Mary Porter’s legacy of philanthropy is helping hardworking families move into new affordably priced homes in Pompano Beach this summer.
A $1 million grant, made possible by Mary’s powerful estate gift to the Community Foundation of Broward, has jump-started construction of 77 homes at Habitat for Humanity of Broward’s largest ever new neighborhood.
Mary’s gift is paying for water and sewer lines, electrical lines, roads and other infrastructure at the new neighborhood on Northwest 15th Street, called A Rick Case Habitat Community. Her grant is also helping pour the foundations for 50 homes there.
At the June 27 dedication of the first seven completed homes, evidence of Mary’s enduring influence was on display – from her name on the signs welcoming homeowners to a street named in her honor. Plans call for a statue of Mary to be part of a new park and playground.
“Mary died 10 years ago, but today she is building this community,” Community Foundation of Broward President and CEO Linda Carter said at the dedication ceremony. “Philanthropy allows you to put a mark on society. Mary will continue to shape the future of Broward.”
Gov. Ron DeSantis joined dozens of local leaders at the dedication ceremony, thanking Habitat for Humanity and the neighborhood’s sponsors for new homes that will make a “huge, huge impact” in the push to provide more affordable housing.
“This is a great project,” DeSantis said. “You are talking about … hardworking families, giving them the opportunity to have a nice home.”
Support for affordable housing, including the $1 million grant from the Mary N. Porter Legacy Fund, is part of the Community Foundation’s Economic Independence initiative– which fosters philanthropy that helps families move from struggling to thriving.
More than half of Broward’s workforce lives paycheck-to-paycheck and local wages fail to keep pace with rising housing costs. Habitat for Humanity’s new neighborhood helps provide a hand up for families struggling with housing costs.
Thanks to support from philanthropists such as Mary Porter, as well as donated land, materials and labor, Habitat for Humanity can offer zero-interest mortgages to families making between 30 and 80 percent of Broward’s median income.
Erneika Mejia said she and her four children will have a safer place to live and a brighter economic future thanks to their home at the new neighborhood.
“These homes are built with so much love and passion,” said Mejia, who is moving into one of the first seven homes. “We have gained a community.”
To learn how you can establish a charitable Fund for Broward to support Economic Independence, contact Vice President of Philanthropic Services Nancy Thies at firstname.lastname@example.org or 954-761-9503.