Partners unite to fund Wewa family’s home

WEWAHITCHKA – Residents have a
new and improved place to live in Gulf County after recovery teams partnered
with the county to bring shelter to those who lost their homes in Hurricane

The family who just moved into their new house after a seven-month
journey say they feel grateful and blessed to have been on the receiving end of
the SHIP (State Housing Initiatives Partnership) program.

“It’s like a dream still,” said new homeowner Grady McDaniel.

Since Hurricane Michael, McDaniel and his family have many of
their belongings in storage and lived with different family members.

“We just about didn’t have anything, then we kind of got by, but
thanks to the SHIP program,” he said.

The McDaniels have been able to move into this one-story,
three-bedroom house, and there was no shortage of assistance when it came to
building it.

“Thankfully we were able to partner with the county, we were able
to partner with FLASH, the federal alliance of safe homes, we were able to
partner with High Socks for Hope and so many people came together, and
Mennonite disaster services,” said United Methodist Church Director of
Hurricane Michael Recovery Chris Ackerman.

Ackerman, who is also known as the “Disaster Pastor” in the Panhandle,
said when they started this project, they didn’t want to just replace mobile

“We wanted to build brand new homes instead, and this home behind
me is actually a FORTIFIED gold home,” said Ackerman. “We got that because we
partnered with FLASH, the federal alliance of safe homes. This home goes beyond

McDaniel and his family will be even safer for the next storm and
they will not be the only family.

By the end of last month, there were 41 brand-new homes
dedicated to families who have also lost their safe place after the hurricane.

“I watched them build it from the ground up, it sure was good,”
said McDaniel.

The house they dedicated to the McDaniel family was built for less
than $80,000 thanks to all of the partnerships. The program funding will allow
them to assist more families.

Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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