-bathroom dwelling had fallen into a state of disrepair. As time passed, the family faced significant challenges in maintaining the home.

Caring for her daughter and twin granddaughters, Dillard’s health concerns and the recent passing of her husband, Joseph, have made Dillard’s need for support more critical than ever. The home not only requires extensive repairs, but also lacks necessary accessibility features, posing serious safety risks for Dillard, who relies on wheelchair access.

Recognizing the urgency of the situation, Stevens Construction committed to rebuilding the Dillard family’s home from the ground up at no cost. Rather than opting for minor renovations, the decision to rebuild the entire structure ensures that the family can live safely and comfortably for years to come.

Builders Care and Stevens Construction celebrated the start of construction with a kickoff demolition event Friday, where project partners, donors and community leaders surrounded the Dillard family with support as construction crews began the process of demolishing the home.

The demo marked the start of a 60-day project to deliver a new home for the Dillard family.

“We’re excited to mark the beginning of this transformative project with a demolition event, symbolizing the start of a new chapter for the Dillard family,” said Dan Adams, executive vice president of Stevens Construction. “The demolition will pave the way for the construction of a brand-new home, tailored to meet the unique needs of Myrtle and her family. This is a life-changing project for the Dillard family, and we’re honored to be a part of it.”

As construction progresses, Builders Care and Stevens Construction invite the community to follow the journey of the Dillard family and witness the transformation of their new home.

Anyone looking to help with essential supplies and comfort items, an Amazon Wish List has been created at https://www.amazon.com/registries/gl/guest-view/1TUCTR3NSKYSL.

“We are honored to help provide the Dillard family with a fresh start and a home that prioritizes safety and accessibility,” said Randy Thibaut, board member and co-founder of Lee BIA Builders Care and CEO and founder of Retland Holdings. “Builders Care looks for homeowners who are really in need – not just want. The Dillard family was not asking for a thing but had a great need for emergency construction services. This project exemplifies the spirit of community and compassion, as we come together to make a meaningful difference in the lives of this special family.”

Since 2005, Lee BIA Builders Care has helped nearly 500 individuals and families by providing A/C repairs, wheelchair ramps, roof replacements, remodeling projects and other critical repairs that allow deserving elderly and/or disabled homeowners, and their families, to live safely and comfortably in their own homes. Projects are made possible through generous donors and community partners who provide labor and materials to bring a project into reality.

Dozens of industry partners are contributing to the Dillard project through donation of labor and materials, including: American Builders Supply; Barraco & Associates; BH Flooring Studio; Bolaños Truxton, P.A.; The City of Fort Myers; Clive Daniel Home; Cougar Companies; Crowther Roofing; Ferguson; Floorcrafters; Ford Drywall; Hanlon; Honc Destruction; John’s To Go; Juniper Landscaping; Lee Designs; Liberty Aluminum; Mo Better Garage; Montgomery Cabinetry; MSI; Plumbing Solutions; Preferred Materials; Priority Marketing; Raymond Building Supply; Service Contractors; Sherwin Williams; Southern Door; SunCoast Contractors Supply; SunMAC Stone Specialists; Southwest Waste Management; Taulman Pest Control; United Mechanical; Universal Engineering; Valtex; Wilson Lighting; and York Electric.

For more information about Lee BIA Builders Care and its mission, visit LeeBuildersCare.org.