By Lane Riley
CBFSC Associate Coordinator
Together for Hope is the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship’s rural development coalition of nonprofits, churches, and educational institutions in rural areas of persistent poverty.
The four priorities of hope are
- Health and nutrition
- Housing and environment
- Social enterprise
There are 301 rural counties of persistent poverty in the United States, and 10 in South Carolina: Allendale, Bamberg, Clarendon, Dillon, Hampton, Lee, Marion, Marlboro, Orangeburg, and Williamsburg.
CBF South Carolina has had partnerships in Allendale for almost 20 years. Over those years, we can look back and count the relationships built, money and items donated, and completed volunteer projects.
And as Together for Hope is reaching its 20th anniversary, CBFSC is expanding Together for Hope in South Carolina to build partners in all 10 TFH counties in South Carolina.
As we are expanding our partnerships, we’ve built relationships with several nonprofits who have decided to join our coalition. One of our newest partners is Southeastern Housing and Community Development (SHCD).
SHCD is a nonprofit that provides affordable rental and homeownership opportunities, and rehabilitates and renovates existing houses.
In conversations with SHCD, we learned that there are housing resource disparities between nonprofits in urban and rural areas.
To research and address housing issues in rural South Carolina, CBFSC, Together for Hope, and SHCD have put together a low country housing task force to look at housing disparities in Barnwell, Bamberg, Hampton, Allendale, and Jasper counties.
We’ve built a coalition of five local nonprofits, three state-wide organizations, and two consultants to look at housing disparities and other issues in rural areas.
This task force will advocate for equitable distribution of housing resources, educate South Carolinians (including CBFSC churches) about this issue, and create innovative local housing initiatives.
“Together for Hope was thrilled to welcome Southeastern Housing and Community Development into the TFH family, and not just because they are a strong partner!
SHCD came into the coalition with an idea of bringing together all of the affordable housing stakeholders in the rural counties of the Lowcountry in order to advocate for change.
It is truly a gift to work alongside CBFSC and Low Country non-profits like SHCD as we seek funding possibilities to provide shelter and a home for rural neighbors in the Palmetto State.”
Regional Vice President
for Together for Hope Black Belt
Together for Hope is a network of individuals, churches, and organizations seeking to develop a coalition of entities that are interested in or are currently working within the following priorities of hope: education, health & nutrition, housing & environment, and social enterprise.
Together for Hope Black Belt Region consists of rural persistent poverty counties in AL, FL, GA, SC, NC and one county in VA who are part of the national TFH Rural Development Coalition.