What happens when you combine construction with compassion? You get Home Works of America, the Columbia-based nonprofit that provides critical safety and sanitation home repairs for deserving low-income, elderly or disabled homeowners.
Since it began serving the Midlands in 1996, Home Works has repaired more than 1,000 homes in the area. Across its larger footprint covering South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia, Home Works has repaired more than 2,900 homes with the help of more than 47,000 volunteers.
According to executive director Joe Huggins, charitable nonprofits of any kind face the decision of choosing who it is they will serve. While some organizations may choose to help an elderly population, others opt for the opposite end of the spectrum by focusing on mentoring youth. Home Works of America uniquely combines both demographics, creating situations where young people collide with poverty-stricken homeowners in a context of transformation.
That’s where “construction meets compassion” comes in.
In helping deserving homeowners (all homeowners must own and occupy their home and meet certain HUD income guidelines) with various repair projects, ranging from replacing roofs to constructing ramps, gutting bathrooms and kitchens, and repairing ceilings, Home Works also provides a chance for youth to be mentored, gain life skills and develop compassion for others in the community.
With a mission to show God’s love and mercy to homeowners in need of help while also providing a context of compassion and transformation for youth and adult volunteers, Home Works aims to provide hope at every construction site to homeowners and volunteers alike.
Following the devastating flooding that the Midlands experienced in 2015, Home Works helped host 400 volunteers and multiple nonprofits to immediately begin rebuilding water-ravaged homes. More recently, this past summer Home Works was able to help repair more than 50 homes across the state with middle school and high school youth.
Thanks to donations from the community, Home Works aims to bring more hope to the area and restore the dignity of residents by renovating and improving homes. This year, Home Works used generous donations to offset the cost of repairing more than 130 homes in more than 10 communities in the state. With donations and partnerships for 2019 including an initiative with local hospital systems to address repair needs linked with health factors, the organization hopes to be able to repair more than 200 homes across its footprint.
To help Home Works, donate online at www.homeworksofamerica.org or mail or bring in a check to Home Works at 3823 W. Beltline Blvd, Columbia, SC 29204. You can also make a difference by volunteering during a work day or summer session and liking the organization’s social media pages to spread the word and stay up to date.