When most people purchase a home, they intend to move in as soon as possible. Pat Bourke is not most people.
Bourke, the executive director of Julie's House Inc., bought a Columbia County house in January and plans to shelter homeless women and their children as soon as work on it is complete.
"This is a step of faith." Bourke said. "It just worked out where the timing was right."
The six-bedroom, four-bathroom house will provide plenty of storage and space for its inhabitants, Bourke said. The house originally was built in the 1960s, so it needs updating and cosmetic renovations, she said. Donors and volunteers already have offered to lay tiles in the bathrooms, paint the rooms and clean the house. The house also needs an updated security system. Eventually, Bourke said, she hopes to build a playground in the backyard.
"We worked long and hard and looked for something that would be appropriate," said Nettie Dumais, Bourke's Realtor. "We just knew that this was something that was meant to be."
The most important aspect to Bourke is to provide a clean and safe environment for the women and children, she said.
The house can hold up to six people, but will not be a multifamily residence, Bourke said. The women must be single and drug- and alcohol-free.
Further details of the house cannot be released because of the safety and welfare of the women and children who will reside in the house, Bourke said.
Bourke and Dumais first toured the house in July, but Bourke was in danger of losing it when she couldn't come up enough money.
The house was under contract twice, but both contracts fell through.
The timing was right for Bourke to make her move on the house, and Georgia Bank & Trust Co. provided financing for the project.
"It's one of the most satisfying sales because of what their mission is and what they want to do," said Dumais, who works for Jim Courson Realty. "Pat is such a wonderful person, and she works so hard that you can't help but want to be part of it."
Julie's House will hold its second annual charity golf tournament at Bartram Trail Golf Club on March 12. Sponsors, players and volunteers are needed. The event costs $200 per team or $75 per person, which includes the green fee, cart fee and lunch.
Julie's House receives the majority of its funding from church donations, businesses, private organizations and individual donations. It does not receive government funding.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.