Community, congregation celebrate ribbon cutting for Pike County home repair program – WYMT

ELKHORN CITY, Ky. (WYMT) – After the summer floods destroyed communities around the region, many people were searching for ways to lend a helping hand.
“We’ve seen probably 28 people or so lose their homes completely, and a lot of other folks was affected,” said Elkhorn City man Joey McCarty. “And we had no means to really help them.”
For Kristin Overstreet, who has always lived and worked in Pike County, the need for local resources and response was even more personal.
“Being a home repair program director and not having a program in Pike County was very stressful to me,” she said.
Overstreet’s church agreed to house a new program to help its neighbors through the dark times and the daily trials. From large-scale projects to wheelchair ramps and routine house repairs, the program will require some space to plan and grow.
Elkhorn Community Church began a remodel, using some of its excess space to create a headquarters for the mission.
“You know, we’ve got almost 20,000 square feet and so now it can be used to glorify God,” said McCarty, who serves as head carpenter for the mission. “Because we always want to be hid behind the cross.”
Mennonite Central Committee Appalachia’s “Sharing With Appalachian People” (SWAP) home repair project is now operating, though the building still has some finishing touches before it is fully functional. Volunteers have been filling the space for months, sharing their talents to get things in order ahead of the summer.
“I’m telling you, the community has came out a lot more than anyone knows- or even expected,” said McCarty. “And there’s more coming out each and every day. So, we pray that continues.”
The space has several lodging rooms, each with Appalachia-themed names, which organizers hope to see decorated in Appalachian aesthetics. The cabin spaces will help ensure that volunteer groups have a place to stay as they dedicate their time to improving the living situations for folks around the area.
”It means a lot for me just to be able to help people. And knowing that people are not going to have to go to bed at night in an unsafe or an unwarm condition. That they can have a place that they feel good about,” said Overstreet.
You can find more about the program, volunteer, or submit an application for assistance here.
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