Americorps helps locals recover more than a year after Hurricane Michael

BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Americorps' National Civilian Community Corps, or NCCC, is back in town to help repair around three homes for those in need in Bay County.

Americorps' National Civilian Community Corps, or NCCC, is back in town to help repair around three homes for those in need in Bay County. (WJHG/WECP)

Austin "Oz" Moses, an Americorps NCCC team member, said, "This first one is owned by a single mother of eight. She's been out of her home for a while now and we're just trying to get it fixed up for her. Hopefully she'll be moving in pretty soon."

The group, made up of 18 to 24 year-olds, is working with the Fuller Center to paint, hang drywall, and help get people back in homes.

Officials with the Fuller Center say, they typically only get Americorps teams for a short time, but this one is staying longer.

Aaron Ratliff with Fuller Center Disaster Rebuilders said, "Most of the teams come in for a week and then leave, then we'll get a new team, fresh team. So to have a group of people for six weeks like this, it helps a lot."

Over the course of the six weeks many members of the team are seeing the area for the first time.

Charles O'Shaughnessy an Americorps NCCC team member said, "I'm from Maine and it's almost 90 percent trees. The tree loss around here is incredibly devastating."

But team members say they're using the devastation as motivation.

"We're trying to get people back in their homes and it's a life-changing experience for them," said Moses. "This is probably one of the most rewarding projects we've done so far."

As time goes on and the team finishes its work, they hope to leave a lasting impression on the Panhandle.

"You know they say a picture is worth a thousand words, but I can tell you there are no more important words than hearing them from A: the people who work here and B: the people who live here," said O'Shaughnessy.

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