Enough Pie has partnered with the Joseph Floyd Manor, home to over 160 elders and disabled residents in Charleston’s Upper Peninsula for over 6 years. As recently reported, the living conditions in the building are unacceptable and deeply problematic. As a creative organization, it has been challenging and humbling to both support and serve these neighbors (community buddies, Tales from the Manor, and Bowls & Bingo, to name a few) and yet recognize that these living conditions are wholly inadequate with little ability for change based on the Manor’s current financial outlook. The recent media attention has brought many political and civil officials to get involved, as it is a complex issue crossing Federal, State, and County municipalities, and it will take a large collective effort to address and fix this building for the residents to thrive.
Enough Pie supports the residents and staff, many of whom are demanding improved living conditions, and will work In partnership to help ensure these issues are addressed and resolved. Many residents we have spoken with do not want to be removed from their home, as there is fear they will not be able to come back, so it is a complex and nuanced issue. There are different government entities that have varied opinions, like tearing the building down to build a new and improved building -- but where would these elders go in the meantime and would a new building truly have low-income, affordable rents for elders and disabled residents to return to? All residents do not have the same level of maintenance and pest issues as others, so not everyone agrees with the best course of action. If elders are removed for a complete cleaning and rehabilitation of the building, many are worried that they will not get back to their home. Many Joseph Floyd Manor residents have lived in downtown Charleston all their lives, and do not want to be moved to housing outside of their neighborhood.
The rodent/pest problem had monthly remediation, which has now moved to weekly. It has come to our attention that some of the new development in the area is directly contributing to the increased rodent infestation. We will be in contact with neighboring developers directly to discuss a course of action.
It is clear that major shifts must take place, including:
* Improving and growing the Board of Directors (which is appointed by County Council) to include members with significant expertise in governance, finances, and low-income housing
* Creating a short and long-term plan for the Manor to improve living conditions for all by bringing in partners with synergistic skill sets and other organizations to support the effort
* Working with developers to support and fund mitigation efforts around in the increased rodent infestation as a result of construction
* Creating a “Friends of JFM” working group with friends at BoomTownROI and The Charleston Promise Neighborhood to advocate WITH the residents and staff to achieve more liveable conditions for all. This group meets Wednesday afternoons via Zoom (full details below)
Charleston County Council met this past Tuesday, June 2nd at 6:30pm and accepted statements from citizens regarding Joseph Floyd Manor. Enough Pie and BoomTown! representatives were present at this meeting and presented tangible recommendations to council members. We invite you to become more involved in this issue -- working WITH residents & staff to co-create the Joseph Floyd Manor that is livable for all, without increasing rents or removing residents from their home long-term.
Do you have skills in low-income housing, finance, and governance and would like to be considered for this board? Please email us at email@example.com ASAP to learn more.