If you’re an avid follower of our blog or any of our social media accounts, you know by now that every day is a rewarding day at Eastwood Homes. We truly love our jobs (if you can even call them that?) and take the great pride in what we do.
We’re passionate and truly feel a connection to the customers we serve, the neighborhoods we build, and communities that allow us the opportunity to grow. Last week, we had an experience unlike any other and had to take a moment to share.
Before we begin, we simply have to recognize Angela Henderson and Kim Wilson for allowing us the opportunity to participate. Your courage, dedication, and unwavering commitment to improving the lives of those around you is something that all of us at Eastwood Homes admire.
The numbers are startling, especially those that pertain to children in the United States and even closer to home- right here in the Carolinas. Can you imagine going through elementary, middle, or high school without a stable home, with little to no guidance? It’s a hard to image to swallow, but is one that is very real to 17 kids attending Stall High School in the North Charleston community in South Carolina. Inspired by “Joe’s Place” (a smiliar project headquartered in Maplewood, MO), Project H.O.M.E, is a new project created by Angela Henderson and Kim Wilson that seeks to provide a home to these displaced teens. Hopeful to find live-in house parents for supervision, the program is invested in providing safe homes for students- one where they feel safe, appreciated, and supported- a place where they can just be a kid.
Eastwood Homes is honored to have built the first home (of many soon to come) in the Charleston area. The ground breaking ceremony was held last Monday, May 1st and we’ve included a few photos here for you to check out!
Eastwood New Home Specialist, Jonny Merkle who coordinated the project with Angela Henderson recounts his journey with Project H.O.M.E. as “the most fulfilling home sale” he has ever been a part of.
Jonny first met Angela back in February when she visited one of our communities and mentioned the program and their needs, including the type of floor plan, layout, bedroom count, etc. Jonny recalls, “I just happened to be lucky enough to meet her. It wasn’t just a chance encounter. Through some discussion, we figured out that Eastwood Homes had a move-in ready home that would be a great fit for them. And sure enough, it was.”
Unfortunately, the move-in ready home deemed perfect for Project H.O.M.E was sold upon Angela and the lead donor’s visit a week later. Jonny recalls, “Intially, they were devastated, but I saw this as an opportunity for them to consider building a home from start to finish. Then, the wheels really started turning!”
Together, Angela, Jonny and the Project H.O.M. E. team designed a home and collected additional donations to cover state-of-the-art Design Center upgrades. Eastwood Homes offered many upgrades as donations. For others, donations were collected. One of the Project H.O.M.E board member’s daughters was married during the time of construction and asked her guests to donate towards upgrades for the home rather than receiving wedding gifts! AMAZING! To honor all the donors, Project H.O.M.E. plans to add a plaque in the home to commemorate their generosity.
“This has been by far the most fulfilling home sale I have been involved with. I think I was in the right place, at the right time and feel really lucky to be a part of it!”, adds Jonny.
Jason Esposito, Division President for our Charleston division, shares, “These boys are in a difficult situation that is no fault their own. The people around them who were supposed to provide stability couldn’t, for one reason or another, and unfortunately these young men are paying for it. We have an opportunity to make a difference in their lives and give them a real chance.
How great would it be if we could somehow contribute to the success of one of these young men? Even better- how awesome would it be if we’re able to contribute to the success of 4 or 6 or 10? We believe this is the beginning of something great that will have a positive impact on some of our youth right here in our backyard.”
To the members of Project H.O.M.E, we at Eastwood Homes applaud you. We’re proud to support your mission and look forward to the positive impacts Project H.O.M.E. will make for the young members of North Charleston.
About Project Home Foundation
Project Home Foundation exists to provide structured and nurturing home environments for displaced male students ages 17 to 21 and facilitate their success in learning and life. Mickey’s House – the first result of this initiative, exists to provide a safe home for male students.