MARIANNA, Fla. (WMBB) — The city of Marianna gave back to one of its longtime employees in a big way Thursday afternoon.

DaMarco Graham and his kids will now live in a brand new home after theirs was destroyed in Hurricane Michael.

“To survive and to have something that you can call home is everything,” Graham said. “I mean, a lot of people are right now still trying to recover after years. I’m just blessed. I am really blessed.”

The city of Marianna is implementing a pilot program in partnership with other local entities to assist qualified city employees still struggling to recover from the hurricane.

“They have put aside some of their CARES money and some other funding opportunities to help kind of spur some of these opportunities for their employees,” North Florida Inland Long Term Recovery Program Executive Director Kristy Terry said.

A volunteer group from a Chicago-area church spent the last six weeks here in the Panhandle constructing Graham’s and his kids’ new house.

“It’s always rewarding to be done, but it’s also rewarding to be able to say, praise the Lord that this house was able to get done,” Orland Park Church volunteer Don Waterlander said.

The 3-bed 2-bath home is around 1,300 square feet, which holds plenty of room for Graham and his growing boys.

“It’s going to be a blessing to them, too, because they got their own room,” Graham said. “They don’t have to share a room. I mean, it’s just a blessing. It really is. They are going to love it. They really are.”

The city donated the land of the homesite.

Funding came through the CARES Act funding and the Jackson County Hurricane Housing Recovery program.

Graham will pay a small mortgage on the home.

Marianna officials are already working to make this program possible for other qualified employees.