Parkersburg resident Mary “Mickey” Welch has enabled a house for homeless students to be built in North Charleston, S.C.
Welch cut the ribbon on “Mickey’s House” on Nov. 1 for Project H.O.M.E.’s house for homeless or displaced teens. The newly built house will give students at R.B. Stall High School in North Charleston a place to stay while finishing their studies for graduation.
Kim Wilson, a 1970 graduate of Parkersburg High School, led the nonprofit Project H.O.M.E. (Helping Others Mirror Excellence) effort. Wilson is a former principal at R.B. Stall High School and the 2014 South Carolina High School Principal of the Year. He is now executive director of secondary learning for the Charleston (S.C.) County School District. Wilson is Welch’s son-in-law.
About 1 1/2 years ago, Wilson learned about a house for homeless students in Missouri. It was like a real home for these teens who needed a safe, nurturing place to live while going to school.Wilson and others set out to build a similar home in North Charleston so homeless students could attend Stall, a Title I high school in an urban setting.
While principal at Stall High School, Wilson said, several juniors and seniors in the school were homeless, resorting to “couch surfing” or living in cars.Wilson told Welch about the project and she wanted to help. So did many others, including a 10-year-old girl who contributed her savings of $100.
“We had no shortage of help,” Wilson said. “It was a project of love.”The group raised $500,000 for the house.A maximum of four males, 17 years old and older, can live in “Mickey’s House” at any given time. House parents live in the home.
The goal is to build a house for homeless females in South Carolina and to replicate this project across the United States, Wilson said. Of Welch, Wilson said she is “so generous and humble. She cares about disadvantaged kids.”
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.