Ola Stevens, a retired teacher's assistant, sees volunteers put the final touches on repairs to her home through Miami-Dades Senior Housing Assistance Repair Program.
Ola Stevens spent her life making Richmond Heights a better community. And when she needed a helping hand, the community was there for her.
After 35 years as a teacher's assistant, Stevens retired from Miami-Dade Public Schools. She has lived in the Richmond Heights community since 1951 and is a founding member of the Richmond Heights Womens Club, active in Bethel Baptist Church of Richmond Heights, the Business Professional Women of Dade County, and her neighborhood Crime Watch to name a few.
One day a water pipe burst under her home causing serious damage to her kitchen and floors. The mother
of two and grandmother of three, who lives on a limited income, turned to Miami-Dade County's Senior
Housing Assistance Repair Program, which assists low-income senior citizens in making needed repairs to
Stevens was relocated to the University Inn of Coral Gables while the water damage in her home was being
repaired. A few months later, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez along with other county officials welcomed
her back home.
Im so grateful to everyone who has helped me and to God above, Stevens said. If it werent for this
program, Im not sure where I would be.
SHARP is a partnership between Miami-Dade County and Habitat for Humanity of Greater Miami. Since the
inception of the program in 2008, 88 applications have been received, five new homes have been
constructed; 19 homes have been rehabilitated; eight homes are being repaired; and three are soon to be
The county expects to build another four new homes and rehabilitate 10 homes this year, and another 10
in 2011. In addition to the home repairs, these seniors have received other needed services, including
medical, meals, household items and more.