WEST COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Roughly 40 high school students and volunteers teamed up with Home Works of America to rebuild one West Columbia roof that was damaged in the 2015 floods.
Home Works is a nonprofit organization that oversees various repair projects, ranging from the replacement of roofs to the construction of ramps, the gutting of bathrooms, the repairing of ceilings and the painting of walls.
The organization works to create a context in which youth are mentored in life-skills. Saturday’s works day included volunteers from Youth Corps, Ashland United Methodist Church, and River City Chapel.
The house sits on Lloydwood Drive and volunteers with Home Works said the recent storms only made the already damaged house worse.
“These catastrophic events aren’t just a quick thing that happens. It takes time to build back. ”volunteer Ella Blalock said. “When I take a look at this house I kind of get emotional because it just shows that there are so many people that need help and just to have kids, not even adults but to have kids out here it just shows them that we love them and that we care about them too.”
Barbara Crawford, 67, lives in the house. One volunteer who spoke with her said her gratitude was endless.
“She was overwhelmed at the number of people volunteering on her roof and the number of people working in her yard. Everybody just had their sleeves rolled up and was going.” volunteer Kari Bristol said. “She was definitely brought to tears. Everybody was sweaty and gross but she wanted to hug everyone and was so thankful and appreciative that she was getting this help and having something done that she otherwise could not do.”
According to the Home Works website, a typical homeowner assisted by Home Works of America is a 70-year-old widow, living on $12,000 a year.
“This home damaged by the flood probably had three to five years left in it to have a safe habitable home, and after home works leaves we’re turning this life expectancy to 20 to 25 years with a new roof, soffit, and fascia, and that’s keeping this homeowner in her home for years to come," said Joe Huggins, the executive director of Home Works.
Huggins says there are at least 500 homes left in the Columbia area that still face damages from 2015 floods.
Home Works says their goal is to help repair as many as they can.
If you’d like to donate, you can do so online by clicking here, or by mailing in a check.