Florence community project aims to restore home for family in need

Published: Oct. 17, 2022 at 7:32 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 17, 2022 at 9:20 PM EDT
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FLORENCE, S.C. (WMBF) - A house built in the 1920s located on Florence’s North McQueen Street is in the process of being renovated for a family that needs a home.

Helping Florence Flourish and the House of Hope program collaborated on the renovation project.

The house was given to House of Hope, which, in turn, helped the organization Helping Florence Flourish to start the restoration process.

The house is 800 square feet and its owner, Aaliyah Washington, could start moving in a few months.

“I’m still in shock that I am a house owner,” said Washington.

For four years, Aaliyah Washington endured car honking, unsafe environments, and hopping to different motels just to live somewhat of a normal life. Being homeless with three kids was not easy for Washington.

“They’d see me crying because I don’t know where we are going to go. My oldest is 9 and my baby boy is 6,” Washington said. “They been through a lot already. I just want them to be at a better place, somewhere they can call home, somewhere they can feel safe. Somewhere they can feel like never missing a meal, never go hungry, never worry about the lights going off, never worried about people kicking us out or have to worry about being on the streets.”

The house has been under renovation since early October with the help of volunteers; however, the project could take longer than expected due to some challenges volunteers are facing.

The house is in need of an AC and heater unit, termite infestation, new wiring and plumbing, and lack of funding.

Just restoring the roof cost the organization $7,000.

The completion of this project could cost around $30,000.

Despite the hurdles, the coordinator for this project Charlie Caldwell says the community has been a huge help in making this restoration process easier.

“What we see here are people looking out for each other. It’s such an opportunity to try to communicate how important it is that we be servants to each other and serve our community,” said Caldwell.

“God put godly people in my life. They showed me the right path and I stood and took that path,” said Washington.

Organizers said their goal is to have it complete in December before Christmas, but with funding being a major concern, it could be delayed.