Community members build a house for a family in need

Updated: May. 13, 2021 at 5:23 PM CDT
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MARIANNA, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Over the past two years, community members in Marianna worked together to build a forever home for a family who lost theirs during Hurricane Michael.

Winds from the category five storm knocked down trees all over town, one crashing right into the home of Leroy and Angela Venisee.

“Lost the home and we had to find somewhere about to stay,” Mr. Venisee said.

After living in the half-crumbling house for months, Mrs. Venisee got COVID-19.

“I ended up getting hospitalized and couldn’t come back to the living condition so that’s how we ended up in the RV,” Mrs. Venisee said.

As soon as members of the United Methodist Committee on Relief heard, they stepped in to lend a hand. With donated dollars and the help of local businesses, they tore the old Venisee house down and built a sturdy new one in its place.

“My grandmother had a saying, there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home,” Mrs. Venisee said.

It’s been a long two years for the Venisees, but with an entire community working together, they now have a forever home.

“I’m so excited to be here,” Mrs. Venisee said.

“It’s beautiful and I love it,” Mr. Venisee said.

It took a village, but committee members say it was worth the hard work.

“They’re going to be able to take this home and just turn it into just something wonderful for their family and for their heirs down the road,” Construction Coordinator Alfred Gilbertson said.

Memories are already being made in the new house.

“Mother’s Day, I just had all seven of my grandkids here with me. So ya, very excited about that,” Mrs. Venisee said.

This is just one of more than 40 homes built through the United Methodist Committee on Relief program.

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