Keys presented for new homes in Rainelle, White Sulphur Springs

GREENBRIER COUNTY, W.Va. — Ten West Virginia families will be home for Thanksgiving in Greenbrier County fives months after the June 23 flood because of the work of volunteers with Homes for White Sulphur Springs, Appalachia Service Project and others.

“For a lot of these families, this is a new start, a new beginning and we take a lot of joy in that,” said Walter Crouch, president and CEO of Appalachia Service Project.

“Rebuilding Rainelle,” an effort from volunteers with the Appalachia Service Project, was launched after the June flood tore through parts of the Greenbrier County town.

Crouch was a guest on Tuesday’s MetroNews “Talkline” before a ceremony at Rainelle’s Grace Village is which five families received keys to new homes, each with three bedrooms and one bath, from ASP — joining the 1st home presentation from October in Rainelle.

Crouch predicted his organization would have ten additional families in homes before Christmas.

“Taking away the burden of a house payment, they can spend more money on good food, drugs (medications), take care of their kids with good clothes, things like that,” he said.

On Tuesday afternoon, Homes for White Sulphur Springs, a partnership between local officials involving SBP, a leading national disaster recovery nonprofit organization created after Hurricane Katrina, had a separate key presentation ceremony and home dedication scheduled at Hope Village in White Sulphur Springs for four new homes.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held in White Sulphur Springs in August for a neighborhood that could eventually include 42 homes and a community park.

Homes for White Sulphur Springs is a partner of ASP which is focused on Rebuilding Rainelle, a long-term flood recovery effort focused on that Greenbrier County city.

More than 700 volunteers have been working on homes in Rainelle during the fall months there.

Partners with ASP in Rebuilding Rainelle are the United Way of the Greenbrier Valley, Homes for West Virginia, Window World of Beckley, Potomac Highlands Fuller Center, Cales Family Foundation, Neighbors Loving Neighbors and Bernard McDonough Foundation.

Other regional and national partners have included Federation of Appalachian Housing Enterprises, Solid Rock Carpenters, FHLBank Pittsburgh and the Two High Bridgefest Benefit.

In addition to rebuilds, Crouch’s organization, which is based in Johnson City, Tenn., is also doing repairs on homes that can be salvaged after the storms.

Repairs to seven homes, he said, should be finished soon in Rainelle.

Families affected by the June flooding in Rainelle can apply to ASP for consideration HERE or pick up applications at Rainelle Town Hall or Red Star Lumber.

“As long as the volunteers keep coming and as long as the funding keeps coming in, we’ll keep building homes,” Crouch pledged. ASP’s goal has been to build 50 homes in Greenbrier County.

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