Loving our neighbor just took a giant leap forward in Charleston, South Carolina.
Refugees served by Lutheran Services Carolinas in the Charleston area have a new place to temporarily call home while getting acclimated to the United States. The Welcome House will serve as a refugee transitional living home for these families and individuals.
With the expansion of LSC’s refugee programs to Charleston, a new property was needed to house refugees for 30 to 60 days while teammates work to find them more permanent living quarters.
“They are coming to Charleston because they have some connection there,” LSC Business Developer Kelly Scherer said. “During this short-term stay, we work to link them with that connection and transition them to another home.”
Scherer was tasked with finding the perfect home, which ended up being a duplex in North Charleston in the Park Circle neighborhood.
Each unit contains a private entrance, two bedrooms, one bathroom, a full kitchen, a dining area, and storage.
“I decided on the duplex because we wanted some flexibility. Sometimes we get individuals, and then we also help small families and large families,” Scherer said. “I felt that with two properties we could mix and match for whatever the need is at the time.”
The duplex is in walking distance from a grocery store, bank, drug store, the neighborhood park, and a few restaurants. Walking distance is important to new arrivals, who may not yet have a driver’s license.
“I really feel like it’s a great area,” Scherer said. “They can walk to two bus lines and all of these little stores. Everything they need is close by.”
The Welcome House was purchased with funds raised by LSC’s Love One Another campaign. The campaign raised money across South Carolina to serve those in greatest need including children in foster care, individuals with developmental disability services, and refugees.
“We are so excited that the Love One Another campaign was able to achieve raising the funds needed to establish temporary housing for refugees in the Charleston area,” LSC Director of Development Heidi Rixman said. “We are thankful for all the congregations, individuals, and foundations who donated to the campaign to make this vision a reality.”
LSC has been serving refugees from around the world since 1979.