Excited to go home every day
Kia Churchwell felt lucky to have found a contractor who could start rebuilding her Shelby Park home so quickly. Unfortunately, her good luck turned to bad luck when she realized that the work was substandard and that her reconstructed home would not pass code.
She, her husband and four children alternately moved between a Ramada Inn and her sister-in-law’s two bedroom home until she found a landlord who was willing to rent an apartment to them on a weekly basis. The weeks turned into months as the shell of her home sat unattended because they ran out of money. Then, her luck began to turn.
They discovered We Are Home, a loan and grant program for flood victims who applied for FEMA and but still didn’t have enough money to make repairs. In addition, she was assigned to a Salvation Army case worker who gave her funds to help pay the mortgage and rent and connected her with volunteers from Westminster Presbyterian church who would help rebuild her home.
“I was told up front it [reconstruction] wouldn’t be a fast process. They weren’t professionals but they would be taught what to do and they would do their best,” she said. “I had that meeting in August, but it took until October until any volunteer was free to come.”
Volunteers worked on her house from October through February, completing it on Feb. 10.
“We’re very grateful. These people put in their all. They left their comfortable homes to come here to help, and we greatly appreciate it,” she said. “We are truly happy, and I love it. I am so excited to go home every day.”