On July 1, 2011, while deployed in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom with the Ft. Hood’s 36th Engineer Brigade, an explosive device destroyed the vehicle SPC Stephen Peterson was riding in. This explosion caused SPC Peterson to lose his right leg above the knee, fractured a hip, along with other trauma.
Specialist Peterson has since returned to Florida, after months of extensive rehabilitation at Brooke Army Military Medical Center, to establish himself in the Tampa Bay area. Operation FINALLY HOME (OFH) in partnership with Community Partners in Revitalization (CPR) selected him to receive a new home. CPR, a local non-profit in the greater Tampa Bay Area took point and began the process to assemble the participants needed to donate the home, while providing a rent-free condo in the Ybor area as the home was constructed. Gramatica Family Foundation has held Kick Ball events and other activities to raise money and awareness.
It’s been a long time coming, but SPC Stephen Peterson will finally be moving into his new home on July 25th. CPR and OFH will award him the keys to his new home at 9 a.m. along with Mayor Rick Kriseman and Martin Gramatica, retired NFL placekicker.
Brian K. Lamb, a military veteran and the founder of CPR stated “This will be our second home give away, along with other park improvement projects; we support “central living” in Tampa Bay. It’s amazing to see the community come together and unveil the forgotten beauty of some of the more established, centrally located communities. The community has supported our private business at Meritus Corp over the last 10 years – this is our way to give back in our industry and to the community.”
Councilman Nurse of the City of St. Petersburg, Mr. Lamb and others had worked for over 2 years on the concept and opportunity. The lot donation, assistance of funding by banks, such as Chase, and repeated contributions by Dockside Roofing along with several other building trades brought the idea for St. Petersburg to a reality as the consortium stepped up to the plate during a period of a healing economy, while keeping the home mortgage-free.
This home is designed to be energy-efficient and as maintenance friendly as possible. Gramatica Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) are used to maximize energy efficiency. Additionally, a lot adjacent to SPC Peterson was donated to CPR by the city for the program to succeed locally and eventually bring another deserving veteran to the neighborhood.
“I am excited to move-in to my new home, go to school and move on to the next step in my life” Specialist Peterson said. “I will be forever grateful to the sponsors and local community for all their support and can’t wait to call St. Pete home!” Mr. Lamb of CPR stated “our work for this endeavor in the Tampa Bay area is far from being over, in fact we planning to breaking ground in Clearwater for our third donated home in the greater Tampa Bay area this fall.”
CPR Administrator, Pati Morris, says, “This Dedication Ceremony gives us a chance to thank the many people from our community who came together to help make the construction of this new home a success. Donors, volunteers, board members, staff and our local community all worked together to help carry out the mission of Community Partners in Revitalization.” Meritus Corporation, OFH and CPR invite you to join us for the dedication ceremony on July 25th at 9 a.m. at 1771 12th Avenue South in St. Petersburg.
About Community Partners in Revitalization:
Community Partners in Revitalization (CPR) is Tampa Bay FL veteran founded organization. The mission for CPR was developed in an effort to improve the quality of life by improving community parks, providing healthy, energy efficient homes for low to moderate income individuals, families and veterans. These strategically placed new homes in the Tampa Bay area have been effective in neighborhood stabilization and positive economic impact. As CPR is a qualified licensed general contractor, they have an ability to maintain cost controls to ensure the community receives the maximum benefit of efforts, donations and funds made available by use of efficient designs. To learn more, please visit www.cpr501c3.com.
About Operation FINALLY HOME:
Operation FINALLY HOME (OFH) is a nationwide organization that was established in 2005, as a non-partisan/non-profit 501(c) (3). Operation FINALLY HOME’S mission is to provide custom made mortgage free homes to wounded and disabled veterans and the widows of the fallen in an effort to get their lives back on track and become productive members of their communities.