Five apartments in Daytona Beach ravaged by flooding in September are expected to be rebuilt and back in service for homeless families with children by the holidays, thanks to donations of materials, labor and expertise from the local construction trades group.
The first floor of Family Renew Community’s two-story apartment building just south of downtown was inundated as Hurricane Irma pushed the Halifax River over its banks. When the sewage-tainted water receded, five apartments usually occupied by homeless single mothers and their children were uninhabitable. A laundry room and offices also were damaged.
“The Volusia Building Industry Association led by its president, Tony DiNizo, has graciously stepped up to assist us we work to restore our South Street, Daytona Beach, campus,” said Tony Deobil, executive director of Family Renew Community, which houses families working to lift themselves out of homelessness in Daytona Beach, Holly Hill and DeLand. The flooding left the nonprofit organization with 27 apartments in operation. “With the help of VBIA and its members, we hope to be able to move five additional homeless families with children into temporary housing by Christmas.”
Volusia Building Industry Association members step up
Insurance provided for the cleanup, but not the reconstruction. Virtually everything the floodwaters touched — wiring, drywall, flooring, interior doors and some appliances — must be replaced. The Volusia Building Industry Association board of directors adopted the rebuilding as a one-time project and put out a call to its members to participate.
“This is a short- term effort with long-term goals for some wonderful families needing help,” said association President DiNizo, owner of Luxury Builders in Ormond Beach.
DiNizo and his company are managing the project, covering the overhead costs and securing the necessary permits. Palm Coast-based Wanerka Electric will supply all electrical materials and labor. Allied Building Products will supply all the necessary drywall and stucco, with Vanacore Homes of Ormond Beach providing the related labor. Daytona Beach’s International Tile & Stone and Port Orange’s Fashion Tile will provide floor tile and labor.
Overhead Door Co. of Daytona Beach will provide all interior doors, jambs, casings and hardware. Overhead Door owner Jeff Hawk, a major supporter of Family Renew Community, is on the VBIA board and suggested the project.
Other VBIA members are contributing money to the effort.
Families eagerly await apartments
Family Renew Community was able to relocate the families displaced by the flooding to apartments that had just been vacated. But that left others waiting for help.
Single mothers and their children and lined up to move in and soon as the Daytona Beach first-floor apartments are ready, said Laurie Archer-Dugo, Family Renew Community’s program manager there.
They include a mother who has been bouncing around from relative to relative with her 5-year-old son and 1½-year-old twin girls because her wages from work at a grocery store won’t pay the rent. And a mother with a newborn who must have a stable place to live to be reunited with her other children after seeking help for an addiction.
For her part, Archer-Dugo is eager for the normalcy that’s missing, with six upstairs apartments full and the five below empty.
“We feel like we only have half a community,” she said. “We want to be back to a whole community.”