SPECIAL REPORT: Leadership Aiken County tackles major project to help the homeless

AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) – Leadership Aiken County is a program that helps to develop and motivate new leaders.

Those IN the program are encouraged to identify some of the needs in the community and then find ways to meets those needs.

Recently, the group was instrumental in the construction of a new handicapped accessible playground at the Aiken County Library.

Now another project is underway.

Check out how ATC is Caring for Carolina.

Vernelle Gettie said, “It seems like wasn’t nothing working. I just couldn’t get up.”

Vernelle is down on her luck.

Like other women who come to Nurture Home in Aiken, Gettie was homeless.

Vernelle said, “Before I came here I felt like if I wouldn’t have got in, I wouldn’t have been alive to see my 60th birthday because I was just beat down.”

Nuture home provides homeless women and children a place to live and helps to empower women to become self sufficient.

Lisa Tindal is the executive director.

“I want people to understand that there is no sterotypical face of homelessness”.

Tindal says Nurture Home turns away at least five families each week so she was thrilled when members of Leadership Aiken County choose Nurture Home as their class project.

This month, ground was broken on a small cottage to be built in the backyard of Nurture Home.

It will be used to help residents begin the transition into independence and it will free up a room inside the home for other women and children.

Sam Radford said, “We are working on a project that is going to be here forever and it is going to make a difference for so many women in our community.”

Women like Vernelle Gettie.

“Now I got a life, a second chance and I love it. And all I’ve met is nice people and its nice to be in my own bed and be free.”

Gettie wants to get her GED and then get a job.

Nurture home will help her achieve her goals.

Thanks to Leadership Aiken County and donations from the community, more women will discover their independence.

Lisa Tidal said, “They tell me that I’ve said thank you enought but I continue to say thank you because it is just so far reaching what this cottage is going to do for the families that come to us.”

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