Florence Fix-It

HWF Steps In to Help Repair & Rebuild

Old buildings are built to last, with brick or old-growth timber frames that are sturdy and strong. But they’re not invincible.

In the wake of Hurricane Florence, many in our community found themselves overwhelmed by the amount of work to be done, repairs to be made.

Luckily, old homes are also made to fix. With that in mind, HWF gave 21 homeowners small grants to help them continue to be great stewards of their old homes. The Florence Fix-It grants, issued for up to $5,000, were available in Brunswick, New Hanover, and Pender counties. All homes built in 1943 or earlier were eligible, regardless of whether they were located in historic districts.


Read Their Stories

One year later, we’re circling back to hear stories of our grant recipients. Some are still in the midst of repairs. Others have come out on the other side, grateful to have had HWF’s support in restoring their beloved homes to their pre-Florence glory.

FFI Grant Recipient Profile: Jan Brewington & Jim King

This year, Jan Brewington’s home turned 100. And for nearly one quarter of its history (23 years), she’s been its devoted steward. Within its walls, she raised two children, and now, it also serves as her office; Jan and her husband, Jim, own Dram Tree Realty. After decades of putting her heart and soul into fixing up her beloved old home, Florence hit Wilmington hard. Jan and Jim spent months fixing walls, windows, and flooring—an especially daunting task, since 706 S. 7th St. doubles as their home and their office. CLICK HERE to read more. 

FFI Grant Recipient Profile: Caroline Fisher & Tony Peele

Caroline & Tony moved to Wilmington three years ago to start their small business, Swahili Coast, which sells ethically handmade, fair trade accessories crafted by East African artisans. They chose the city for its thriving historic downtown, and they loved bringing a global market into their local community.

Then came Florence. The roof of their home was ruined, and their storefronts and merchandise were also severely damaged, and they weren’t able to reopen their businesses’ doors for months. Between the cost of repairs and the loss of revenue, it felt like everything was crashing down around them. Caroline recalls a moment when they turned to one another and said, “How much more can we take?” That’s when they found out Historic Wilmington Foundation had approved their grant application. CLICK HERE to read more.