MYRTLE BEACH — The ceiling leaks in seven of the nine rooms in Linda Holomans home.
Buckets are placed in all the rooms of Holomans house to catch the water that gushes through when its storming. The leaks have become so bad that waters run through the light fixtures, forcing her to shut off her breakers.
The leaking roof is a problem Holoman said shes been trying to remedy for nine years, but hasnt been able to afford.
I just kept praying, Holoman said. (God) said, Hold on, Linda. And I did.
This week, Holomans prayer was answered as well as the ones of eight other area residents.
More than 200 volunteers working with the local faith-based organization Impact Ministries are spending this week doing repairs on nine homes throughout Horry County that belong to low-income families.
The majority of that work is roof repair, installing handicap ramps and replacing doors and windows, said organizer Todd Wood.
Sometimes, however, the work goes further.
The group recently spent three weeks knocking down a home on Carver Street and rebuilding it.
Some houses are too far gone, Wood said.
There were around 15 workers making repairs to Holomans home on Tuesday. The humidity was high enough by 10:30 a.m. that simply standing caused one to perspire heavily.
Still, the summer heat didnt seem to dampen the spirits of the volunteers, who climbed the ladder and onto the roof to remove portions and nail down new pieces of shingling.
Theyre not even through with the roof yet and Im satisfied with it, Holoman said.
That would probably be music to Ben Honeycutts ears. The N.C. native has spent 30 years building houses and wishes he could spend all his time volunteering at sites like Holomans.
Were all here because thats what God mandates us to do, he said.
Helping those in need
Impact Ministries works in conjunction with the Horry County Community Development Office to receive Community Development Block Grant funding.
Over the 2012 fiscal year, CDBG money allotted to Horry County from the Department of Housing and Urban Development exceeded $1.85 million. The resounding suggestion during public meetings on how to best spend that money was by continuing the countys housing rehabilitation program.
Those funds could be put to good use in Horry County. The 2010 Census showed that 16.1 percent of county residents were below the poverty level.
Diana Seydlorsky, director of the countys community development office, said housing rehab began in 2008. Since that time, 55 homes have been repaired, she added.
There are 10 families waiting for approval to have repairs made.
Those interested in applying for home repair must meet certain criteria. First, the family must own the home or be paying a mortgage, Wood said. Renters arent eligible.
Wood previously said that homeowners must do a five-year agreement, meaning if they sell the home within five years, they must pay back a portion of the repair cost. Each year following the work, 20 percent is forgiven.
Gathering a work force
Once all the specifics are worked out, it takes someone to actually do the repairs.
Actually, it takes teams.
The 200 volunteers in Horry County represents only a fraction of the 3,000 volunteers Wood organizes each year for home repair duty. Many are students, usually starting with sixth-graders on up through college.
Wood said he gets these volunteers by visiting 400 churches a year and sending out 5,000 letters. Once the workers were in place, they went through two weeks of training in May before tackling projects throughout June and July.
Fifteen-year-old Levi Millers task at the Holoman home was running the nail gun. In his experience working with Impact Ministries, hes seen how hard it is for families to watch their houses deteriorate.
Thats why he takes pride in the finished product.
When its all said and done, its really gratifying, Miller said.
Holoman was definitely a happy customer, as she witnessed the rebirth of the home shes owned for 25 years.
God had his time set for it. And this is the time right here, she said.
Contact BRAD DICKERSON at 626-0301.