Builders Association & SJC Homeless Coalition restore historic home in West St. Augustine

The St. Johns Builders Council (“SJBC”), a regional council of The Northeast Florida Builders Association (“NEFBA”), embarked on a heartening collaboration with the Emergency Services and Homeless Coalition of St. Johns County (“ESHC”) to breathe new life into a century-old, single-family home nestled in West St. Augustine.


Under the leadership of Seth Kelley from the MasterCraft Builder Group, who also helmed the SJBC Board in 2022, the council voted to adopt and rejuvenate the historic property at 61 Chapin Street on the Homeless Coalition’s campus.

This partnership aimed to convert the aged dwelling into a safe and welcoming haven for the Homeless Coalition. The goal was to offer stable housing and essential services to homeless families with children, facilitating their path toward self-sufficiency and a brighter future while breaking the cycle of homelessness.

What the house looked like before restoration:

The project’s extensive renovations kicked off in earnest in October 2022. What was initially anticipated as minor restoration work swiftly transformed into a comprehensive endeavor touching various facets of home construction, encompassing rough carpentry, electrical, plumbing, HVAC, drywall, and more.

In the spirit of preserving the home’s historical significance while ensuring its safety and modern functionality, SJBC engaged suppliers, tradespeople, and NEFBA members to pool resources, materials, and expertise, reviving the house’s essence and charm.

After weeks of dedication from professionals and volunteers alike, SJBC successfully completed the task. On June 26th, they handed over the keys to Debi Redding, the Executive Director of ESHC, signifying the commencement of a new chapter in the house’s legacy. On June 28th, a single mother and her young son moved in.

The restoration expenses surpassed $53,000 in estimates. However, thanks to the collective generosity of over 36 individuals and companies within the building industry, and the determination of Seth Kelley and his team at MasterCraft, the project’s impact on ESHC’s finances was minimized.

Remarkably, NEFBA, SJBC, and their members contributed over $11,000 beyond the renovation costs to bolster ESHC’s ongoing mission of aiding the less fortunate.

Kelley expressed his gratitude, stating, “We couldn’t have completed this project without the support of over 36 building partners and members. If we asked, they said yes – nobody ever said no. Especially Jackie and Parker Rowland with Russell Rowland, Mitch Szymczyk with Tri-State Builders, Justin Shonk with Gleckler and Sons Construction and Building Materials, Jamie Warrington with Builders FirstSource, and Steve Brogdon with Brogdon Builders – they were all so generous. I’m extremely proud and humbled by this experience.”

Founded in 1944, the Northeast Florida Builders Association is a dynamic trade organization comprising local builders and affiliated businesses dedicated to the building industry’s advancement. Affiliated with the Florida Home Builders Association and the National Association of Home Builders, NEFBA’s mission includes promotion, education, involvement, and community service. With over 1,260 members, it ranks as Florida’s largest local builders association and the fourth-largest in the nation, actively serving the construction industry in seven Florida counties.

For more information about NEFBA, visit www.nefba.com.

What the house looked like after restoration:

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