Home Sweet Home for Lehigh Acres Mother


Lee BIA Builders Care recently wrapped up a life-changing renovation project for Lehigh Acres homeowner, Jodi Santana. With the help of the Lee County SHIP home renovation grant, Builders Care partnered with J. Lee Builders, Inc. among local companies and volunteers to facilitate the project.

Jodi Santana is a strong, happy and positive single mother that suffers from a severe degenerative disease affecting her sight. Despite her health issues, Jodi continues to work as a customer service representative for LCEC and works hard to provide for herself, support her three grown children and barely cover bills for her quaint Lehigh Acres home.

Ms. Santana’s primary concern was her leaky roof. Her income alone would not allow her to consider addressing these critical repairs needed. The grant and assistance from Lee Builders Care is a dream come true.

With the help of the Lee County SHIP grant, not only did Jodi receive a brand new roof, but other significant repairs were made throughout the home, including a new HVAC system, structural repairs, flooring, bathroom improvements and interior/exterior paint.

Jodi stayed with family and friends during the construction period, which lasted just 2 weeks. She was not permitted to enter the home at any time throughout construction.

Jodi’s pride and joyVeterinary Service of Fort Myers and Sanibel Island, Florida are her two canine companions, Sam and Gloria. She was not able to take the dogs with her during her temporary stay with family and friends during the construction. To help facilitate the project, Coral Veterinary Clinic in Fort Myers generously stepped up to help with the care and short-term housing of both dogs. They received complimentary exams, vaccinations, and exceptional care during their stay at the Coral Veterinary Clinic.

During the project, over a dozen community volunteers offered their time and expertise to help paint the exterior of the home for Ms. Santana. Povia Paints donated all paint materials and supplies.

“Lee Builders Care gives you hope”, said Santana. “I’m embarrassed of my house, and for them to fix all this, but it’s going to give me pride back to have a beautiful home, so I can have my children and grandchildren over.” Jodi was beyond words when she was welcomed back to her home after construction.

To help address years of water leaks in the home caused by an incorrectly sloped driveway, Westcoast Structural Concrete and Masonry along with Preferred Materials donated the concrete and labor to remove and replace a portion of Ms. Santana’s driveway. This helped address the leaks and will ensure that the home does not leak in the future.

Thank you to all involved in making this project a success!

  • J. Lee Builders Inc.
  • Westcoast Structural Concrete & Masonry
  • Preferred Materials
  • Povia Paints
  • Hideaway Storage
  • Honc Destruction & Recycling
  • Community Volunteers who helped paint the home
  • Coral Veterinary Clinic
  • J.W. Craft

About the Homeowner

Santana’s adversity began at 5-years-old when she accidentally poked a pen in her right eye. Fast-forward to age 30, she was diagnosed with glaucoma in that same eye and underwent eight surgeries to try and correct it. Unfortunately, Jodie became blind in her right eye. Five years later, doctors discovered that she has an extremely rare autoimmune disease called HLA-B27. Essentially, when her body encounters an infection, it goes straight to her retinas. They end up swelling in reaction to the infection, and she can become blind in both eyes. According to Jodie’s doctor, the future of her condition is unknown, but she doesn’t let her disabilities stop her. She’s a fighter and raised her three children on her own. Although she has endured obstacles in life, she provided a great life for her and her children. Credit: Catherine Diaz, FGCU

About Builders Care

Builders Care is the nonprofit charitable arm of the Lee Building Industry Association (BIA). Its mission is to provide emergency home repairs and construction services to elderly, disabled and economically disadvantaged people who are unable to obtain home repairs through traditional means. To date, Lee BIA Builders Care has put more than $4 Million in construction services back into the community at no cost to homeowners in need. Builders Care enlists the volunteer services of Lee BIA members and leverages grants and donated materials to provide construction and remodeling services to qualified homeowners throughout Lee County. Builders Care is headquartered at the Lee BIA offices at 10501 Six Mile Cypress Parkway, Suite 118 in Fort Myers. The Building Industry Association (www.BIA.net ) is a 62-year-old association affiliated with National Home Builders Association and Florida Home Builders Association that serves to strengthen our community by advancing a professional building industry through advocacy, education, and services. Donations can be made online at www.LeeBuildersCare.org, or to the Builders Care general fund at BB&T Page Field branch at 4959 South Cleveland Ave. in Fort Myers. More information is available by calling 239-938-0056.