GREENVILLE, S.C. — The light of Advent will be much brighter for a former homeless mother and her two children, thanks to the generosity of Saint Anthony of Padua Church and its interfaith partners here.
On Dec. 6, the family will move into a new home – Promise House — just two houses down from the parish. To build Promise House, Saint Anthony worked with the Greenville Area Interfaith Hospitality Network (GAIHN), an organization that helps congregations provide emergency lodging and meals to homeless families, enabling them to become self-sufficient and fulfilled.
The family will live in the transitional housing for one year, according to Patrick Tuttle, OFM, of Saint Anthony of Padua. The project allows the family to go from homelessness to home-ownership, he said.
Construction of Promise House was funded through a large grant from Sisters of Charity, with approval from the Province. “If it wasn’t for St. Anthony, the initial grant would never have come through,” said Patrick,shown in photo. Volunteers and construction workers provided the elbow grease.
The Promise House is a ministry collaboration sponsored by St. Anthony Church, and Buncombe Street United, Covenant United and St. Matthew United Methodist churches, according to Patrick, in partnership with Central Community Ministries, Furman University, Greenville County Redevelopment and GAIHN.
Promise House Blessed on Nov. 18
On Nov. 18, Patrick blessed the house during a brief dedication service and reception. Afterwards, groups toured the house, while volunteers and supporters were thanked.
A special welcome party was being planned to greet the family when it arrives on Dec. 6. While this is the first project for Saint Anthony, it certainly will not be the last.
“We are excited to begin the same process with a different agency with three more houses we purchased,” said Patrick.
—Wendy Healy, a freelance writer based in Danbury, Conn., is a frequent contributor to HNP Today.