Mommy! That's our house!
Our Up on the Roof event last week may have gotten a little rain, but the joy from three little girls who joined us was hardly stifled. As photos of our Anderson affordable housing developments and clients scrolled on a TV screen at the beautiful Bleckley Inn Rooftop, they waited in anticipation to see their photo.
Just a few moments before this declaration the sky had opened up, drenching our venue, and bringing our evening to an early end. Our event was intended to introduce our organization to new supporters in Anderson, so an element of disappointment was unavoidable. All day the sky was clear. "It's not s'pose to rain today" we were assured by passersby. And it didn't rain-- until 30 minutes prior to the event. And then it poured.
The sun breaks through the clouds over the rooftop venue
Guests began to arrive and we were thankful their spirits were high as they waited below until we could get the chairs dried (for the third time). We rejoiced as we saw that several had braved the rain to stick it out with us. Guests from Anderson University, Fluor Corporation, Michelin, local churches, and community and civic leaders mingled and enjoyed hors d'oeuvres, oldies tunes, and remarks from Anderson Mayor Terence Roberts, our CEO/President Don Oglesby, and our honored guests-- the Jackson family-- new tenants of ours in Anderson.
Guests brave the storm to learn more about Homes of Hope in Anderson
"Our family consists of myself, my wife Shavonne, a RN student at Tri-county tech, and our three loving daughters, Harmony, Melody, and Symphony. We learned about Homes of Hope while seeking better living accommodations that could provide an environment without pests, health hazards, and one that would promote our family independence." - Anthony Jackson
Anthony shares his family's journey to Homes of Hope
Initially under-income when they applied, we were concerned that their rent would be a burden and were unable to approve them for housing at that time. Determined to reapply, Anthony sought better employment to ensure their home would be affordable as a family of five. Being hired at AT&T was the result of a lot prayer, hard-work, and dedication. A year after they first applied, the very same house they had loved from the beginning became their own.
The Jackson family in their new home
"Tonight we stand before you all as a proud tenants of a beautiful home that is a symbol of our family and the growth that Homes of Hope has provided to us and our community." - Anthony Jackson
Just moments after Anthony finished speaking, the sky opened again, bringing our evening to an early close. Reflecting back now, we are convinced that God allowed our guests to hear exactly what He intended. The rain continued to drizzle as a few remaining guests huddled together under the only awning. Then happened the moment of the night that represented exactly what it's all about at Homes of Hope- the joyful squeal of three girls suprised by a photo of the home they love, "Mommy! That's our house!"
Homes of Hope's affordable housing development on Fant Street in Anderson, SC
As we prepare to break ground this winter on 61 Hills in Anderson, our largest affordable housing community to date, we will be able to help 68 more families like the Jacksons. 61 Hills will provide affordable and energy efficient options for a mixture of family incomes in a redeveloped neighborhood previously plagued by blight and crime. Our desire is to link arms with the community to restore the broken parts of the neighborhood to its former vision and heritage.
Neighborhood stability and economic impact will result, but most importantly, families will have homes they can be proud to live in. We're excited to unlock the potential of the Westside Community of Anderson and the families who will live there. As each phase of 61 Hills comes to completion, we want to hear more and more children squealing with delight as they take a look at their brand new home.
For every home we build, we have to raise an additional $10,000 to cover the programatic costs for families. This is a great financial need. We invite you to partner with us to fill in the gap.