Throughout the month of November, the issue of lack of housing was focused upon, largely due to the fact that resources seemed to be presented to myself and the community and of course, were taken advantage of immediately. Lack of housing was one of the top three issues identified by the survey, which was distributed throughout West Wabasso. The steering committee developed an action plan to address the issue, which primarily consists of a combination of code enforcement citations for abandoned homes, and demolishing, and rebuilding homes that were occupied. This month the first house was demolished. The County waived landfill costs for three houses, a developer donated $6,660 to pay the labor and equipment costs, fill dirt was donated, and all three residents were able to acquire FEMA trailers so that they could reside in the same vicinity as their previous home. A coalition has formed to build homes for these residents and this endeavor has been coined, Project Hope.
Perhaps the most difficult hurdle I have encountered lately is turning the reins back over to the community leaders. When I first entered the community they had a loose grip on the reins, although they had many complaints about the lack of resources available to their community. I believe the steering committee has control of where they want to guide the community, and have adequately addressed all the issues, yet no one has stepped forward to arduously pursue and make sure the plans will be followed through as I have for the past eleven months. December and January will be crucial months to determine whether the community will continue to be empowered to not be complacent and to uphold the progress thus far made to improve their quality of life in West Wabasso.
Past Indian River County Updates
The following files are provided in the Adobe Acrobat pdf format. Files over 100 kb in size that may take longer to download and view, have their file size listed.
December 25, 2004 - Woman's work aids west Wabasso residents
October 18, 2004 - Storms stall Wabasso help
September, 2004 - PACE Progress Report for the Wabasso Environmental Assessment (620 kb) (From the Florida Journal of Environmental Health)
September 28, 2004 - Storms run Wabasso family out of own, borrowed homes
August 28, 2004 - Families get new homes
August 11, 2004 - Draft Brochure, Bringing Basic Needs to a Forgotten Community (1.4 meg file)
July 30, 2004 - Kindness rules in Wabasso (109 kb)
July 28, 2004 - Teens team up to build man's house
June 2, 2004 - Indian River seeks aid for water
May 26, 2004 - Groups enlist residents to help revive Wabasso
May 11, 2004 - Wabasso may have to wait a year for street lights to come on
May 9, 2004 - Town hall meeting to address Wabasso's needs