“Help the Black lives over in Porters Quarters,”: Residents plan to paint homes in historically Black Gainesville neighborhood

Published: Oct. 15, 2021 at 5:25 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -Preserving the Porters Quarters community in Gainesville is a top priority for residents.

“We’re all Black out here so come out and show some support and love for Black Lives Matter,” said resident Faye Williams.

The historically Black neighborhood was founded in 1884, according to Williams, holding decades of history shared by the seniors who still live there.

“We matter. Porters Quarters matters,” added Williams. She and Pastor Gerard Duncan of Prayers by Faith ministries plan to paint homes in the area with the intention to promote neighborhood pride.

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“So many seniors that live in this community that have a wealth of history of Gainesville,” said Duncan.

The plan to paint the Porters Quarters community started with just two houses on the corner of SW 6 Ave. Now with more than 30 volunteers signed up so far, the plan has doubled to four.

“Time is of the essence to make sure that we give back to them,” said Duncan. “We’re talking not only about the history of the community but we’re talking about the change-makers.”

It takes more than just volunteers to paint the neighborhood and that’s why habitat for humanity donated all the necessary supplies for the project. This includes the paint, the brushes and the primer for each house.

“When people give there’s a certain euphoria that takes place and people feel grateful, they feel connected and so we’re just happy to be connected and helping in a new neighborhood,” said Chief Outreach and Development Officer for Alachua Habitat for Humanity, Scott Winzeler.

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Volunteers will get a taste of what Porters Quarters has to offer as they paint. Speakers will recall the community’s history and say why they fight developers from bulldozing their homes.

“This is the example,” added Williams. “Come over and help the Black lives over in Porters Quarters.”

Help starts this Saturday morning at Porters Quarters community center.

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