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'Extreme Makeover' home under scrutiny from homeless advocates

Posted February 27, 2012
Updated February 28, 2012

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— A Fayetteville home transformed by "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" last year into a place to house homeless female veterans has come under scrutiny from homeless advocates after reports of women being turned away. 

Advocates said the Jubilee House on Langdon Street has sat empty on cold winter nights when the Salvation Army shelter in Fayetteville is full.

"We just said, 'What a shame it is that here is this empty, and we're out of space and people are freezing," Salvation Army's Jackie Godbold said.

Jubilee House owner Barbara Marshall, a 15-year Navy veteran, said she has two women and a child staying at the home.

When asked why she was turning people away, Marshall said, "Some women veterans come in with substance abuse issues and are in need of recovery support. Some of the women come in from domestic violence situations, and they need a lot more protection than you can provide at a shelter that has minimal security."

"I talked to one female veteran here, and she told me that she had had some PTSD in the military and had been dishonorably discharged and had some mental health issues, and she talked to Ms. Marshall and Marshall said she would have a place for her, but when she got out of the hospital from treatment a few days later, Marshall told her she couldn’t stay there," Godbold said.

Marshall said all of the attention the house received on television might have led many people to set their expectations too high. Marshall cited health problems, saying she is disabled and left the military after suffering a stroke. She said she has major migraine headaches, hypertension and was recently diagnosed with diabetes.

"I think, when you look at me and to expect the impossible from one person. No," Marshall said.

'Extreme Makeover' home under scrutiny 'Extreme Makeover' home under scrutiny

Marshall said she is getting no money from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs or the government. She said that, once she gets more help and resources, she hopefully can care for homeless veterans with drug, alcohol or mental health issues.

"I have never met her, but there is a big meeting for homeless veterans, and I’ve never seen her at any of those meetings, so I don’t know," Godbold said. "I hope that this is just a woman who’s been overwhelmed and she turns it around and does the right thing for the community...but we’ll have to see."

Although the show aired last year, people still show up delivering donations to the home.

Mary Sheperd brought clothing to the house this week with the hope it would go to homeless veterans.

"Right now, she needs support from all of us. She’s happy to get whatever you bring. She needs volunteers. She needs some people that are professional mentors, I guess, who can help these women, who can be there for them," Sheperd said.

Marshall said she stores donations in her basement and offers them to female veterans who come to the shelter, even if they aren't able to stay there. 

72 Comments

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  • gphotohound2 Feb 29, 5:28 p.m.

    what is she going to do come tax time scream I'm a non -profit and you can't tax my home . If she wants to use that then sher can't turn people away .

  • sillywabbitthepatriot Feb 28, 2:44 p.m.

    Was Marshall so disabled before Extreme Makeover that she couldn't handle women with mental/substance abuse problems? If so, then why was she even considered by EM if her cause was not legit. If her disability didn't interfere before the house was renovated, her disability shouldn't hinder her now.

    Then again, the media is known for not giving a full and accurate report to readers.

  • ASoldiersWife Feb 28, 2:31 p.m.

    @ Beach None of the women that went to Disney are there. They have all been kicked out. One the night they got back and the one I spoke with 2 days later.

  • BubbaDuke Feb 28, 2:28 p.m.

    Michelle Obama has cost tax-payers more than the last five first ladies combined for her constant vacations.

    Extreme Home Make Over made this home for this lady because of what she had done for the community. Marshall has a specific purpose for the home and she is the one who decides who she can accept. All the 'scrutiny' is pointless. It's a privately owned home and if Marshall decides to stop doing what she does, it's still her house.

  • ASoldiersWife Feb 28, 2:25 p.m.

    The families for Extreme Home Makeover are picked from videos that are sent in by the person/families or someone that thinks a person/family have a cause that is worthy of their help. Extreme Home Makeover picks the winner based on need and the program that was brought the their attention is why they choose her. The condition of the house was bad. They way Martha one of the producers explained it was "If you are picked then you have the worst conditions out of the thousands that apply for the show. The Army thought her program was legit so they are the ones who submitted for her. They thought she was there to help the homeless female vets. They thought they were doing a good thing and helping someone that was there for those female vets that needed a place like the one she claimed to be able to provide. She scamed everyone.

  • morebadnews Feb 28, 1:35 p.m.

    Sherlock...she did not pay for a FL vacation. The show sends them to FL.

  • BigUNCFan Feb 28, 1:04 p.m.

    I don't get all of the hating for Michelle Obama. She is just like any other first lady. They all do the same thing to one extent or another. They fly around from place to place and read books with kids or tell people not to use drugs or some other such thing.

    She seems to do what Laura Bush and Nancy Reagan did. Going around touting uncontroversial causes and doing it in style. It is just part of Americana.

    I have a feeling there are other reasons why people hate on her so much but I won't explore those reasons here.

  • Sherlock Feb 28, 12:46 p.m.

    She got the new house and all the fixing, why should she let anyone in HER house?? What about her throwing out individuals that had trouble with her son??? This place is a scam and she took everyone. How did she pay for a vaccation to FL when everyone was working on HER house???

  • laurabass Feb 28, 12:45 p.m.

    I love the way everyone flies off and is so quick to judge this women. What is wrong with setting standards for YOUR HOME? She does not have the resources to give people with serious issues the care they need. She is being selective. Anyone who has gone to a homeless shelter or low income housing would understand. (I myself have lived in both) Kudos to her for not giving in to other people’s expectations and being able to help people who are genuinely just down on their luck. There is always help for addicts, mentally unstable, abused etc; everyone makes it seem like a crime when an average person helps an average person…Gotta love it!

  • pwilliamson53 Feb 28, 12:42 p.m.

    This lady is living a "true lie" staying in a house meant for the benefit of others too. She should be ashamed! She is nothing more than a scammer and used this house for her own gain. It's a shame people use their disabilities to get something to help others but has the gall to turn those away.
    Hopefully she will be charged for scamming and this house will be used for it's intended purpose.

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