Can you pitch in? Community’s help needed to save Orlando woman’s home

ORLANDO, Fla. – Last week, the city of Orlando was weeks away from sentencing Theresa DeFairia’s house.

After seeing her story on News 6, a local roofing company got in touch and offered to donate a brand new roof.

When DeFairia found out Noland’s Roofing was ready to donate a new roof, she said it was music for her ears.

But what came next wasn’t.

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“The Lord said, ‘Listen, Theresa, and don’t get upset,'” DeFairia told News 6.

When Justin Shelton surveyed the property with Noland’s roof, he quickly realized that it needed much more than a new roof.

“There’s a lot of structural damage to the main beams,” Shelton said. “It was certainly a lot more than I expected.”

Not only is there a faulty roof with permanent tarpaulin, but also rotting wood, fragile floors, and unstable trusses.

DeFairia lives on disability assistance and social security. It’s enough to pay the mortgage, but not much else. Over time, the house has gotten into a state that most people would consider uninhabitable.

District 5 Orlando City Commissioner Regina Hill grew up in the same neighborhood in Orlando.

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“We have to take out all of the walls. We have to gouge the place, ”said Hill.

Hill worked with code enforcement to freeze the October 20th date and condemn the property.

Hill is now calling on companies and organizations to donate time, materials and labor to repair the home.

“We’re a united Orlando, and when we stand together here in Orlando, wonderful things happen,” said Hill.

The woman, who everyone affectionately calls Mrs. Theresa, says that’s all she needs to hear.

“When I heard that, you saw me leave,” she said. “I didn’t stay any longer because I heard hope, and when I hear hope, God speaks to my spirit and says, ‘Theresa, it will be all right. Everything will be fine.'”

Noland’s roof can’t do the job on its own. A lot of donations and several volunteers are needed.

The first thing they need is a structural engineer to do a full report to assess what the house needs.

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If you would like to help Ms. Theresa, you can contact Commissioner Regina Hill of the City of Orlando. If you’d like to donate, DeFairia has a GoFundMe page.

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