Nearly five years after Hurricane Michael devastated the area, one family is almost “home.”
Public and private partners are coming together in Marianna to build a home, from the ground up, in just six weeks.
The city of Marianna initiated this pilot project to assist qualified city employees who are still struggling to recover from Hurricane Michael. The city partnered with the North Florida Inland Long Term Recovery Group (LTRG) to bring together public, non-profit, and private entities to construct a new house for longtime Marianna employee Damarco Graham and his two young sons. Their home was damaged beyond repair in the storm.
This is just the first of about four city employee homes that will be built in the pilot program, which required the recipients to apply and go through a qualifying process.
This innovative project has been in the works for nearly a year, and could be a model for recovery projects across the country. Components of the project include:
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Marianna’s donation of the homesite, which was acquired through code enforcement
A portion of the city’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and CARES funding set aside for the pilot employee housing program
Construction funds through the Jackson County Hurricane Housing Recovery Program (HHRP).
Partnership with Chipola Baptist Association on permitting and logistics
Volunteer labor provided by Orland Park Church from Orland Park, Illinois, with support from World Renew.
Labor for the project will be provided by a skilled team of professional-grade volunteers from Orland Park Church in the Chicago area who specialize in whole-house build projects. They have built 14 homes over the past 15 years in partnership with the disaster recovery organization World Renew. This will be their first project in Florida.
An opening ceremony was held Friday, Jan. 27, and volunteers arrived Sunday, Jan. 29, and began construction Monday morning, Jan. 30. Volunteers will rotate weekly over the course of six weeks.