Bay and Jackson counties recently hosted a Housing Resource Fair that turned out to be quite successful.
The concept came from FEMA representatives as a method to disburse information into a community struggling to rebuild after a natural disaster.
Category 5 Hurricane Michael qualified and a local group has picked up the baton with the hope of replicating the success to the west next month at the Centennial Building.
A Housing and Resource Fair for residents of Gulf and Franklin counties will be held 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. ET Sept. 14 at Port St. Joe’s Constitution Hall (Centennial Building).
“We heard about this from FEMA representatives and we thought it sounded like something that would benefit the area,” said Cheryl Steindorf, representing the North Port St. Joe Project Area Coalition (NPSJ-PAC) before the Port St. Joe Commission and Board of County Commissioners.
The quick turnaround for the fair, Steindorf explained, is due to the end-of-September departure of some of the final FEMA representatives on the ground in Gulf County.
“We are relying on their expertise to pull this off,” Steindorf said.
In addition to FEMA, Gulf Coast State College and CareerSource Gulf Coast will be on hand to provide education and workforce information.
“We want the event to be comprehensive, touch on education and jobs,” Steindorf said.
In addition, the fair will bring together federal funding providers, commercial lenders, contractors, realtors and others “essential to improving the current regional housing situation.”
Several local non-profits will also have a presence at the event and the county hopes to provide somebody to offer information on options through the State Housing Initiative Program.
The NPSJ-PAC is inviting area businesses that have interest in any aspect of housing, home construction and improvements to promote and display their services during the fair.
The goal is to attract at least 200 attendees, Steindorf said, who added that food will be served during the daylong event.
Anyone interested in attending as an exhibitor or wishes to donate to the event may contact Steindorf at 227-5662.