Mt. Pleasant, S.C. – East Cooper Habitat for Humanity (ECHFH), a non-profit, non-denominational Christian housing organization, recently completed a neighborhood incorporating eleven homes along Joseph Glover Road and McAdams Court, just off of Highway 41 in northern Mount Pleasant. This marks the second time that East Cooper Habitat for Humanity has built an entire neighborhood, and the new owners are proud to call it home.
Six years and 11 structures later, the last home was dedicated this summer, bringing an even stronger sense of community to the neighborhood. Elizabeth Venning, owner of the last home constructed by the hands of 450 volunteers, her family included, commented on the partnership that brought her home to reality, “East Cooper Habitat is such a wonderful organization; they gave me the confidence to buy this house,” adding, “I’ve never poured cement, but I learned how! Now that my home is finished, I’ll keep going back to help, because it’s a good feeling to help others, just like people helped me.”
Terri Naguib turned to Habitat after struggling to find an affordable place she felt would be an appropriate home and neighborhood for raising her daughter. After living at McAdams Court for five years, she says, “Still, almost every day, my daughter says, ‘Mom, I love our home!’”
Naguib also enjoys the closeness and diversity of the community in her neighborhood, commenting, “Living on McAdams Court with so many other East Cooper Habitat homeowners is a great experience. I feel very safe here, and like I could rely on anyone in the neighborhood.” She added, “It’s such an honor to be blessed with a Habitat House. Five years later, I still can’t believe I own a home, and I’m filled with awe and gratitude.”
The neighborhood is named for Bruce McAdams, the founding board president for East Cooper Habitat for Humanity. McAdams, who spearheaded the formation of the organization in early 1990, is quick to point out that East Cooper Habitat for Humanity’s efforts represent the work of a very large group, commenting, “They should name the street for all the volunteers who led East Cooper Habitat to where it is today. I just happened to be the first of many.”
Large donors to the McAdams Court neighborhood building project include the Lowcountry Housing Trust Fund and the South Carolina Housing Trust Fund, and a Builders Blitz project, which was done in partnership with the Charleston Trident Homebuilders Association. This effort included several local builders: Structures Building Company, John Wieland Homes, J.D. Smith Company, and the I’On Company. The South Carolina Association of Realtors-sponsored home was coordinated in partnership with the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors, and six of the homes were sponsored by individual churches, by Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, or by Apostles Build, a coalition of churches working in partnership to raise funds to sponsor homes.
The effort was also supported by former board member and Realtor Jimmy Carroll, who designates the interest earned on his real estate escrow accounts to benefit ECHFH.
Other funding came from Laurel Hill Primary School where first grade teachers, led by Amy Claxton, provide their students with the opportunity to give back as part of one of their lessons. Students work on projects at home to raise money and then donate to ECHFH. Additionally, many individuals and other businesses, including the East Cooper Habitat for Humanity ReStore, provided the remaining funding required to finish out the neighborhood.
East Cooper Habitat for Humanity (ECHFH) assists families by building safe, well constructed homes. Working in partnership with low-income families, ECHFH utilizes volunteer labor and donated funds to provide a “hand up”, not a “hand out”, on the construction of their homes. Homeowners are chosen based on their demonstrated ability to handle personal finances and their willingness to contribute at least 350 hours of “sweat equity” on their home. Upon completion, Habitat homes are purchased by the homeowner with monthly payments under an interest-free mortgage over 30 years, and those payments are directed toward future homebuilding efforts as received.
East Cooper Habitat for Humanity is an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, servicing the communities east of the Cooper River in South Carolina. Visit their website at www.eastcooperhabitat.org for information on the organization and how to get involved.
Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry that welcomes to its work all people dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since its founding in 1976, Habitat has built more than 300,000 houses worldwide, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 1.5 million people.