State funds earmarked for Pine Forest Rest Home

Published 3:57 pm Friday, November 3, 2023

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POTECASI – Since 1949, Pine Forest Rest Home has been a living facility for local senior citizens in the golden years of life. But the building itself has been around for longer, having originally served as an elementary school before it was converted for its current use.

Now, thanks to an allocation from the most recent state budget, the nonprofit facility will have $350,000 to use for maintenance and repair needs of the building.

State House Representative Michael Wray visited the facility in Potecasi on Tuesday, Oct. 31 to present them with the funding. Wray, a Gaston native, represents District 27 (Halifax, Northampton and Warren counties) in the State House.

“It warms my heart to come down here and see people I grew up around and know,” Wray said as he spoke to residents, staff, and members of the facility’s Board of Directors.

“We know you’ve had struggles and challenges. And I know this facility is very important to the community,” he continued.

Wray thanked volunteers Lemuel and Shelby Ricks for bringing Pine Forest’s needs to his attention so that he was able to put in a request for funding when legislators were working on the state budget earlier this year. He also acknowledged State Senator Bobby Hanig for his support during the budget process as well.

“This is a good day for Pine Forest,” said Albert Vann, who serves as Chair of Pine Forest’s Board of Directors.

“We’re not going to take this money and squander it. This money is going to be used for good things,” Vann promised.

Cherie Jordan, the facility’s Administrator in Charge, said the funds will be used for much-needed repairs under the building and on the roof and to address other maintenance issues throughout. She stepped into her position back in April and has been working to fix up the facility since then.

Rep. Michael Wray (right) joins with Lemuel Ricks (center) to listen to comments made by Albert Vann, Chair of Pine Forest’s Board of Directors. Staff Photo by Holly Taylor

“We can’t expand right now, but we can improve what we have,” she said.

She thanked Lemuel and Shelby Ricks too, along with others from Conway Baptist Church who have stepped up to help with painting and other fixes around the building. And she also thanked the whole local community for continuing to support the nonprofit living facility with donations.

“We’re so thankful for all the churches, all the community. There’s so many people that are sending donations,” Jordan explained. “Everybody knows someone that’s lived in Pine Forest.”

Even though the $350,000 will go towards building repairs, Jordan said they still welcome and appreciate community donations all the time to help with everyday operations.

Shelby Ricks recalled talking to one of the residents who has been living at Pine Forest for more than a decade. That resident explained that this is home for him, and he would have nowhere else to go otherwise. That’s one of the reasons Ricks said they continue to help out as much as they can.

“We try to make this a real home,” Jordan added.

And just like anyone else’s home, they’ll continue to work on repairs and maintenance to keep it in good shape for a long time to come. The state budget allocation will help them get started.