On Saturday, May 6, 2017, Shea Homes and the Arizona Cardinals celebrated the complete makeover of the House of Helps Community and Worship Center in South Phoenix.  The celebration included a ribbon cutting, a check presentation, a tour, and time for the community to spend with five Arizona Cardinals players, Big Red and Arizona Cardinals cheerleaders – planting a garden, playing football and signing autographs. 

Over the past three months, Shea Homes and the Arizona Cardinals joined forces to renovate the community center as a part of the nationwide NFL/United Way Hometown Huddle program that allows NFL coaches, players, wives and staff to participate in a service project for their hometown.  The renovation consisted of an interior home makeover, plus the addition of a shade structure, community garden and storage buildings.

“I am so overwhelmed with emotion and so grateful for this incredible gift – a place for children throughout the community to call home,” said Cynthia Lazaro, Founder of the House of Helps Community and Worship Center. “With these new resources, we will be able to serve the next generation and their families for years to come. Thank you to all of those who have made this possible!”

At the ribbon-cutting event, Shea Homes and the Arizona Cardinals surprised Lazaro with a check for $4,300 and the donation of six computers for the center’s computer lab.

“On behalf of Shea Homes and the Arizona Cardinals, we are so proud to deliver this home today,” said Ken Peterson, VP of Sales and Marketing for Shea Homes. “It is an honor to be able to make a positive impact on the lives of Cynthia and the many kids in the community she serves.”

Lazaro created the House of Helps in 2007 in her former childhood home to continue her family’s tradition of welcoming in anyone in need of a place to stay. She first opened the House of Helps to help homeless and disabled women, then shifted her focus to at-risk youth, following the murder of her own son in 2009. The mission is to provide a safe place for neighborhood kids, giving them a firm foundation focused on “integrity, morals, value and character.” House of Helps serves weekly food boxes for neighborhood families in need, facilitates an after-school program Monday through Thursday that includes a community choir, basketball team, and classes in nutrition, computers, financial literacy, sign language, Spanish and English.