• Inmates transform shipping containers into housing for workers cleaning up Abaco Islands

    By: Katlyn Brieskorn


    LAKE COUNTY, Fla. - Four inmates from the Lake County Jail transformed two old shipping containers into temporary housing for workers who are clearing the destruction that was left by Hurricane Dorian in the Abaco Islands.

    The inmates volunteered for the project and teamed up with Habitat for Humanity Lake-Sumter.

    READ: Family of Bethune-Cookman students trying to overcome the devastation of Hurricane Dorian

    “It will be fully furnished with bunk beds, AC, totally off the grid. Everything they need to be a little comfortable while they’re on the island doing the good work they’re doing,” said Danielle Stroud, of Habitat for Humanity for Lake-Sumter.

    Habitat for Humanity’s director of construction found the two old containers that will house 16 people on the islands. If the containers work, more could be made.

    “And from there, we’ll test to see how well they work for what they’re needing, and from that, hopefully there is replication,” Stroud said. 

    The inmates will be back to help if more need to be made.

    “This is something these guys can do to help out, to provide shelter and a safe place to sleep at night,” said Lt. John Herrel, of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.

    Not only are the inmates helping the people of the Bahamas recover, they are also rebuilding their own lives.

    “They use their skill set, and they hone their skill set so that when they’re out of jail, they get a certificate with the house that they’ve donated documented on it, so we hope that will all play together to help get them employment,” Herrel said.

    Habitat for Humanity said it hopes to have the containers ready to go in the next two weeks.

    READ: Hurricane Dorian: Hundreds of boxes filled with supplies sent to Bahamas

    From there, the containers will got to Fort Myers, where a shipping barge will take them to the Bahamas.

    The Sheriff’s Office said every month the inmates volunteer their services, they will get 10 days taken off their jail sentence. 

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