Following an unprecedented amount of rain last October, a number of homes in South Carolina, especially in Richland and Lexington counties, were damaged by flooding caused by the storms. While a number of the people living in those homes have managed to get the repairs taken care of, a lot of people slipped through the cracks. The elderly, single parents, veterans, the poor, and disabled people have all had a hard time getting damages repaired due to a lack of insurance, a lack of funds, or in the case of Stanley Beard, “preexisting conditions.”
Beard had a hole in his roof for years that he couldn’t fix himself or pay to get fixed. During the rains, that hole got worse and led to a lot of other problems, including his toilet dropping through the floor. He didn’t apply for federal aid, but likely wouldn’t have received it anyway because the hole wasn’t caused by the storms.
Luckily for Beard, there are several nonprofit groups in South Carolina who have stepped up and done the heavy lifting of getting people’s hoes back into livable conditions. Over a dozen nonprofits have received funding from the One S.C. Flood Relief Fund, endorsed by the governor and established by the Central Carolina Community Foundation. With that money, groups like Columbia’s Home Works of America have been able to help people like Stanley Beard get back on their feet.
The first round of grants, issued by the fund last year, got about 350 home fixed over 13 counties. This year should see at least 244 more homes getting fixed. That’s a pretty good step in the right direction, but according Home works executive director Jim Powell, there are likely “hundreds if not thousands” of people who still need help, and that’s just in Lexington and Richland counties.