This week was a dry run – we were contacted about finding housing for a pregnant woman with a 1 year old child who had been sleeping outside. In the end, the organization who contacted us decided to keep her with them, but in the meanwhile, we sent messages throughout our organization to try and find a solution. I was amazed at how quickly everyone responded, whether with the possibility of better income for the husband, or a ministry that takes in pregnant women with a child, or a place to sleep for a few nights. It was God’s way of directing me in regard to a decision I had made about buying a house for Koinonia to sublet rooms.
Koinonia is only 6 months old. It doesn’t have enough money to buy or build a house. Although it could rent a house, no one we have contacted will allow us to lease a house and sublet the rooms, even if we take responsibility for the care and upkeep of the house.
We have researched opening a temporary shelter, but the zoning is limited to Office/Institutional (which is rare to find in Cherokee County), General and Neighborhood Commercial, and finding affordable land or a suitable building in those areas has proven fruitless. We thought about opening a hostel, which although it would be limited to stays up to 30 days, would be something rather than nothing. However, both the temporary shelter and the hostel will be commercial buildings, requiring sprinkler and alarm systems, which will make it a very expensive proposition.
To back up a little, I had already started looking for a house to purchase on my own so I could lease it to Koinonia to sublet, but the only housing I could find that I could afford required a lot of work. I thought checking into other options would be a better use of my time, but when this crisis occurred, I realized that some house is better than no house for people who have nowhere to go.
So I am checking into 2 houses, both of which would need immediate repairs to be livable, so if you want to help with
- labor or materials for repairs (the first house needs the flooring rebuilt in 2 rooms, which is the most critical issue),
- monetary donations to help cover the house payment while repairs are going on,
- help build bunk beds and
- buy mattresses and household furniture and supplies,
- and volunteer to help oversee the upkeep and maintenance of the house (we would need daily visits spread over multiple volunteers)
now is your time to let us know. Contact us as soon as possible if you can help with money, supplies or volunteering.
We may not be able to do everything, but we can do something!