TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Harrison Soberanis as the 24th Lightning Community Hero this season during the first period of tonight's game versus the Toronto Maple Leafs. Soberanis, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the money to Dream Builders Mission and New Beginnings.
Since 2013, Soberanis has given tirelessly to the disadvantaged and homeless population in the community of Sulphur Springs in north-east Tampa through his non-profit Dream Builders Mission, Inc. Dream Builders provides grocery baskets 3 times a week to impoverished families, as well as hot meals 5 days a week to the homeless. They also have a shelter where the homeless can take hot showers, get clean clothes and hygiene items as well as a warm blanket. In order to help the homeless transition and regain housing and a stable income the Dream Builders provide free internet as well as transitional housing, job training and job placement.
For 23 years, Harrison operated a Homeless Shelter in Los Angeles, where he provided Emergency Shelter, Transitional Housing, Case Management, Job training and placement, hot meals, groceries, and clothing. He began by acquiring a small store-front building in South Los Angeles where he fed up to 100 homeless and hungry individuals once a week on Sundays. As this grew he was able to serve over 10,000 unduplicated clients in Los Angeles. After moving across the country to Tampa and founding Dream Builders Mission Soberanis has helped over 2,000 unduplicated homeless and hundreds of disadvantaged and impoverished families with children. He hopes to continue to grow his reach and has plans to operate an Emergency Shelter.
Harrison Soberanis become the 347th Lightning Community Hero since Jeff and Penny Vinik introduced the Lightning Community Hero program in 2011-12 with a $10 million, five-season commitment to the Tampa Bay community. Through this evening's game, in total, the Lightning Foundation has granted $17.45 million to more than 400 different nonprofits in the Greater Tampa Bay area. During the summer of 2016, the Vinik's announced that the community hero program will give away another $10-million over the next five seasons.