A housing and resource fair will be held Saturday at the Centennial Building in Port St. Joe.
The fair, focused on residents of Bay and Franklin counties, will be held 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. ET.
The idea for the fair was presented by FEMA representatives as a method to disburse information into a community struggling to rebuild after a natural disaster.
Bay and Jackson counties recently hosted a Housing Resource Fair that turned out to be quite successful.
Given the impacts from Category 5 Hurricane Michael a local group picked up the baton with the hope of replicating that success to the west.
“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), which is hosting the fair in partnership with Pioneer Bay Community Development Corporation.
The timeline for the fair dovetailed with 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.
County staff will also be present to provide information on the county’s disaster housing plans.
“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.