UPDATE: Gadsden County presents keys to new homes for people impacted by Hurricane Michael

Keys presented to Denita Harper, Arthur Wilcox and Rosa Harrison to their new homes.
Keys presented to Denita Harper, Arthur Wilcox and Rosa Harrison to their new homes.(Gadsden County)
Published: Jun. 8, 2022 at 5:22 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 13, 2022 at 4:56 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Three Gadsden County residents received the ultimate gift last week. Almost four years after their houses were damaged in Hurricane Michael, those families have a new place to call home.

One of those recipients is 75-year-old Rosa Harrison.

“Hurricane Michael came through and took the roof off my house,” Harrison said.

The storm left her with a damaged roof and three broken windows, after three trees fell on her house. Later, mold and mildew from the rain made her home unlivable.

“SHIP stepped in and said ‘Rosa, you can’t live there. Let us give you a new home,” Leslie Steele, Gadsden County’s PIO said.

Steele said Harrison is one of more than two dozen who have received homes through the State Housing Initiative Partnership, or SHIP.

“The funding hasn’t stopped,” Steele said. “And the work won’t stop until we help as many Gadsden County residents as possible.

Rosa’s home was built for about $140,000, but for her, it was free.

“I know it was God saying, ‘Look here, this old lady needs your help.”

Rosa says she’s excited to have her family over to her new place. She has five children, 15 grandchildren and nine great grandchildren, so it’ll be a full house.

“We’ve got sleeping bags,” Rosa said, laughing. “If you don’t have a bed, you can grab a sleeping bag.”

Leslie Steele encourages anyone who is still dealing with hurricane damage to their home to call the Gadsden County Housing Program for help at 850) 875-8659.

For previous coverage see below.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Gadsden County presented gifts, home blessing and keys to three lucky individuals: Denita Harper, Arthur Wilcox, and Rosa Harrison, who survived Hurricane Michael, and celebrated in their new homes.

“It’s only fitting to present keys to the homes of these three deserving families at the beginning of hurricane season,” Board Chairman Commissioner Anthony Viegbesie said. “They are a great example of weathering the storm and receiving a blessing at the end of the rainbow.”

The homes were part of the State Housing Initiative Partnership and Hurricane Housing Repair Program. The celebration of the homes’ completion ended with a key presentation ceremony in Quincy this morning.

“I am incredibly happy for all of them,” Viegbesie said.

Gadsden County has been able to utilize state and federal grant funds to create safe and affordable housing for local residents.

Commissioner Brenda Holt said Bill and Debbie of Florida Home Inc. Realty Construction were in charge of demolition and construction of all three projects.

“We would like to thank them for their dedication and hard work,” Holt said. “Mostly we would like to thank them for the smiles that their hard work has put on the faces of Mr. Wilcox, Ms. Harrison and Ms. Harper.”

Following a tour of all three homes, they handed the keys to the new homeowners.

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