In the aftermath of the tragic June 12 shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando that killed 49 people — the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history — one local REALTOR® opened his heart and his properties to bring victims and their families some comfort in mourning. Now his efforts have inspired the Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association to join the call.
Christian West-Howard, a real estate agent and property manager with Capital Homes, Inc. in Boca Raton, Fla., offered several rental properties he owns free of charge to victims’ families who needed to stay somewhere while they searched for and recovered loved ones after the shooting. He also worked with local hotels to donate rooms, and the combined efforts provided more than 250 family members with free temporary housing, according to ORRA. His original post on Facebook spreading the word of his support was shared more than 30,000 times.
Last week, ORRA announced it would dovetail with West-Howard’s efforts by donating $25,000 toward assistance programs for survivors of the shooting to help them housing-related needs. ORRA says the money will go toward:
- Rent and mortgage assistance for survivors who cannot work because of their injuries.
- Securing housing for family members who are moving to Orlando to care for victims.
- Providing accessibility features and relocation services for survivors who are moving away.
- Retrofitting victims’ homes with wheelchair-accessible equipment.
“I am awed and humbled by Christian’s take-charge response to this tragic event that has impacted our entire community, and proud to call him a fellow REALTOR® and ORRA member,” ORRA President John Lazenby said in a statement. “The entire ORRA Board of Directors is pleased to become a part of an Orlando REALTOR®’s resolve to help with the housing needs of those in our community who are enduring such unimaginable challenges.”
West-Howard said in the statement that he’s proud his fellow REALTORS® are standing alongside him to help the community. “I’m grateful that my REALTOR® organization has stepped up for the community, and I believe ORRA’s involvement will make a real difference to the survivors,” he said.
Anyone wishing to help the continued relief efforts for survivors can also donate to the City of Orlando’s OneOrlando Fund.
Source: Speaking of Real Estate
Original Blog Post: Orlando REALTORS® Lend Support to Shooting Victims
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