March 31, 2021 | Ali Summerville
Eighty-year-old Maggie King was at her husband’s hospital bedside when she got the news that her home of almost 30 years was on fire. She would soon learn that the destruction was so severe, her house was unlivable.
“We had nowhere to live,” she said about herself and her husband. “I was mad. My house was gone, furniture, everything.”
Maggie, who grew up on a farm in Matthews, has seven children – two of whom are in the service. And grandchildren? “Lord Yeah! 8 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren – love them,” she said.
Maggie is also very fortunate to have a very good friend named Brenda Tate. Brenda, who refers to Maggie as “Sweet Thang,” took the Kings into her home with open arms when they had no place to live. “Brenda was glad for us to come stay with her…she’s so special to me,” she said. “I’ve known Maggie for years,” Brenda added. “You have to help each other when you’re down and out. Treat people the way you’d like to be treated.”
Brenda also told Maggie about Habitat for Humanity’s Critical Home Repair program that had helped her in the past with her home’s roof and heating. “If it wasn’t for them, I don’t know where I’d be. They were so sweet and I really appreciated everything they did.”
Taking Brenda’s advice, Maggie contacted Habitat as caring family and friends banded together to start the overwhelming process of gutting the house. Habitat answered Maggie’s prayers to fix her home in need of major repair, inclusive of smoke damage, cabinetry, floors, roof, plumbing, electrical, windows, framing, roofing, siding and heating/air.
“Lord I’m excited! God Bless,” said Maggie. “Y’all really did help me and I’m very thankful about what all you’re going to do. Ain’t no place like home. It can feel good to go somewhere you can enjoy, but you wanna go home and I’m ready to go home, Lord knows I am.”
Maggie and her family have endured tragedy and loss of loved ones in recent years, but they attribute their faith for helping them through it all. “God was on our side and God knew, even at the time we might not understand, there may have been a reason they weren’t at home at the time. Every room in that house was affected except theirs, which was intact – not even smoke damage. Mamma was guarding that door,” said her daughter Daisha King.
“I can’t say enough praise about Habitat,” Maggie said. “This has been a big blessing and I really appreciate everything they did. That house…all the memories. God wanted me there. Thank the Lord, he’s been very good to me and Habitat is good to me.”
Maggie’s home project commemorates the 1,000th Critical Home Repair project for Habitat Charlotte Region. “This is a huge milestone for our program,” said Charles Monroe, who leads Habitat Charlotte Region’s Critical Home Repair program, and is beginning his 25th year working for the affiliate. The program is designed to help low-income Charlotte Region homeowners – the majority who are seniors living on fixed incomes – afford much needed repairs by addressing structural, health and safety and accessibility issues. This allows residents to age safely in homes that they love, while preventing the further loss of affordable housing units.
“As I said this is a great milestone but we’re still working, focusing on tomorrow, and ready to serve and help the next family,” Charles added.
The important work Habitat Charlotte Region has performed over the past 14 years through Critical Home Repair would not be possible without the amazing support from dedicated sponsors – a list of whom can be found here. Habitat is also grateful for the local companies who donated materials and labor to help rebuild Maggie’s home: Acosta Heating and Cooling, Bernard Irby Electric, Schneider Electric, Certainteed, Alpha Omega Construction, Renewal by Anderson, Valspar and Dehaan Painting.
If you need help with home repairs, or know someone who does, learn more about the program and the application process by visiting the Critical Home Repair section of our website.
Ms. Maggie King and her granddaughter Shay