Monday, August 2, 2010
Help Me Howard: Habitat for Humanity
Have you ever been hit by a driver that does not have car insurance? It's frustrating. So how would you feel if you ran a charity that was created to help people and got stiffed by an uninsured driver? What can they do? One thing: call Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
WSVN -- Nancy Daly: "Look at this. That's a beautiful set."
It's like going to a fancy shopping center and not needing a big fat wallet.
Nancy Daly: "Nice bedroom set."
Furniture donated by City Furniture.
Nancy Daly: "People are always looking for washers and dryers."
Appliances given by Allied Kitchen.
Nancy Daly: "You could pay $300 dollars for a $4,000 dollar chandelier."
Beautiful lighting from Farrey's.
The Habitat for Humanity Re-Store on Broward Boulevard has something for everyone, which brings up a question: does everyone know about this place?
Nancy Daly, Habitat for Humanity: "I don't know. The whole world should be shopping here. We have terrific bargains."
New items sold at pennies on the dollar for one simple reason.
Nancy Daly: "Every penny from this store goes back into building Habitat homes."
But Nancy Daly called us because Habitat got it stuck to them.
Nancy Daly: "There was a car sitting in the front of our store, had gone right through the plate glass window."
The security cameras, of course they were donated by Sonitrol, captured it. As the Infiniti roared through the front of the store on Super Bowl Sunday...
Nancy Daly: "If it had been any other day, we would have had serious serious damages. Sometimes, we have a dozen customers lined up at the cash register. If the car had hit us at that time, we would have huge casualties."
The owner of the car that barreled through the door didn't have insurance, but he wasn't charged. By law, the driver of the car that sideswiped him was responsible. But he fled the scene.
Nancy Daly: "Habitat has insurance, but we have a $5,000 deductible, which of course we thought would be taken care of by the person causing the accident. Wrong."
Fort Lauderdale Police could not find the driver that caused the accident, meaning the non-profit organization that works every day to help families have a home was stuck.
Nancy Daly: "A non-profit had to pay the $5,000. That is $5,000 out of a Habitat home that we could be building in Broward County."
Nancy Daly was retired when she volunteered to help at Habitat for Humanity. Now, she works six days a week running the Broward Boulevard store.
Nancy Daly: "I am here, because I love what we are doing. It's a passion. I love what we are doing."
And to see someone with no insurance not only damage their store but force them to spend money that would have helped put a family in a home clearly irritates Nancy.
Nancy Daly: "I am very disappointed that in the state of Florida, when you are required to have insurance, that somebody with no insurance can get away with doing this and they don't have to have any responsibility for it. It doesn't make any sense."
Well Howard, the driver disappeared. Does the chance of Habitat getting their $5,000 disappear as well?
Howard Finkelstein: "The number of people driving without insurance in Florida is stunning. And if they want to break the law, the odds of catching them are slim to none after the damage is done. In this case, the man accused of causing the accident fled, which makes collecting the $5,000 even more difficult."
According to Fort Lauderdale Police, the driver of the car, Faber Carmona, went to New York and could not be contacted. His car insurance had expired two days before he was charged with causing the Habitat crash. When we checked the court records, we found out he did show up in April to face the criminal charges against him. He again has car insurance, was given probation and the judge reserved the right to impose restitution.
Howard Finkelstein: "The state attorney's office told us that the judge will determine restitution at another time. The state attorney's office says that Habitat for Humanity will be notified of the hearing and will be able to come to court to try to get their money. But remember, even if restitution is ordered, if he doesn't have the money, he can't be forced to pay."
Clearly, the odds of getting the $5,000 from the man who caused the accident are long, meaning Habitat will have to sell a few more bedroom sets, refrigerators and chandeliers to get that money back.
Nancy Daly: "The community has been very generous to us. We rely totally on donations from the community. That's why we are successful. The community has been very, very supportive."
Patrick Fraser: "Has anybody offered to write you a check for $5,000?"
Nancy Daly: "No. Wouldn't that be lovely?"
Patrick Fraser: "That would be nice to get a $5,000. And will the guy who caused the accident be ordered to pay restitution? We will keep an eye on it and see what the courts do."
Troubles crashing down on you? Ready to find a safe habitat? Contact us. We don't provide housing, but legally, we do charity work.
CONTACT HELP ME HOWARD: