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Neighbors feel the benefit of your donations in many ways.

                                                                   Deep Well Project client stories


  • Ms. Jones is 84 years old, lives alone and has some physical disabilities. She is very unsteady on her feet and needs a ramp to enter/exit her home as she will soon be required to use a wheel chair. She also needs a “walk-in-shower” to replace her existing traditional tub so she can continue to live independently, and needs some flooring replaced in several weak spots in her house, mostly located in high traffic areas of her mobile home. Deep Well Project’s Livable Housing Program volunteers took on the whole project - built a new 49-foot ramp, re-floored several large areas in her house, removed her existing tub and replaced it with a walk-in-shower. Thanks to Lowcountry Council of Government’s Area on Aging program, LCOG funded the new walk-in shower component, which meant Deep Well could also replace her vanity top, sink and faucets in her bathroom. Deep Well also replaced her broken front door with new hardware and provided a screen porch for Ms. Jones and her dog to sit outside in nice weather.  It was a large, long project, but Ms. Jones can remain in her home, safely and with continued independence.

  • The Allen’s might look like the average retired couple at first glance.  He is 63 and his wife is 72, and they get along fine on their social security incomes and by living modestly within their means.  But if you saw their grocery cart, you’d realize there’s nothing average about the Allens.  Deep Well sees their grocery cart about once a month when they schedule an appointment to come visit the food pantry to help stretch their household budget.  You see, the Allen’s are raising their six grandchildren, ages 3, 12, 13, 15, 16 and 17.   Utilizing food stamps helps, but with food costs continuing quite high and many items not eligible to purchase using food stamps like toothpaste, deodorant and shampoo, the Deep Well food pantry is a great “gap plan” to help this non-traditional family make sure no one in the 8-person home has to go to bed hungry.


  • Ms. Ramirez is 59 years old and is the glue holding her multi-generational household together.  She works full time at a local assisted living center, while her elderly father stays home and helps when her 12-year old daughter gets home from school each day.  Most of the time the family is self-sufficient and can keep up with their household bills, but every couple months Ms. Ramirez schedules a food shopping appointment at Deep Well’s Food Pantry because some bills were higher than expected and now she’s running short on money for the grocery store.  She often asks the food pantry volunteers to pre-pack her groceries so she can do a fast pick up from the parking lot, because she’s coming by on her lunch break or as she’s coming off working the night shift, and she’s too tired to select her own groceries.   Because many folks have tricky work schedules, Deep Well’s Food Pantry always offers three options – self select in person, curbside pick up of pre-packed items, or delivery if the family has no transportation – and it’s open five days a week.


  • Ms. Smith is 25 years old and has two young daughters, ages 4 and 6.  She has always lived with relatives and relied heavily on the support of her extended family.  When she lost that support system, she found herself needing to make major life changes, including finding a place to live and securing reliable childcare. A major part of Ms. Smith’s journey to independence has been her involvement with the Deep Well Project’s new Circles program.  Through the support of her Circles network of peers and allies, she’s been able to increase her income by picking up extra shifts at work.  She studiously and carefully budgeted her way to securing her very first apartment. Ms. Smith and her daughters had previously lived confined to a small bedroom within a family member’s mobile home. Now she is grateful to have a safe place they can call their own. Her future plans include returning to school to advance her career, opening the door for promotions and new opportunities.


  • Ms. Marshall is a single mother of two who through the support of Deep Well’s Circles program has enrolled in the nursing program at Technical College of the Lowcountry.  She recently applied for Habitat for Humanity and was accepted into their program, so home ownership is now within her grasp.  As someone who has experienced homelessness, she is incredibly grateful for an opportunity to provide her children with safe and stable housing. Her children are her greatest motivators and through the Circles network she’s exercising her ability to break the cycle of poverty in her family. She has excelled in areas of finance by budgeting and decreasing debt. She has also grown tremendously in self-confidence. The once shy and reserved young mom now advocates and engages in Circles meetings with passion and purpose. 


