71-Year Old Receives New Home From SMDF

71-Year Old Receives New Home From SMDF

PHILIPBSURG – At 71 years old, Peter Alfonso Hodge is one of the latest recipients of a new home constructed by St. Maarten Development Fund (SMDF). Hodge, a pensioner, was originally identified for assistance at the end of May, 2017 when SMDF began seeking out seniors in need for its Elderly Project. When he was first identified, Hodge’s home was in a severe state of disrepair.

With walls on the brink of collapsing, SMDF had all intentions of working on the dwelling. Unfortunately, the passing of hurricane Irma put a temporary halt to the Elderly Project. Nevertheless, SMDF’s commitment to Hodge remained and he now enjoys his new fully concrete home.

The home, which was completed in approximately 150 days was presented to Hodge by SMDF Managing Director Keith Franca, Dutch Representative in Philipsburg Chris Johnson, and contractor Geddes Smith of Elite Development Team.

With works beginning in May, Elite Development Team, under the leadership of Smith, completed the job in less than five months. The extensive works which included full demolition of the old structure, reinforcing of the existing foundation and construction of a two-bedroom, one-bathroom home.

Built to accommodate Hodge’s wheelchair, the home has wide doorways, a wheelchair ramp for entry and exit and a wheelchair friendly bathroom. “We hope that this home is one that Mr. Hodge can enjoy for many years to come, without worry of destruction,” said Johnson.

Constructed almost fifty (50) years ago, Hodge’s original home is one of many that was built with the help of neighbors and friends who came together under the theme of jollification. In an interview earlier this year with journalist Laura Bijnsdorp, Hodge spoke of how one could count on the community many years ago, but now such instances are rare. Watching Hodge enter his new home, Franca marked the day that start of a new chapter for Hodge. He thanked those that contributed to the project, including Johnson, Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Affairs for financing SMDF’s Elderly Project, Technical Project Manager ing. Joseph Dollison and contractor Geddes Smith and his team.