Volunteers help rebuild Panama City homes

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - "It brings hope because we were hopeless," said Toni Jordan.

Volunteers from AmeriCorps help rebuild a home severely damaged by Hurricane Michael. (WJHG/WECP)

Jordan's home was severely damaged by Hurricane Michael.

"Our entire house had to be gutted because the front side of the roof was taken off and water came in the entire house," said Jordan.

Almost 11 months later she, like many others, is still trying to get her home and her life back together.

"Our insurance, like so many people down here, grossly underpaid," said Jordan.

Faced with a long road to recovery, Jordan is getting help from both local and national nonprofits.

Hope Panhandle started five days after Michael to bring immediate relief after the storm.

Now they've transitioned to long-term recovery, with the help of the national disaster recovery organization SBP, formerly known as the St. Bernard Project.

"They saw a need and they jumped into action, they brought together the community. SBP was formed the same way, and so we just want people to know that we're here, that they're not alone, and that there is help out there," said Miranda Kelly with SBP.

SBP brought in volunteers from AmeriCorps to help rebuild homes.

"It's really awesome to actually be able to help these people and get to meet these homeowners, sometimes they're working alongside you, and sometimes they just stop by the worksite and say thank you, and let you know how much they appreciate what you're doing, and it really means a lot," said Sabrina Johnkins, AmeriCorps volunteer.

Over the course of two months, AmeriCorps will rebuild three homes in Bay County.

Jordan says because of the help from these volunteers, they are hopeful they will get back in their home soon.

"Now we have much hope that our house is going to be restored, and we'll have normalcy again, you know, it'll be normal, so we're incredibly grateful to Hope Panhandle, as well as SBP, for helping us," said Jordan.

If you or someone you know needs help, reach out to SBP by email at flclient@sbpusa.org.

You can also volunteer with SBP by emailing flvolunteer@sbpusa.org.

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