FLORENCE, S.C. – July 31 was move-in day for India McLellan and her five children: Ionna Sellers, Maliki Sellers, Karman Genwright, Kobe Genwright, and Kylie Grace Genwright.
McLellan is the latest recipient of a home constructed by the Greater Florence Habitat for Humanity. The home is one lot from East Pine Street at 402 Railroad Ave.
On July 31, the Greater Florence Habitat for Humanity held a ribbon cutting to celebrate McLellan’s new address.
The ceremony also featured a presentation of a Bible by Habitat board member Megan Gioldasis, a presentation of the keys by Sandra Eckert of Assurant, the primary sponsor of the home, and a blessing of the house by the Rev. J. Derrick Cattenhead, assistant pastor of Central United Methodist Church.
McLellan briefly spoke at the ceremony.
She thanked everyone involved in the construction of the home and said she and her family would take care of it.
The house will give her family, which previously lived in a three-bedroom apartment, room to breathe and not have to share bedrooms, McLellan said at the groundbreaking. It will also give the family relief from the storm damage to the apartment during Hurricane Florence.
Also speaking at the ceremony were Debbie Edwards, executive director of the Greater Florence Habitat for Humanity, Eckert, Jason Newton of Wells Fargo, and Florence City Councilwoman Pat Gibson-Hye Moore.
Wells Fargo and the city of Florence were secondary sponsors of the project.
Wells Fargo provided the mortgage on the home. Newton is also on the Habitat board.
The property at 402 Railroad Ave. is one of the properties in a list of properties that the city of Florence may convey to the organization according to an ordinance passed by the city council in June 2018.
It is hoped that this property’s development will be start of the revitalization of the Pine Street corridor.
Gibson-Hye said the home was evidence of God’s will. She said that without Him, construction of the home would not have been possible.
Ground was broken for the construction of the five-bedroom, three-bathroom, two-story home on Nov. 8, 2018.
The home is the first two-story house ever constructed by the Greater Florence Habitat for Humanity. It also has porches and a small area behind the house that McLellan plans to use for a garden.
Assurant was the primary sponsor of the construction of the home.
McLellan found out on Aug. 8, 2018 , that the Greater Florence Habitat for Humanity would be building her a home.
Habitat families are selected on the basis of need. 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.
The Greater Florence affiliate of Habitat for Humanity received its charter in 1991 and has since partnered with over 40 families to help them become homeowners and provide them the opportunity to improve their lives.
Habitat for Humanity began in 1976 as a grassroots effort on a community farm in southern Georgia. The Christian housing organization has since grown to become a leading global nonprofit working in local communities across all 50 states in the U.S. and in more than 70 countries.