More than a year after leaving an uninhabitable rental unit where the landlord refused to repair critical issues in their home such as holes in the walls and ceilings and mold, Charles and Julie Merritt and their two sons were gifted a new ‘home for the holidays’.
Interfaith Hospitality Network and Clayton hosted a ribbon cutting on Thursday, Dec. 12 to celebrate the new home, located in Greer.
“How wonderful to see this deserving family receive a new home,” said Tony McDade, executive director of IHN. “With partners like Clayton, we are able to do much more for our community and families who are so deserving of our help and support.”
Charles and Julie Merritt and their two sons, Jordan Merritt, 13, and Trevor Merritt, 6, entered the United Ministries Interfaith Hospitality Network program in 2018 and worked closely with IHN to overcome housing obstacles, improve their financial stability and ensure their children could continue accessing educational resources.
“United Ministries has helped us stabilize and have a good place to live, otherwise we would’ve been living in a car,” Julie Merritt said.
Both Charles and Julie Merritt are disabled and draw disability assistance. Their 6-year-old son, Trevor, also receives financial assistance for a learning disability.
Through work with the financial services coordinator at United Ministries, the Merritt’s have successfully completed the Matched Savings Program, have budgeted for monthly bills and expenses and have paid off previous debt. They have also significantly increased their credit scores.
“We are honored to join IHN in donating this new Clayton home to Charles, Julie and their two children, Jordan and Trevor,” said Susan Brown, director of philanthropy for Clayton. “They have shown continuous resilience over the years and we are excited to see them achieve the dream of homeownership just in time for the holidays.”