  • Ms. Stephens is a Lowcountry homeowner, age 42, with two children ages 11 and 9.  She reached out to Deep Well because she had fallen two months behind on her mortgage payments due to her loss of income – she was no longer able to hold down her job due to a chronic and debilitating illness she had been battling for almost three years.  Deep Well got additional information from her physician, who confirmed her medical challenges and that she had applied for disability benefits, but that process can be long and slow.  After a thorough vetting process, Deep Well made a 2-month mortgage payment directly to her mortgage lender, catching her up and keeping her family safe in their home.  With all the things Ms. Stephens is juggling, knowing she and her kids’ housing is secure, she was able to focus on her health, critical paperwork, and the chance to work out her short and long term plans for her family.


  • Mr. and Mrs. Gomez are a family of five - two parents, an adult child, and two teenage children.  They lived in a home on Hilton Head that had no navigable back steps.  This is a major safety hazard should there be a house fire or other emergency requiring the family to make a speedy exit. Complicating the situation further, the back door was five feet off the ground, which is likely why the back steps were in a state of complete disrepair.  Deep Well was able to build a set of sturdy, reliable back steps, ensuring the whole family could safely exit the home in case of an emergency.


  • Ms. Harris is an 86-year old resident who lives with her disabled 72-year old brother in a small home in Bluffton. Her brother has serious mobility challenges, which made navigating uneven and weak floors especially dangerous. He also requires dialysis three times a week, so he must come and go frequently.  She had called Deep Well about a small area that needed repair in her kitchen. After the repair project started it was determined that the entire kitchen floor was compromised and needed to be replaced. The entirety of the floor in the master bedroom was also repaired and floor covering was installed in both rooms, providing this family with a safe and esthetically pleasing interior. Deep Well was also able to replace several boards on the siblings’ porch, which made getting in and out of their home much safer.


  •  A large oak tree fell on the trailer of a 72-year old Navy veteran battling cancer in Bluffton, crushing part of the roof. With the assistance of a roofing contractor Deep Well was able to get the roof repaired.  Then Deep Well’s Livable Housing team also reconstructed his bathroom, installing a bathtub, toilet and vanity. Other repairs were completed in the house to include windows and floors in the master bedroom and bathroom. If Deep Well had not been able to repair his home, this Navy veteran would have become homeless. On his modest, fixed income it would have been nearly impossible for him to find adequate housing in our current housing market.


  • Mr. Dial is a single dad raising two older children, ages 22 and 18.  When Deep Well first met Mr. Dial he had some eyesight issues, and he could not drive, so the charity would arrange for taxi rides for him to get to his doctor appointments.  He has a degree in Social Work that was funded by the Association for the Blind and works part time in this capacity. One way he earns extra income is using his musical talents.  He plays and picks up work in the summer season, but when the busy tourism season slows, it’s harder to find side hustles.  As a result, he needs help from time to time with food from Deep Well’s pantry and sometimes a utility bill payment.  His eye sight has deteriorated to the point now where he cannot see at all, so his children have had to help with adult challenges at early ages as the family finds a path forward on Hilton Head.   


  • Ms. Garcia is 30 years old and has four children ages 10, 9, and 6-year old twins.  The company she  was working for doing cleaning work went out of business suddenly.  She immediately tried to pick up new work, but many of the other cleaning businesses were already staffed and she could only take jobs while her children were in school.  She was able to pick up some small jobs here and there.  Because of the reduced number of hours she was now working, her water bill did not get paid in a timely manner, so she received a cut off notice.  Still thinking she could come up with the money, and being very proud, she did not ask for help.  Unfortunately, the water ended up getting shut off.  After it was off several days, with no quick remedy in sight, she finally called Deep Well.  She had saved up part of the funds to get the water turned back on, and Deep Well agreed to cover the amount she was coming up short so water could resume flowing in her home.


