Gulf County family to receive new home four years after Michael

The winds from Michael tore off a good portion of the shingles, destroyed the back porch, damaged the front porch and blew out windows.

Now, the house has multiple points of water entry. According to the Citizens of Gulf County Recovery Team, the home is beyond repair.

These are the conditions the Turner family have been living in since 2018 — with plastic garbage bags covering the blown-out windows, holes in the floor covered by loose pieces of plywood, holes in the walls.

“All the client’s appliances, household goods and clothing have been lost,” said the Citizens of Gulf County Recovery Team in a press release. “It is uninhabitable, unsafe and not secure… all the ceilings have collapsed, the kitchen is caving in, the house is full of mold and there is exposed wiring.”

But according to the CGCRT, things could be looking up for the Turners by the end of the month.

The CGCRT received a grant for building materials from the Evangelical Lutheran

Church of America-Disaster Services Florida-Bahamas Synod. And with partnerships with

Square Foot Ministries and America’s Home Place, the CGCRT will be building the Turner family a new home.

The plan is to build a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom 1130 square foot home for the family of six on the lot where their current home sits — all in one week.

“All hurricane recovery programs have closed their application processes so CGCRT is very excited for the opportunity to partner with Square Foot ministries to help this family recover and have safe and secure housing,” read the release. “The CGCRT are responsible for the building materials, site prep and housing and feeding of the volunteers from Square Foot Ministries.”

The  build will take place Monday, September 26 through Friday, September 30 from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST every day.

CGCRT said volunteers of all skill sets are needed and welcome. Volunteers, who must be 18 or older, can participate for the whole week, a day or half day

Water, snacks and lunch will be provided at the job site in Wewahitchka, and dinner will be provided in Port St Joe for all volunteers

Ms. Turner, a 48 year-old single mother of five children ages 8, 13,15,23 and 29, has nowhere else to go. Their family income is below the poverty line. 

Ms. Turner moved to Wewahitchka in 2008 to care for her mother, who was wheelchair bound with multiple health issues. The property was owned by her mother, who built the house 100 years ago. After her mother died, the property had never gone through probate but with the assistance of Charles Costin, the property is now in Ms. Turner’s name.

During Hurricane Michael, the family sheltered in place. Ms. Turner was referred to the Citizens of Gulf county because the sewer connection hasn’t worked since the Hurricane and raw sewage was flowing under the house. DCF had been called twice due to the living conditions but the client had no resources for recovery. 

“We are very appreciative of all donations, volunteers and help from our local churches, businesses and families,” said the CGCRT.

To sign up to volunteer or learn more about CGCRT’s work, visit the organization’s website at, call 850-270-8911 or email

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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