The East Cooper Faith Networks Fix It! Initiative will be hosting a meeting on June 26th, 6:00 pm, at the Seacoast Church in Mt. Pleasant to discuss how individuals, faith groups, government and non-profit organizations can work together to help low income families in our area with home repairs. This is part of an affordable housing effort for those who are at or below the poverty level stay in their homes rather than having to move due to unsafe living conditions. Projects such as ramp builds, roofing, and other work will discussed to see how we can collaborate towards helping these families stay in their homes.
This meeting is the second gathering of these groups to form processes and lines of communication so that organizations, big or small, can participate in this mission to serve those in need of safe and healthy housing. The first meeting was designed to pull people and organizations together to form the purpose; to collectively work together to help provide safe and healthy living conditions in our community where substandard situations exist.
In addition, ideas for action were discussed such as creating a database of homes in need, enlisting commercial construction and developers into the effort, working with local government to support this endeavor as well as ensure municipalities are included.
This meeting will dig deeper into the issues and develop action plans for collaboration, funding, and interaction between nonprofits and government agencies in the East Cooper and other areas.
Fix It! has been working with families in need for nearly 7 years and each year we add more and more to our ‘completed job list’. In the last few months, we have worked on many different homes and have provided volunteer work on Ramp Repair or Builds, fixing plumbing and electrical, window repair and many others.
The one type of work that has been beyond ours and many other nonprofits scope is fixing roofs. This is a dilemma as many times we cannot fix the interior until the roof has been fixed. One of our partners, Operation Home, does work on roofs but the ‘to-do’ list is long and finding roofers in this robust building economy is a challenge.
ECFN is working this issue as well and developed a new initiative called the Roofing Project. Led by Bob Dunn, a member of ECFN’s board and President of Hill Construction, Fix It! will build 2 complete roofs this year and work on a methodology to duplicate the program and make more efficient so that we can do many, many more. A community solution to a community problem.
Also, Fix It! purchased a portable ramp (wheelchair or access ramp) to serve people who have access needs on a short term basis. The idea is that we can use the portable ramp and re-use if/when the ramp is no longer needed. Ramps continue to be one of our most popular Fix It! projects. Many thanks to Leonard Lindstrom and Tim Mellichamp for leading Fix It! Ramp Build Teams!
I-Beam completed its 7th year and the program continues to show value in helping young at risk children with reading and school. We are also partnering with the Charleston County School District (CCSD) to dig deeper on metrics to see how we are affecting children and to see where we may need improve the program. This is a big step in partnering more with each school and the CCSD.
The new Carolina Park Elementary School is also opening in the fall and the principal there wants I-Beam to start right away as he has seen the positive effects I-Beam has on the children we serve. We have never let a child go without a mentor since the program started and don’t intend to this fall either so we hope to increase our mentor volunteer roster for the fall. Charles Pinckney and St. James Santee will be in their 4th year which means all I-Beam grades (grades 2-5) will be served. This will bring 7 schools with I-Beam in each grade that we offer.
As summer approaches, so does summer learning loss. Camp I-Beam will start its 3rd year at the Miriam Brown Center in Mount Pleasant’s Old Village. Camp I-Beam will continue to focus on keeping children engaged in reading and thought to help lessen summer learning loss so that they are better prepared for the fall. The program has gone so well, we will continue with our expansion plan and include not only the children at the Miriam Brown Center, but will also include children who attend both Remley’s Point Community Center and Greenhill Community Centers.
I-Beam. We are looking for a faith group to ‘sponsor’ 2 schools; Belle Hall Elementary School and the new Carolina Park Elementary School. This basically means that the church will be the ‘official’ sponsor of the school and appoint a person to spearhead recruitment and be the general liaison between I-Beam and the school. Contact Sharon Barnett for more information.
Camp I-Beam. If anyone is looking for that one on one work with a child, then Camp I-Beam could use you. We are looking for adults and older teens(aged 16 and up) to be volunteers to offer one on one support for the program during the month of June – Tuesdays thru Thursdays between 12:00 and 4:00 pm – at the Miriam Brown Center in the old village.
Fix It!. As always, more bodies means less work. Funding is also very important—even though it is volunteers that do the work, costs for material remains high. Please think of us if you have groups that may be interested in contributing.
The East Cooper Faith Network (ECFN) is a collaborative NETWORK of faith, charitable, and governmental organizations East of the Cooper. Our belief is that we can DO MORE and DO BETTER if we work in harmony to serve our collective community. Through collaborations we serve the community more comprehensively with coordinated resources and focused communication — all the while decreasing redundant efforts.
If you have any questions or would like to know more about the East Cooper Faith Network,