Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Barbara Marshall

Today Tuesday January 24, 2012 The WOD is US Navy Veteran Barbara Marshall. She is the founder of the Steps-N-Stages Jubilee House, which provides shelter, support and services to homeless female veterans. Barbara was featured in an episode of the show “Extreme Home Makeover” First Lady Michelle Obama lent a hand in the season nine premiere episode, which featured the Marshalls, a military family based in Fayetteville, NC. Hundreds gathered for the unveiling of the new Jubilee House.

Barbara Marshall, a 15-year Navy Veteran, is fighting to end homelessness among her fellow women veterans. She became passionately committed to her cause when she noticed that so many of our troops were living on the streets after risking their lives to protect their fellow Americans. Our women veterans were coming back from deployment and then finding themselves homeless, without jobs and in really tough situations. Barbara decided to take it upon herself to help these women and their children. This formidable woman established The Steps-N-Stages Jubilee House in Fayetteville using her own money. Jubilee House offers shelter, support and services such as mentoring and life coaching to homeless female veterans. Barbara's life is dedicated to these women... they are her mission, her family, her passion, by bringing them into the Steps and Stages Jubilee House she gives them a chance to get back on their feet.

Although it is a really amazing opportunity for these women, Barbara does not make it easy for them. They call her Drill Sergeant because they have three months to get their stuff together and focus on what needs to be done and then another family comes in and the entire process starts again. Steps and Stages Jubilee House is a transitional house. It is the first step of getting homeless women off the streets into the work force.

Unfortunately, Jubilee House needed additional space and resources. Barbara needed help so the team at Extreme Home Makeover stepped in to help her continue her very important work for our Nations Veterans. First Lady Michelle Obama arrived at the house in time to welcome the family back from the Disneyworld vacation the show sent them on. The Shows host, Ty Pennington showed her the desk he had been working on for Barbara. He asked the First Lady if she would write a personal note for a space on the desk. Mrs. Obama was happy to oblige. She also asked to know if he wanted her to hammer anything.

Here is a breakdown of what they did for Barbara Marshall and her Steps-N-Stages Jubilee House

  • The new Jubilee House is built in classic American Heritage style with an efficient, eco-friendly log home. The added space will allow Barbara to house at least twice as many people as before.
  • The entire West Wing of the house is dedicated to Barbara and her family.
  • The dining room is huge and welcome since the old house didn't really have such a space.
  • There's a wall of achievement made up of plaques showcasing vets with a words of encouragement from the soldiers written on the inside.
  • Sabrina makes an American Flag mosaic made up of photos of veteran and active duty soldiers. Many of the pictures come from soldiers serving at nearby Fort Bragg.
  • The backyard is an oasis with a White House playhouse complete with the Truman Balcony. The First Lady hands the American flag to Paul to place atop the replica.
  • The glass panels on the beautiful new greenhouse are perfect for allowing lots of natural light.
  • Ty created the "Veggie-tube," which is a vacuum tube that sends vegetables to the kitchen. It's hardly a necessary household item, but that doesn't mean it isn't totally cool, too.
  • The East Wing is filled with booths in a multi-purpose area perfect for skill-building. A representative of the College of Charleston informs Barbara that a scholarship is being established in her name.
  • The new play area has a soundproof wall so the kids can play while others work in peace. Johnny reveals that the walls all slide and move to make maximum use of the space. There's also an interactive gaming floor that allows you to do things like kick Ty's face on a computer-generated puck.
  • There's a full complete kitchen upstairs, too. Jubilee House resident Judy Hilburn's name is engraved on a center island. When she gets her own place, she'll be able to take the island with her.
  • Barbara is blown away by her beautiful new bedroom. Above the bed sits a flag that was presented by the First Lady to represent the men and the women who have served our nation all over the country and the world.
  • Ty shows Barbara the personalized note from Michelle Obama that is part of her desk in her own little Presidential retreat area.

Barbara now has the tools she needs to continue her good work for the returning Veterans and their families.