GREENVILLE COUNTY, S.C. — Three years ago, a woman turned to Grace Church for help. She had trouble getting approved for housing. The church helped her secure a lease.
“It started for an effort to care for one,” explained LeeAnne Cavin, Grace Church’s Care & Recovery Ministry Director. “The need became really evident.”
Since then, Grace Church has helped 69 adults and their children find housing. It has no plans of slowing down. The church recently bought four student housing buildings from Greenville Technical College, which it is turning into 121 affordable housing units.
“We’re quickly finding a number of individuals who are interested and have a waitlist at this time of about 25 approved individuals who we are working to get moved in as quickly as possible.”
The program is called Front Porch Housing.
Residents can live in the community for up to three years. During that time, they will be connected with different classes and opportunities.
“We’ll meet with each individual and say, ‘What are your goals? What are your financial goals? What are your health goals? What are your life goals? Let’s help you figure out a plan to get you there.'”
It is a chance to teach residents how to support themselves and their families.
“We hope that after two and a half to three years with us, a resident is at a different spot. They’ve made connections within our community. They’ve made checking accounts. They have counselors. They have additional friends and healthy support groups. Then, they move.”
Cavin said they plan to open some units at the beginning of June. Rent is estimated to cost between $400-$900 per month.
Grace Church has partnered with Miracle Hill, SWITCH, Jasmine Road, DSS, Safe Harbor and NightLight Adoptions for Front Porch Housing.