Roy Gilbert

Season of Sharing: Helping a disabled family find a home

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Staff Writer

Fifty-one-year-old Janice Wortham lived with her husband and two granddaughters at a rental home in Manatee County. Days before Christmas, the ceiling in her granddaughters’ bedroom collapsed.

Janice Wortham loved her home. It was older with a big screened porch and backyard — she said it was “cute.”

But in December 2018, the problems started.

The 51-year-old lived with her husband and two granddaughters in the rental home for three years in Manatee County. Days before Christmas, the ceiling in her granddaughters’ bedroom collapsed.

“There was a giant hole in the ceiling where the sheet rock fell down on the bed,” Wortham said.

The ceiling was left like that for months. Along with the falling sheet rock, her roof leaked and the wood floor had broken panels across the home. Because of the state of the home, her landlord asked her to move.’“She gave me a 60-day notice to try to find another place because she was going to have to remodel it,” Wortham said.On the hunt for a new home with a time limit, Wortham met challenges. She and her husband are disabled, but Wortham has worked on and off as a hairstylist for 30 years. She said they have relied on their disability checks to pay their bills.The Season of Sharing fund was created in 2000 as a partnership between the Herald-Tribune and the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. The goal is to get emergency funds to individuals and families on the brink of homelessness in Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte and DeSoto […]

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