April 04, 2016
Twenty years ago, several volunteers approached Habitat Greenville with the idea of helping expand affordable Habitat housing into the Golden Strip. Their idea was taken to churches in the Mauldin, Simpsonville and Fountain Inn area, who joined in to create what would become the Golden Strip Church Coalition. On May 24, the group raised the walls of its 20th build with Habitat Greenville – a home for the Bouie family.
Future homeowner of the GSCC build, Nikita Bouie, began the Habitat program in 2013. Since that time, not only has she completed the Habitat program requirements of homeowner preparation classes and sweat equity, but the mom of three has worked full-time and earned a degree as a physical therapy assistant. Nikita shares, “To dream of a home for so long, and to finally be able to accomplish this goal is a wonderful feeling. The stability of a home of our own will be very positive for my children, and will enable me to provide more opportunities for them. It will change our lives completely. We are so thankful!”
The Bouie home was made possible through the partners participating in the Golden Strip build, who support the building of the home financially and serve as volunteers on the build site. Many of these participants have been partners with Habitat since the formation of the coalition. This year’s participants include Advent United Methodist Church, Fountain Inn First Baptist Church, Brookwood Church, Fountain Inn Presbyterian Church, Cedar Grove Baptist Church, Holy Cross Episcopal, Christ the King Lutheran Church, Messiah Lutheran Church, City of Fountain Inn, The Southern Connector, Emmanuel United Church of Christ, The Ice Cream Station, and First Baptist Mauldin. The build is supported by grant funds from the Greenville County Redevelopment Authority.
“We are grateful to have such a longstanding partnership in the Golden Strip,” said Monroe Free, President and CEO of Habitat Greenville. “Because of the continuing generosity of these congregations, we’ve been able to help families in the Golden Strip build strength, stability and self-reliance through affordable homeownership. We look forward to continuing to do so for many years to come.” Over the past 20 years, the Golden Strip Church Coalition partners have contributed over $795,000 for building Habitat homes, volunteers have given 32,000 hours of work to build the homes. In 2013, the group received the Philanthropist of the Year award, given by the Piedmont Chapter of the Association for Fundraising Professionals, in recognition of their service.