Creative partnership with school brings a new home to flood survivors


This is the fifth in a series of articles as part of the Bishop’s Appeal for Disaster Recovery for ongoing work needed for survivors of the June 2016 West Virginia flooding. Visit to learn more about how you can participate in our continuing efforts.

By Buck Edwards
WVUMC Disaster Recovery
Construction Superintendent

In the spring of 2017, the West Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church was beginning to implement its disaster recovery plan for the 12 counties effected by the 2016 flood in West Virginia. As we prepared for Volunteers in Mission (VIM) teams to start arriving to help us with the work of remodeling and building new homes for survivors of the flood, we realized that we needed to look at other options to help our clients become safe, sanitary and secure. We knew we could not meet the demand by doing the work ourselves.

It was brought to our attention that students at the Fred Eberle Career and Technical Center in Buckhannon build a new house each school year and that it might be a benefit to the school and our disaster team if we would purchase one for a client in Clendenin.

In May of 2017, JF Lacaria presented a check to the school for the purchase of a modern 1,200-square-foot, 3-bedroom home.

Before we could move the home to its location, much work had to be done…and much of that was beyond our control. The old home had to be demolished by the National Guard and surveys were required by FEMA to ensure the new home would be out of the flood plain. This process took more than a year before we could even start building the foundation.

With much persistence by the recovery team, the home was finally transported from Buckhannon to Clendenin and set on the foundation in November of 2018. A house blessing was held during the winter of 2019 and the family of 5 moved into the home.

This project could not have been possible without UMCOR, the WV Annual Conference and our other partners who provided the funding to purchase the home and pay the contractors who did the specialty work.

View stories about ongoing recovery and how you can participate at this link.