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CAROL WALKER/Alachua County Today

Fun, food and fellowship were part of the dedication of Pastor Marcia Mobley's refurbished home and a joint celebration of National Rebuilding Together Day in Alachua's College Heights area. Center: Former City of Alachua mayor and commissioner Jean Calderwood speaks with Elder Corrisa Durr (left) and homeowner Pastor Marcia J. Mobley (right).  Far left: Alachua County Commissioner Charles “Chuck” Chestnut, IV,  attended the ceremony as well.

ALACHUA – One lucky woman now has the equivalent of a new home thanks to Rebuilding Together North Central Florida (NCF).

Friends, members of Heaven Bound Outreach Ministries in LaCrosse, and Rebuilding Together NCF volunteers helped make the improvements a reality.

Pastor Marcia J. Mobley's 1978 home in the College Heights section of Alachua had fallen into disrepair. The home, which is approximately 1,100 sq. ft., still had the original carpeting; a leaking hot water heater; a roof that needed to be replaced; and other health and safety issues requiring more professional attention and money than she had available.

Mobley applied to Rebuilding Together NCF for help.

“I finally received a $14,000 grant from Phillips Electronics, a national sponsor of Rebuilding Together, in early March,” said R.D. Bonner, Director of Programs for Rebuilding Together NCF. “I added about $2,700 left over from an Alachua County grant and we began working on Pastor Mobley's house."

The job took approximately two months to complete and was finished April 30.

In honor of the project's completion and the anniversary of National Rebuilding Together Day, Mobley, members of her church and volunteers held a ceremony on that date.

Charles “Chuck” Chestnut IV of the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners and former mayor and commissioner of the City of Alachua Jean Calderwood addressed the audience.

Photos on a poster showed the home's previously dangerous condition. A guided tour conducted by Mobley showed all the repairs and new upgrades that had been made.

“A lot of work was completed in such a short time,” said Mobley with a chuckle. “A lot of the time I was living only in the living room and bathroom as everything else was under construction.”

“The National Center for Healthy Housing is a partner,” explained Bonner. “They stress the seven elements of a healthy home and they heavily influence the things we tend to work on.”

Those seven elements include a home that is dry, clean, pest free, safe, contaminant free, well ventilated and well maintained.

“Each weekend we would come out to work on the house, we were amazed at all the work that had been done during the week by Mobley and her friends,” said Bonner.

Mobley said she now knows she is a painter as well as a minister.

Volunteers mowed the lawn and neatened everything around the house as well, according to Mobley. “It was a super effort,” she said.

According to Bonner, Rebuilding Together has a lot of national partners who help when they have a large project. Of the larger partners who work in Alachua County, Bonner noted Lowes, Sears and Phillips.

“In addition, we have lots of businesses and skilled professionals who donate or discount their labor to help us out,” said Bonner. Some he mentioned were Chris Tenney of Godwin Green Roofing in Gainesville; Jim Brown, Roofing, who did the soffit and fascia work on this project; and R. Murphy Construction of Gainesville, who donated a lot of skilled labor to do the “tricky stuff like doors.”

National Rebuilding Together is in 40 of 50 states, said Bonner. Locally, the organization incorporated in 2005, although Bonner said people were doing this type of work prior to that date.

Bonner, who graduated from the University of Florida and had worked twice for Americorp, a partner with Rebuilding Together, joined the Alachua County organization in 2011.

Anyone in need of assistance can submit an application between Jan. 2-13, 2017. “We recommend people call before stopping by for an application so we can tell them what to bring with them,” said Bonner.

The telephone number is 352-373-2573. Their address is 4550 SW 41st Boulevard, Suite #2, Gainesville 32608, which is located off of Fred Bear Boulevard.

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