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Local mom surprised with new home thanks to Tampa Bay Super Bowl LV Host Committee, Metropolitan Ministries

Alexia Shepard fell on hard times after losing her job due to the pandemic but found a new beginning at The SabalPlace.

TAMPA, Fla. — A local mother of two was surprised Wednesday with a brand new, fully furnished apartment, thanks to the Tampa Bay Super Bowl LV Host Committee and Metropolitan Ministries. 

The donation is part of the Forever 55 Stable Families Project helping 20 local families transition from homeless to self-sufficiency. 

"We are so excited for you to see your new home, congratulations!" Tampa Bay Super Bowl LV Host Committee CEO Rob Higgins said, "As one final surprise we want to help cover the cost of your degree and your education to become a nurse moving forward."

The project is part of the Forever 55 Super Bowl Legacy Grant Program funded by the NFL Foundation and the Host Committee alongside community and civic partners. They chose Alexia Shepard, a single mother of two, to get the new apartment at The SabalPlace. Shepard lost her job due to COVID-19 and, despite efforts to make ends meet, ended up homeless. 

But thanks to help from Metropolitan Ministries and so many more, she and her family now have a home.

"I'm so appreciative right now. They came and helped us out when we were at our lowest and brought us back up. I prayed for better days. We have been through a lot but I thank God for it all because if you don't go through troubles then you don't appreciate anything," Shepard said. 

Her new home and apartment also came furnished thanks to funding from the Stable Families Project, helping provide a comfortable home where they can continue to thrive. Additional residents will move into SabalPlace later this month.