Habitat home will bring relief to Florence family

November 9, 2018

FLORENCE, S.C. — Habitat for Humanity took steps Thursday afternoon to improve the lot of a family that will soon have a new five-bedroom, three-bathroom, two-story house to call home.

India McLellan and her four children were on hand for the ceremony at 402 Railroad Ave., one lot removed from the corner of Pine Street. Assurant is the primary sponsor of the home.

The house will give her family, which currently lives in a three-bedroom apartment, room to breathe and not have to share bedrooms, McLellan said. It will also give the family relief from the storm damage to the apartment during Hurricane Florence.

McLellan and her four children eagerly grabbed shovels and handled the ceremonial duties of turning earth to kick off the build.

The land for the home was donated to Greater Florence Habitat for Humanity by the city of Florence, which donates two or three lots to the organization every year, said Debbie Edwards, executive director for the organization.

“This will be the first two-story house we’ve ever built,” Edwards said.

The home will have porches and a small area behind the house.

McLellan said that area will give her family room for a small garden.

Habitat families are selected on the basis of need, Edwards said. The future residents take classes to prepare them for home ownership and contribute at least 300 sweat-equity hours to the construction of the house.

“We’re looking forward to the next several months and working with you,” Edwards said.

While the home will specifically improve life for the McLellan family, it will also be the first step in the rebirth of Historic Pine Street, said Florence City Council Member Pat Gibson-Hye Moore.

“This is our new beginning. It’s the beginning of a new future for this community. This community will be revitalized along with other communities because we’re not just working downtown, we’re working on the community also,” Moore said.

The city has been acquiring property and razing derelict houses ahead of work that is expected to start early in 2019, Moore said.

“Thank the city of Florence for what they’re doing, Habitat for Humanity for what they’re doing and (Florence County) Councilman Waymon Mumford because he’s helping us over here with the street and the DOT, the state, will be helping with sidewalk improvements,” Moore said.

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