Schulze Foundation Matching Grant Helps Fund Four Affordable Homes in Naples

The Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation has made four more homes possible for families in our Whitaker Woods subdivision in Naples. The charitable foundation offered up a matching grant of $400,000. With all match funds unlocked through the generosity of gifts from a small group of individual donors, the resulting $800,000 went to fund the cost of construction for one four-plex in Naples in the new Whitaker Woods subdivision.

Those gifts, made earlier this year, have finally come to fruition. Over the summer, four families closed on their purchase of the affordable townhomes, marking the end of their struggle with housing affordability.

“I feel enormously grateful and I will ask God every day of my life to greatly bless all those hands that contributed a grain of sand to this sea of dreams,” new homeowner, Elba, said as she closed on her home. Before their Habitat home, Elba and her two children lived in a small apartment where her teenage daughter and eight-year-old son had to share a room and she constantly worried about the rent rising with each renewal. Today, she’s breathing easy knowing that her mortgage is tailored to be affordable for her.

Noel and Maria were paying nearly $2,500 in rent each month to keep a safe roof over the heads of their son and daughter. Working three jobs between the two of them, they still had trouble keeping up with the high cost of living in Naples. For them, an affordable mortgage means a fresh start and new opportunities for all four family members. Mom and Dad have their sites set on better career opportunities, while their son looks toward his college career and their daughter enters middle school.

“The word gratitude is too small next to all the happiness that has come to our family with this new home,” they told us. “Thank you—thank you with all our hearts. We will make our home our refuge of love, peace and happiness.”

These two families are joined by two neighbors in the four-plex of townhomes who are just beginning to experience for themselves the strength and stability of an affordable home.

The Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation has partnered with Habitat Collier since 2015 to build affordable homes in Collier County. In that time, more than 25 families have benefitted from their partnership and generosity.

The $400,000 matching grant is the second the foundation has offered to help build homes in Whitaker Woods. The first came last summer and helped build a triplex earlier this year. Thanks to the generosity of the Schulze Foundation’s matching grants—and the donors who were inspired by that generosity to meet the matching challenge—seven hard-working families in this community have received the incredible hand-up that is a Habitat home. The impact of these gifts goes far beyond changing lives today, it’s breaking the cycle for a better future.