Tag Archives: help

Donations for Robbed Habitat Homeowner Roll In

Our logoA few weeks ago I reported here that our local Habitat For Humanity Homeowner, Joi had her storage bin broken into and all her household belongings cleaned out – stolen.  Hers was one of 18 units broken into over that weekend.   She had worked on her home with us not knowing that her belongings were already stolen.

Now there is some good news.  The following is an email I received from Pat  Shankle, owner of Georgia Home Staging this morning.  A link to Pat’s web site is in the blogroll to the right.

Good morning everyone.
I’m so excited!  A member of our church has donated ALL BRAND NEW furniture for Joi’s house.  We have a brand new complete living room set, dining room set, Master Bedroom, Guest Bedroom and home office set up. Other donated items we have rec’d are:  dishes, flatware, knives, washer, dryer, misc accessory items.

Mostly what we need now is money so that I can purchase towels, sheets and other misc staple items.    

In addition to that, I know that there have been some monetary donations totaling enough to finish out the home.   

A very dark hour has been turned into a bright new day, a blessing, a dream come true.   Thanks be to God.  Pat had volunteered to “stage” the house even before the robbery, then she took up the flag and began a march to find replacement furniture – not just any old thing someone wanted to get rid of.  Pat wanted to look at it and make sure it would fit in with the other donated things and would be enjoyed by Joi and her family.   Thank you Pat.   And thanks to all of our Macland Presbyterian Church members that have worked so hard to help Pat and Joi out.  And thank you, whoever in our church that donated the furniture.  What a blessing you have bestowed.   My “helping others” admonition in a recent post is hereby retrieved.  We do help others in this neck of the woods!

The house has been completely roofed and dried in last time I was there.   This Saturday is the beginning of “blitz week” for our builders, all volunteers from the 10 churches that make up our Presbyterian Coalition.   We have had a week of rest while contractors come in to do those things that either require licensing, (such as plumbing, electrical, heating and air) or specialized gifts such as installing drywall and kitchen and bath cabinets and flooring.   

Habitat is blessed with sponsors that will give up much or all of their profit to help in this great mission.  For example, Whirlpool gives the stove, dishwasher and refrigerator free for every Habitat house built in the country.   A wonderful gift that they have been doing for as many years as I can remember. 

We are blessed with a drywall supplier that installs the drywall at no cost other than the discounted cost of the drywall itself.    The architectural drawings and landscaping plans are often donated and a landscaper shows up at no charge to help with the planting.

 This coming Saturday, June 9th we will be doing siding installation (hardi-plank), interior door installation and painting, interior and exterior.  As soon as a wall is finished with siding, the joints are caulked and the paint starts going on.  Everything, inside and out gets two coats. 

Then we go all week, June 11 through June 16, every day until the house is finished.   It is more of the same – siding, interior doors – painting and trim work.  The last day, June 16 is reserved for landscaping.  Planting shrubs, trees, flowers and putting down sod.  Typically the sod is bermuda grass in big rolls, sometimes pads.   When all this is done, it will be a real house.  When the dedication is done, and Joi moves in, it becomes a home.

If you are in this neck of the woods, come on out!   Directions are on the Presbyterian Coalition Habitat link in the blogroll.

The New Homeless

The New Homeless

We see them from time to time on our streets… We hear about the difficulties they face in life. They are America’s homeless. But, did you know, that the man or woman traveling from shelter to shelter could in the past have been serving our country and protecting the freedoms we enjoy? How do they face the future of unknowns?

Find this story on this station
Jerry Brown
News 13 on your side
Tuesday, February 13, 2007

News 13 looks at “The New Homeless”.

Homeless Veteran“Just being a young man…seeing guys disappear…not being confirmed dead,” recalls Patrick Doyle on his days in the Vietnam War. Gulf War Vet John Powell says, “things don’t tend to go the way their planned during war. People get crazy…you end up seeing things you wouldn’t normally see.” Nilsson Riley from most recently in Iraq comments, “one of my best friends got killed…was trying to save his life. My first sergeant got killed.”

United States military veterans. from three different wars. They well know the extreme, emotional experience of serving our country in time of armed conflict. And the uncertainties. And for some, when their tour of duty is over…the return to civilian life isn’t always easy. Obstacles they face are too difficult to overcome. Before they know it, they find themselves walking the streets…without a job and, without a place to call home.

The U-S Department of Veteran’s Affairs says there are approximately 20-thousand homeless vets in the state of Florida. The V-A also says at least 1700 homeless veterans are in the Gulf Coast region from Port St. Joe west to Biloxi, Mississippi. “When I got to the airport I got spit on…called a baby killer. No parade to come back to. That was one of the roughest parts for me,” says Vietnam veteran Patrick Doyle. Homeless since 2003, Doyle says in the years after the war his life only got worse. Doyle says Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is what he deals with every single day. That is also the case for other homeless veterans facing PTSD, along with drug and alcohol addiction. Gulf War homeless vet John Powell says, “that kind of stuff brought me to my knees, losing your wife and my kids…integrity. Nilsson Riley, who served with the U-S Army in Iraq says, “I got a job and had to go on med leave… because the problems and meds from V-A required to take to cope with PTSD.”

Getting Help

But, these veterans in Panama City have found help and at the same time…hope. The Homeless Veterans Emergency Administration is Bay County’s first homeless vet’s program. It is a relatively new facility that serves not only as a temporary shelter, but also a source of helpful assistance. Deborah Hanley is the administrator. She says, “we always pray for them in church…when they are in war. When they come home, we forget about them.”

At this shelter, homeless veterans get the helping hand to put them back on track…information about jobs or medical care. But, in this trying time in life…is the government really offering the help they need? John Powell says, “when we are asked to go and fight and no questions asked if we have issues that are evaluated as having issues that need to be tended to…service related…I think the government should step up.” One place that offers help is the Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic.

It is located at the Naval Support Activity Panama City. Dr. William Michels is the director of the clinic. He says, “started six years ago with 3 employees built up to 30 now…each brings something special to offer vets. I am sure the money will be increased to handle this increased demand.” Dr. Michels says one big problem is that the homeless vets and sometimes…veterans in general don’t take advantage of what is offered.

Heroes are out there too

Click for all Homeless Veterans posts