Nonprofits and Donors Unite to Build Affordable, Strong Home for Hurricane Michael Survivor

The nonprofit Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) today joined with Square Foot Ministry, United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), Volunteer Florida, corporate donors, local officials, and other nonprofits for a “Three-Day Blitz Build” in Port St. Joe, Florida to provide a new, #HurricaneStrong home for a Hurricane Michael survivor/homeowner.

The homeowner is a 74-year-old retired widower and lifelong resident of Port St. Joe. Hurricane Michael damaged his 460 square foot one-bedroom, one-bath, home in October 2018, and it is not repairable.

The foundation shifted from the impact of the hurricane-force winds, causing the walls to separate and the floors to buckle. The roof is severely compromised and cannot be safely re-tarped.

The organizations are coming together to construct a new disaster-resistant two-bedroom home with a reinforced roof, hurricane shutters, and overall strengthened structure.

The enhanced features will qualify the homeowner for annual insurance savings.

Leslie Chapman-Henderson, FLASH President and CEO

“The FLASH Partnership is deeply committed to bringing disaster-resistant, affordable housing to Florida’s most vulnerable populations.

We are honored to be working with these generous organizations and volunteers and remain dedicated to the long-term recovery process of Hurricane Michael affected communities and survivors,” said FLASH President and CEO Leslie Chapman-Henderson.


Jeff Williams, Executive Director, Square Foot Ministry

“Square Foot Ministry and our volunteers are excited to be partnering with so many great organizations in building this home as part of the Hurricane Michael recovery effort.

Although we’re based in the south Atlanta metro area, and much of our ministry focus is there, hurricane relief is part of our DNA.

We’re looking forward to joining others in being the hands and feet of Christ through this recovery effort,” said Jeff Williams, Executive Director, Square Foot Ministry.


Chris Ackerman, Hurricane Michael Recovery Director, Alabama-West Florida Conference, UMCOR

“It is our hope that by this time next year, in addition to hundreds of home repairs, we will have built between 35 and 40 brand new houses from the ground up for families who lost everything in Hurricane Michael.

Thanks to our new partnership with Square Foot Ministry, this house if you can believe it, will be built in just three days,” said Associate Pastor Chris Ackerman, Hurricane Michael Recovery Director, Alabama-West Florida Conference, UMCOR.

The build is part of the FLASH Strong Homes Initiative that provides resilient construction upgrades for homes constructed by volunteer organizations like UMCOR and Square Foot Ministry serving natural disaster survivors.

Strong Homes meet the IBHS FORTIFIED Home™ “Gold” standards for resilient building, and this will be the first project in Gulf County, following the construction of 15 homes in Bay County.

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