Press Release

 

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House of Hope will expand homeless ministry with men’s dorm

The House of Hope of the Pee Dee is expanding its ministry to the homeless in the Pee Dee and beyond with the addition of a 50-bed men’s dormitory at its Courtney McGinnis Graham Community Shelter on Church Street in Florence.

FLORENCE, S.C. – The House of Hope of the Pee Dee is expanding its ministry to the homeless in the Pee Dee and beyond with the addition of a 50-bed men’s dormitory at its Courtney McGinnis Graham Community Shelter on Church Street in Florence.

The 27-year-old nonprofit agency announced the expansion Tuesday during a celebration commemorating the one-year anniversary of the Graham Shelter.

The new facility is part of a strategic repositioning of the House of Hope’s physical assets. It includes leaving the group’s longtime shelter facility at the old Bonnaire School in Effingham; moving its men’s transitional shelter to the former women’s transitional shelter on Darlington Street; and moving all of the women in the program to the Graham Shelter.

The Graham Shelter site and building was obtained by the House of Hope more than a year ago with help from the city of Florence and several generous donors, including the McGinnis family. Once the new men’s emergency shelter dorm is built, the Graham Shelter will be used exclusively as a facility for women and families. Currently, both men and women are housed at the Graham Shelter.

The 6,000-square foot Graham Shelter can accommodate approximately 40 individuals per night and has been running near capacity since it opened in the fall of 2016. The proposed expansion will push the House of Hope’s capacity beyond 115 beds.

Tuesday’s anniversary event celebrated the numerous volunteer hours and donations that have gone into the operation. That work has allowed the shelter to serve more than 700 different individuals during its first year of operation.

Bryan Braddock, executive director of the House of Hope, called the first year of operation “absolutely amazing.”

“We knew there was a tremendous need in the community, and we hoped we could do something to help meet that need,” Braddock said in a news release. “But we had no idea it would progress as quickly as it has. We remain in awe. Of course, the numbers we’ve had so far just validate the need for more space, for more beds.”

Braddock hopes construction on the new facility will begin soon. Tuesday’s celebration also served as a kickoff for the capital campaign, although the campaign is already well underway. The Drs. Bruce and Lee Foundation, which contributed to the construction of the Graham Shelter, has committed $200,000 to the new project. And several other donors are lined up as well, Braddock said.

Additional donations are needed, but Braddock says he’s confident the new facility will be underway soon.

“We’ve been so blessed with all that happens in the past few years,” Braddock said. “There have been so many generous people who have stepped forward to support our mission. There’s never a guarantee, but with that track record, and all the people who care about this work and Courtney’s legacy, it’s bound to happen.”

Donors large and small can contact Braddock at the House of Hope at 843-667-9000 or at bbraddock@hofh.org.

The Courtney McGinnis Graham Shelter honors community activist Courtney McGinnis Graham, who died suddenly in 2015. Among Graham’s many charitable endeavors was helping the homeless through a variety of causes, including the SNAC program, which she co-founded.

House of Hope of the Pee Dee is a faith-based ministry to the homeless in the Pee Dee area, founded in 1990 by Bill and Jean Fryar. In addition to the long-term, rehabilitative men’s shelter on Darlington Street and the Courtney McGinnis Graham Community Shelter, it operates two Mission Mart department stores, which sell a variety of donated items. Proceeds from the stores go to House of Hope operations.