COLUMBIA, SC – December 17, 2008 – The Past Presidents of the Home Builders Association of Greater Columbia held a ribbon cutting ceremony opening the Builders Care Home for Aldersgate Special Needs Ministries on Monday, December 15 at 11:00 a.m. Over 100 friends, family, contributors and supporters of the project plus Columbia Mayor Bob Coble and Councilmen Kirkman Finlay and Daniel Rickenmann were at the ceremony.
The Builders Care Home is a home built specifically to provide housing for developmentally disabled adults where they will be able to live in a safe and loving environment. Six of these adults will live in the home and receive the specialized care they need. HBA Past President Dan Shumaker of Shumaker Homes and his parents, Allen and Hazel Shumaker, were instrumental in bringing this needs and opportunity to the HBA Past Presidents and seeing it through to completion.
“I had personally known of families dealing with the challenges of raising children with special needs, but I did not realize the lack of housing available to these adults until only recently,” said Shumaker. “When I learned about Aldersgate and the need for this type of facility in our community, I knew I had to do something.”
Shumaker took the project to the HBA Past Presidents who got started by spreading the word to their trade partners on what was needed. Over 30 local area contractors and suppliers agreed to help with the project in better economic times, and were good to their word. For the past year-and-a-half they came together and built the Builders Care Home valued at over $350,000.
Shumaker presented the bill of sale for the home to Aldersgate Ministries saying the house is theirs “free and clear.” Five of the residents of the home then performed the ribbon cutting ceremony by cutting a ribbon from a personalized gift presented to each of them.
In South Carolina, there are more than 3,000 special needs adults living at home with parents 55 years old and older; of these, approximately half are living with parents 65 years old and older. Parents 80 years old or older are still trying to care for 274 of these special needs adults. When Aldersgate was chartered in 2004 by the SC Conference of the United Methodist Church, the only way parents could get housing for their special needs adult child or children was to either die or become disabled themselves. The Builders Care Home will give more options to these families.