JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- It’s been almost six months since Hurricane Irma hit the First Coast, causing many families to lose their homes entirely due to flood waters and wind damage.
One of the hardest hit areas was along Ken Knight Drive on Jacksonville's westside. That's where a group of volunteers from several organizations are working to make a difference.
Hope McMath with Yellow House says she couldn't turn her back on this community once she saw the devastation after the hurricane.
"You had people that a week later no one had visited yet," McMath said. "There was food insecurity, fear about what was going to happen next."
So she helped rally the troops to help families rebuild.
"On this block is where homes received the worst damage so these homes are high on our priority list."
Lawrence Jones was hired as a subcontractor with the nonprofit organization Home Builders.
"You see the faces of people when you do the work for them, they are really grateful," Jones said. "To do more, to give back to others, is wonderful."
Surrounding Lawrence in the house undergoing work on Saturday was a group of hard-working students who traveled down voluntarily from Georgia Tech.
"Certain areas we couldn't even walk through because people are working on the floors right now and until those are finished it’s not safe to walk through," said Caleb Tysor, a Georgia Tech volunteer.
"We had heard that only one house has been finished in the entire neighborhood so we are working on houses number two and three today, getting power back, putting drywall up, putting the floors in so it was an area that really needed it."
Outside of the homes, Red Cross volunteers canvassed the neighborhood trying to address any others needs for the families.
They offered advise and took down their names so they could return. The law firm Three Rivers Legal Services is offering free help for anyone impacted by the hurricane.
All of these volunteers helping to rebuild are part of the new Northeast Long Term Recovery Organization, a blend of help from difference groups and states to answer the needs of our community.