FLORENCE, SC – 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 non-profit 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 re-positioning of the House of Hope’s physical assets. It includes leaving the group’s long-time shelter facility in Effingham, at the old Bonnaire School; moving its men’s transitional shelter to the former women’s transitional shelter on Darlington Street; and moving all the women in the program to 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.
Bryan Braddock, executive director of the House of Hope, calls 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 says. “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 in truth, 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, says Braddock.