WPC Builds Fifth House for Habitat for Humanity Program "Home at Last"


Winter Park Construction, in conjunction with Hensel Phelps Construction and West Orange Habitat for Humanity, is building the fifth home for Home at Last. This program, founded by World War II veterans Bill Criswell and Bill Curdts, provides mortgage-free homes for disabled veterans (and their families) who were injured during military campaigns in Iraq or Afghanistan.

The veteran to be honored with this home is Marine Corporal Ronald Clayton Barnes, Jr. (CJ) and his wife, Katy. Corporal Barnes enlisted in the Marines in 2009; he was deployed to Afghanistan in April of 2011. While on patrol with his unit on Friday, May 13, 2011, he stepped onto an old buried pressure plate. It exploded and severely injured his legs, hands, and nose, as well as punctured his eardrums and injured his brain. His leg injuries were extensive and resulted in amputation of both legs – one above and one below the knee. He was also in a coma for a month. CJ now uses prosthetics and a wheelchair to maintain mobility.

CJ was born in West Palm Beach, FL and he and Katy went to high school together. They were married in October of 2011 and currently live on base at the Bethesda Naval Hospital where he receives treatment and rehabilitation. CJ and Katy gave birth to their first child in March, a little boy named Max, and the new family will make central Florida their home when CJ completes his rehabilitation.

A “disability-friendly” ADA accessible home, designed by Jack Scott of Winter Park Design, is being constructed for the family in Oakland, Florida. In addition to the tremendous subcontractor and supplier support, many private donations will help fund this 3-bedroom, 2,521 SF mortgage-free home. The involvement of the city of Oakland and the support from Mayor Kathy Stark has been instrumental in this program’s success.

To learn more about Home at Last or to make a donation, or to track the progress of construction, visit their website at www.homeatlasthomes.org.

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