“I got my independence back.” Meet Ms. Shirley

“I can stay in my home and I got my independence back.”

Mrs. Shirley is extremely friendly and a joy to be around. Ms. Shirley loves being around people so much, she chose to work in domestic service. She helped raise four sets of children from four different families in the Upstate. Now retired, she and her husband share grandchildren and a great-grandchild together. In her downtime, she enjoys cowboy shows and Animal Planet.

Mrs. Shirley moved into her home about twenty years ago when she and her husband decided to build a mobile home on land of their own. When they first moved in, Mrs. Shirley and her husband worked hard to fix and stay in their home, because it was extremely difficult to find insurance companies that cover mobile homes.

Later on, Mrs. Shirley found that she had a new set of complications that came with being a homeowner. “My bathroom was really falling in. There was a hole in my tub and it was really rotting the wood, so I couldn’t really use my bathroom.” With injuries hindering her from repairing things herself, Mrs. Shirley’s home was becoming unlivable. At the recommendation of the last family with whom she worked, Mrs. Shirley reached out to Rebuild Upstate.

Help came in the form of volunteers from the Handyman Club. These volunteers and staff spent the day breaking down, fixing, and replacing Mrs. Shirley’s bathroom. “They are a God-sent organization. They were very nice and polite. It’s hard to put in words. The organization itself is just a fabulous organization there to help, there needs to be more places like Rebuild Upstate.” Mrs. Shirley was adamant that the volunteers and Rebuild Upstate will never know how grateful she is.

Mrs. Shirley said that home to her is love, a place where you can live safely and be with your family. “I needed help in the bathroom but now I don’t need it much anymore. They made things a lot easier for me.” Now with her home restored Mrs. Shirley looks forward to other events, like meeting her future granddaughter who will be named after her mother. Mrs. Shirley has one word of advice for the Upstate: “Just be kind to one another and have faith. There isn’t anything else to do.”

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