- Associated Press - Sunday, January 24, 2016

NAPLES, Fla. (AP) - Some former NFL stars are lending their muscle to a major Habitat For Humanity project in Naples.

The men are helping to build a 55-unit housing complex in north Naples, The Naples Daily News (bit.ly/1PMc6Uf) reported on Sunday.

Winston Justice, a nine-year NFL veteran, was one of the NFL stars who helped out at the construction site on Saturday. Justice and his one-time NFL teammates Chris Maragos, Adewale Ogunleye and Chester Pitts took part in the Habitat for Humanity of Collier County Super Build project.

Justice, 31, previously helped rebuild homes in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake that devastated that country and now serves on the board of Habitat for Humanity of Collier County.

Justice told the newspaper that hopes to change lives for the better by helping people to own homes.

“We’re building these houses so that people can create their legacy,” Justice said. “Memories are made in the home. Thanksgivings, Christmases are held in the home. That’s something special and that’s what is lost when a family doesn’t have a stable home.

“Having a decent place to live is the basis of a cohesive family unit.”

Habitat for Humanity of Collier County vice president Nick Kouloheras, vice president of Collier County Habitat for Humanity, said Naples is known as one of the wealthiest areas in the country and finding affordable housing in the area is not easy.

“I think that is something that gets overlooked,” Justice said. “When people think of Naples and Collier County, they think of it as such a wealthy place. But there are a lot of families in need and events like today can help spark awareness to that.”

Kouloheras said that while projects like Legacy Lakes are a good start to easing the affordable housing crisis in the community, it isn’t enough to fix the issue. Of the 110 homes his agency plans to build this year, he expects between 1,400 to 1,500 qualified applicants seeking help.

“We are barely scratching the surface for where the need is,” he said.

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Information from: Naples (Fla.) Daily News, https://www.naplesnews.com

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