‘Bunch of black mold;’ Local construction company, community works to get family back in their home

NEW CARLISLE, Clark County — Breaking down walls to build up a new home, and a new life.

The New Carlisle community has rallied behind a family as they work to start from scratch. The family’s first home had so many problems, they had to move out immediately.

>>PHOTOS: Local construction company, community works to get family back in their home

The Big Love Project, created by Ben Roberts owner of JC Bandit, is hoping to get the Whitfield family back in their home.

“I live my life out of love, taking care of people, it feeds my soul,” Roberts said.

Roberts has made a reputation for doing housework for those who need it most in the communities he cares about.

“Man, I’d take care of everyone in the world if I could,” Roberts said. Some of those people he wants to help are the Whitfields.

According to a GoFundMe page created by the family patriarch and friends, the Whitfields are James “Bo”, and Cristina, their children Robert (4) and Jack (1), and three pets.

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A few years before moving to Ohio from Georgia, Bo got into a bad car crash and has been recovering from a broken neck, back, punctured lung, and 2,700 stitches in his face ever since, according to GoFundMe.

In 2023 they arrived in Clark County excited to get into their first home and have a fresh start, but shortly after they moved in, they found out that wouldn’t be the case, according to the GoFundMe.

“A year ago they (Whitfield’s) bought their house, it had shoddy work done, the previous owner covered up a bunch of black mold. So they doubled layer the entire house with drywall,” Roberts said.

The home also has severe water damage and plumbing issues that hadn’t been addressed before they moved in. To restore the house and make it safe for the family, it needed to be completely redone down to the stubs, the GoFundMe page said.

In August, the Whitfields had no choice but to move into an RV parked in their driveway as they figured out how to manage these upcoming, expensive renovations, according to GoFundMe.

JC Bandit and the Big Love Project jumped in to help. It started as a company project but soon turned into a community effort.

“We’ve got people coming into treating the house for mold, clean the vents, and start putting new product back in. Getting it right for and making it livable and safe for the family and kids. That’s what it’s about,” Roberts said.

Since starting the project, JC Bandit has received several calls from people wanting to help.

“Other contractors said ‘Hey we’ll paint, we’ll do the driveway, we’ll do the floors. We are going to donate 10 gallons of gray paint and white paint.’ I have a list in my head and a list on my phone,” Roberts said.

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Roberts said he would love to do more projects like this, or even become a motivational speaker.

He said his goal is to get the Whitfields back in their home by Valentine’s Day.

To learn more about what the Whitfields have been through, or to donate visit their GoFundMe.

For updates on the renovation, visit Roberts’ Facebook page.

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