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The Wilmington Area Rebuilding Ministry, Inc. (WARM) began in 1996 in response to hurricanes Bertha and Fran. Volunteers from across the country were organized by leaders of the Wilmington District of the United Methodist Church (now called the Harbor District) to repair the damaged homes of low income and elderly residents.
While responding to the natural disaster, volunteers noticed that much of the damage predated the storms and discovered a social disaster: substandard housing. Poor and elderly homeowners just could not afford costly repairs and were at risk of home accidents, fires, and displacement due to the condition of their home.
Now, WARM brings together volunteers and funders to make urgent repairs and accessibility upgrades for the very low-income homeowners of Brunswick, New Hanover and Pender Counties, many of whom are elderly or disabled. Our work makes homes safer and lowers the risk of:
- Falls, fires, and other home accidents
- Illness due to in-home environmental hazards
- Home displacement due to life-threatening safety hazards and debilitating injuries
To qualify for services, the home must be owner occupied and total household income must not exceed 50% of the median for the county of residence. A home assessment is conducted to identify risks to safety, health, and independence. Referrals are made to other agencies as needed. The goal is to help the residents stay in their homes longer.
In 2014 and 2015, two third party program evaluations revealed impressive data about the homeowners we have served:
- 96% feel safer in their home.
- 69% have had fewer falls.
- 63% have had fewer flare ups of chronic illnesses.
- 33% reported lower overall health care costs.
- 60% experienced a higher quality of sleep.
- 20% reported fewer emergency department visits.
In a given year:
- 80-105 households are served!
- 40-50% are elderly
- 50-60% are disabled
- 65-75% are female heads of household (widows, single moms)
- 20-25% are children
- Over 12,000 hours are donated by 500-600 volunteers to help them
- The average cost per home is $3500-5000
WARM's waiting list hovers around 100-120 households in 3 counties.
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Cariker "JC" Skane has served as the Executive Director of Wilmington
Area Rebuilding Ministry (WARM) since 2009. Under her leadership, WARM has more than tripled the number of homes served annually (44 in 2008; 155 in 2016).
Skane’s career includes 10 years in real estate and land development. During that time, she was active in her church
and local nonprofits, especially those related to housing. She led several
disaster recovery mission teams in the southeastern US and Biloxi, Mississippi
and spent four months on Eleuthera Island, Bahamas helping build the capacity
of a home repair ministry.
2009, Skane was ready to shift gears to a role that was more aligned with her
call to serve low-income families in housing crises. WARM has been the
perfect fit and the organization has more than doubled the number of households served
annually since she took the helm.
In 2012, Skane was named Wilma
Magazine's Woman to Watch in the Nonprofit
In 2014, she accepted WARM’s Coastal
Entrepreneur Award in the
Nonprofit Category from the Greater Wilmington Business Journal and UNCW’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
Skane has led workshops at the statewide conferences of the NC Center for Nonprofits
and the NC Housing Coalition. She served as the president of Cape Fear Housing Coalition 2012-2014
and graduated from Leadership Wilmington in 2014.
Above all, she gives glory to God for doing more through WARM than she could
ever ask or imagine.