Extreme Makeover begins construction work

Extreme Makeover to demolish old vet house
July 16, 2011 3:29:30 PM PDT
Homeless female veterans in Fayetteville are getting the help they need thanks to Ty Pennington and the hit ABC TV show" Extreme Makeover Home Edition."

On Thursday afternoon, Pennington knocked on Barbara Marshall's door on Langdon Street and told her she's getting a brand new log home from Blue Ridge Log Cabins built from the ground up in just one week.

"We are just off the charts excited," said Marshall right after she got the news.

Shortly after the announcement, crews began preparing for the house to come down.

Crews from all over the area are working around the clock to get the project completed in time. They fell behind Friday night, but said they hoped to be back on schedule in the overnight hours of Saturday into Sunday.

"Hopefully, tomorrow, the plan is mid-afternoon, we're going to be ready to start bringing in the sections of the house in, then we start putting it together," said Chip Smith with Blue Ridge Log Cabins. "Hopefully that will be done by early Sunday morning."

On Friday, hundreds of volunteers - including members from every branch of the Armed Forces - were on hand to help demolition get underway.

"I think that is phenomenal," volunteer Bridgett Alexander said. "My father was a vet and so I have a good connection and a good understanding of what their needs are and I think that this just absolutely phenomenal."

Marshall, who was featured in ABC11 stories last fall, was fixing up the Langdon Street house to turn it into a shelter called the Steps-N-Stages Jubilee House for female veterans who need assistance.

Marshall is a former Navy officer. She was a chaplain who counseled women and continues to make a difference in their lives now. Along with housing three women veterans and their children, the Jubilee House works with over 30 homeless women veterans seeking assistance each week.

"I'd say that on a normal night there are at least 200 to 300 women veterans, who either couch surfing, sleeping on the streets or just not certain on where they're going to lay their heads," said Marshall last October.

Producers say the new home the show is building for Marshall will be able to house multiple families. It will also be a place where Marshall's son - who is developmentally delayed - can thrive. While their new home is under construction, the Marshall family will spend the next seven days on a dream vacation at Walt Disney World in Florida.

On the build, Pennington will get help from designers Paul DiMeo, Tracy Hutson, John Littlefield and Sabrina Soto, plus help from builder Blue Ridge Log Cabins and other community organizations and volunteers.

Fayetteville Mayor Tony Chavonne's wife was at the construction site Friday to check out the latest spotlight on the City.

"We are on a roll right now, with the All-America City Award, Veterans Park opening on July 4th, and this, and of course we got Heros Homecoming coming up in November, so we are on a great roll right now," Joanne Chavonne said.

Business and civic leaders and volunteers from across the region are donating supplies, money, and their time for the project, but organizers say much more is needed.

Click here to read more and get the list of items

To learn more about the Fayetteville project and volunteer, head over to the Extreme Makeover Home Edition website.

Extreme Makeover has helped hundreds of families around the country, including a home it built in Raleigh for the Riggins family in 2006. The Fayetteville edition is currently scheduled to air on ABC11 October 21 at 8 p.m.

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