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ROOF Receives Grant from Naples Garden Club

ROOF Residents Johnny Garza and Billy Jules with the new fence at their Immokalee home.

Residential Options of Florida (ROOF) received a $9,850 grant from Naples Garden Club to help its residents with disabilities acquire the knowledge and skills to establish and maintain gardens. Through this project, ROOF residents have the opportunity to develop horticulture skills, beautify their homes, produce herbs and vegetables for consumption, and to develop social and motor skills. 

The funding from the Naples Garden Club allowed ROOF to install backyard fences for ROOF’s two homes in Immokalee. The fences will provide protection to newly planted gardens and serve as a safety feature to the homes. Both homes are on a lake, which is home to alligators. “Some of our residents have mobility challenges which would make it difficult to escape if an alligator wanders into the yard while the residents are out tending to their gardens, said Sheryl Soukup, CFRE, Executive Director of ROOF. Residents also captured on film a black bear and her cubs walking through their back yard. “Seeing how close the bears can come to their home made the residents fearful of spending time in their back yard. Now that they have their new fences, they are enjoying time outdoors and are ready to plant their gardens.”

With the support of the Naples Garden Club, ROOF will work with community volunteers to teach its residents about horticulture and sustainability. “Our residents will now be able to learn about gardening right outside of their homes, and they will see their skills come to life as new plants and flowers grow and blossom,” said Soukup. “With the help of volunteers, our residents will be able to maintain the gardens over time and enjoy the fruits of their labor. The project would not have been possible without funding from the Naples Garden Club. We are so grateful for their support.”

ROOF was founded in 2014 with a vision that individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities will have an abundance of housing choices in communities across Florida. Since 2014, ROOF has engaged with the Southwest Florida community to increase affordable housing opportunities for individuals with disabilities.