Milford Mayfield doesn’t have a thousand tongues for thanking the men and women set to fix his home, but he’ll make use of the one he has.
The Rock Hill native, who moved to his Paradise home in Fort Mill in 1975, is the first York County veteran to get assistance from a new initiative between Habitat for Humanity of York County and the Home Depot Foundation. The Repair Corps program is similar to other Habitat work making existing homes safer and more accessible, but it’s specific to veteran homeowners.
“The Bible says you have not because you ask not, and sometimes you’ve got to step out on faith,” said Mayfield, who served in the Army from 1968 until he settled back in Fort Mill. “When you step out in faith there’s someone to give a helping hand.”
Mayfield moved to 207 Juniper Street with his wife, who died in 1996. They raised three children. The brick home includes an all-brick dog house, from a home repair years ago when some materials were leftover.
“It’s maintained itself,” Mayfield said of his home. “It’s got good quality.”
Still, time took a toll. The Habitat and Home Depot work includes installation of new water and waste lines, bathroom and kitchen fixtures, including a toilet, bathtub and sinks and a new roof. All in about a week of work.
“You can’t beat that with a bat,” Mayfield said. “That’s a good deal.”
The Home Depot partnership comes with a $15,000 budget and another $2,500 donation which means, for Habitat, more possibilities for helping homeowners.
“We can do more extensive work than we’ve been able to do,” said Ben Gair, director of development for Habitat in York County.
Habitat has 37 total repairs planned this year in York County, many of them in Fort Mill’s Paradise community. They’ve focused several projects there the past few years. By year’s end about 70 Paradise projects will have been completed, including more through the new veteran partnership.
“We’re trying to really impact the community and raise it up,” Gair said.
The Home Depot partnership is new to the area, but it’s been in place elsewhere. Heather Sloop, district captain for the company and a store manager in Columbia, said the district-wide effort will include employees from Florence to Columbia to Rock Hill stores.
“It’s been a long dream of mine to be able to do a Habitat (project) and be involved in Habitat,” she said. “We consider it a duty and honor to be able to help our veterans. It’s part of our core values as a company.”
Nearly 50 Habitat offices, including the one in York County, were chosen last year to be part of the program aimed at helping more than 200 veterans across the country. At least four are planned in York County. At least one more will happen on Mayfield’s street.
“Habitat is a huge blessing,” he said. “I am so grateful for the partnership with Habitat and all the good folks associated with this organization.”