GREENVILLE, S.C. — St. Anthony Church of Padua here is celebrating completion of Promise House, a single-family residence in the community that will be home to a homeless mother and her two children.
The project began last November, when the house became vacant and the church realized it could afford to buy it for $30,000. It partnered with four area churches to renovate the house from the foundation up, with support from a Sisters of Charity grant and cooperation from the Greenville Area Interfaith Hospitality Network (GAIHN).
While renovation was completed on Sept. 15, the church is in the process of furnishing the house and paying initial start-up bills for the family, according to Patrick Tuttle, OFM, pastor of St. Anthony, shown in photo. “We’re about a month away from occupancy,” he said. He expects to fully finish up for St. Francis Week.
Fulfilling a Mission
The project, he said, helps St. Anthony fulfill its mission. “The value is three-fold: 1) living the Gospel of Jesus Christ, 2) ecumenical outreach and shared Christian life, and 3) a family fully supported can move from homelessness to home ownership.”
In addition to sponsoring this single mom and two children, the parish is also protecting her privacy, as she was a victim of domestic violence.
St. Anthony’s readily embraced the project, working with a renovation crew that included seven students from Furman University’s Campus Ministry, led by parishioner Kate Myatt.
Looking to the Future
St. Anthony now looks forward to its next project — buying three more homes to renovate for needy families.
“As we serve the needs of the residents in all areas of life to transition to home ownership, we are ready to acquire three more homes to stave off the encroaching development toward the homes of the poor,” said Patrick.
— Jocelyn Thomas is director of communications for Holy Name Province.