ROGERSVILLE — As of Thursday the Of One Accord ministry had raised $13,000 in donations so that a Rogersville family of seven facing eviction can settle back into a permanent home on property where their house burned in February.
The question now is whether that will be in a used mobile home or if the old house can be restored.
Ministry director Sheldon Livesay said contributed funds will be used to place Chad and Amanda Horton, and their five children, ages 7-15, on property the family owns on Route 70 north of Rogersville.
The Times-News first reported on the Horton family in Tuesday’s edition when they were expecting to be served a court-ordered eviction at their Rogersville Housing Authority apartment at any time due to owing about $2,000 in back rent, late fees and court costs.
Livesay’s contact with Rogersville police apparently bought the family a few days, although time is still running out.
As of Thursday, Livesay’s plan to place a used mobile home on the family’s old property had hit a snag.
“I thought their house had burned completely down, but we’ve got one of those big, old two-story houses that’s burned out, but still standing,” Livesay told the Times-News Thursday. “We’re going to try to get a couple of contractors, and a fire department, and an excavator to go out there and do an evaluation to determine if the house can be saved — and if not — if it can be bulldozed down or if it’s far enough from other houses that the fire department can burn it completely down. These are questions we need to have answered pretty quick.”
This past Monday morning the Hortons attempted to sell that property so they could pay their RHA rent. Their buyer backed out, however, leaving the Hortons facing eviction at any moment with nowhere to go.
That’s when they went to the Of One Accord ministry looking for help.
Chad Horton is a cancer survivor on disability who receives about $1,000 per month, and Amanda is unemployed and seeking disability. Rent at the RHA was $450 per month, and they have literally been behind on their rent since moving in after the house burned.
Initially, the plan was to raise enough money to help the family find another apartment. After learning more about Chad and Amanda on Tuesday, however, Livesay decided that wouldn’t be a good permanent solution, and no funds that are raised will be placed directly into the Hortons’ hands.
The plan was adjusted to put the family into a permanent home on their own property so that they won’t have a rent bill taking half of the family income each month.
Livesay said he believes the overall project, including purchasing a good used mobile home and site preparation, will cost $15,000 to $20,000. With the funds already raised he said he feels confident the ministry will raise enough money to complete the project.
Livesay said anyone who would like to help the Hortons can mail a check to: “Of One Accord,” P.O. Box 207, Rogersville, TN 37857. Livesay said to memo the check to “The Homeless Fund.”