As blue roofs were replaced by new roofs on several Port St. Joe homes last week, the Citizens of Gulf County Recovery Team entered a new phase.


After months of crafting a strategic plan, aligning paperwork to get boots on the ground and access grant funding, the CGCRT partnered on some new roofs on four homes.


The partner during the weeklong effort was Hosanna Industries, a nonprofit and faith-based organization out of Pennsylvania that has since 1990 aimed to provide labor for re-roofing projects following natural disasters.


In its distinctive bright green trucks, Hosanna Industries focuses on home rebuilds and repairs, roof repair, leading workshops, and training the younger generation in construction skills.


And, therefore, crews were dotted around Port St. Joe, scraping off old roof shingles, removing blue tarps and replacing them with spanking new roofs.


Eight potential properties were initially identified via the unmet needs case managers working with organizations such as UMCOR (United Methodist Committee On Relief) and St. Vincent de Paul.


Eligible clients are scored and selected by the case management committee of the CGCRT. Among the eight initial properties, the first four homes were selected after assessment of roof damage.


Funding for the materials came from grants received by the CGCRT for unmet needs and the plan is for further outreach and recovery by working with volunteer organizations throughout the year.


Brian Hetzer, the Director of Constructive Services for Hosanna Industries had already reached out to the CGCRT about any opportunity to assist in recovery efforts and traveled to Gulf County at the end of January to help with evaluation and planning.


During his visit, construction coordinators from the CGCRT, UMCOR, St. Vincent de Paul, and Christian Community Development Fund and case managers conducted site visits, assessed damage and estimated material requirements.


Hetzer and his team of 20-30 volunteers were housed during the week by Long Avenue Baptist Church and the CGCRT volunteer committee provided accommodations including meals during their stay.


Executive director Nancy Stuart was carting water and Gatorades to workers last Wednesday as they worked on roofs on Avenue E and Apollo Street.


If you are in need of assistance, The Citizens of Gulf County Recovery Team encourages you to contact them via email at cgcrecoveryteam@gmail.com or call 270-8911.


If you wish to donate money to support recovery projects, you can mail a check made out to Citizens of Gulf County Recovery Team and mail it to PO Box 1104 Port St. Joe FL 32457 or text recovergulf to 41444.