  • In 2022 Ms. Clark was diagnosed with cancer when she was 47 years old.  She received cancer treatment throughout 2022, and continued to raise her 14-year old son.  Ms. Clark worked as much as she was able while undergoing treatment, but her drive to work was a great distance and the car ride was not easy for her.  She has now requested of her employer to be able to work from home.  While waiting for an answer on this issue, Ms. Clark developed an edema, putting her on crutches. That condition resulted in a whole new round of doctor appointments.  Throughout her medical journey, she worked hard to keep her bills paid, but her largest commitment – her mortgage – was a challenge.  Ms. Clark managed to keep her mortgage current until recently, when she asked Deep Well for help.  After reviewing her case and payment history, the charity was able to make a mortgage payment on her behalf, keeping her safe in her most important asset as she works to resolve her medical challenges.


  • During a management transition at a local housing complex, Deep Well started getting multiple calls from multiple residents decrying their experiences with the new management company at the apartments.  On-site management’s presence was spotty at best, with the office where payments were to be made rarely staffed.  Residents received new ledger accounts with payments missing, mysterious fees added, and no person on site to discuss the ledgers, resolve issues, or even take payments. Eviction notices started going up on doors, despite residents trying to make cash, check and money order payments to bring their accounts current, but unable to do so with no place to turn over the money and get a receipt for their payments.  Deep Well, local churches, and other local nonprofits worked together to encourage accountability from the new management company and to stabilize the frustrated and panicked residents.


  • Hilton Head residents Mr. and Mrs. Owens saved earnestly to purchase a new mobile home to be placed on family land in 2020.  It was a happy day when the couple moved in, along with Mrs. Owen’s two teenaged children.  But fast forward to 2023 and the new trailer was on the verge of repossession.  The couple had fallen far behind on their mortgage payments because they were not able to keep regular employment at a livable wage. Through a combination of emergency payments by Deep Well, local churches, the Owens, and the Owens’ family coming up with some funds, the crisis was averted and the family is now back on track to retain their home.


  • Mrs. Gray suffers from spina bifada and is completely bedridden in the modest home her father built in the 1960’s.  Her husband Mr. Gray is a wonderful caretaker, but has some health challenges of his own and has not been able to keep up regular maintenance on the home, so its condition had deteriorated.  Deep Well’s Livable Housing division originally got a call from the Gray’s to see if a ramp could be built, as getting Mrs. Gray in and out of the home for doctor appointments was a dangerous production.   After visiting the home, meeting the Gray’s, and assessing the project, Deep Well not only built the wheelchair ramp, they also put a new roof on the home, did some floor repairs and improved the HVAC system to keep a more constant temperature.  Thanks to a service project with the Hilton Head Area Association of Realtors, the Gray’s home even got a fresh coat of blue paint, completing the transformation from an unsafe structure to a greatly improved home for this couple braving so many health challenges. 


  • For the last 50 years, Deep Well Project’s mantra has been “Offering a hand up, not a hand out.”  The charity recently was able to LITERALLY fulfill this mission with help from a special client and nonprofit partner Volunteers In Medicine.   “George” and his wife and two sons have been part of Deep Well’s family for the last 18 years, only occasionally reaching out for help for their children – school uniforms and supplies, holiday meals and toys.  George has worked as a local landscaper for many years, so his income has been steady and reliable….until he lost his arm.   Volunteers in Medicine was able to broker a fantastic opportunity with a prosthetic limb company that would allow George to get a highly functioning new prosthetic arm that would permit him to continue to work and support his family, at a cost that would be pennies on the dollar.   Volunteers in Medicine, Deep Well and George’s family put together a three-way finance package to procure this new arm, giving George a new future that would otherwise have been bleak.  What great teamwork!


  • KC is 32-years old and works full time in the food and beverage industry.  He works hard, but he lives paycheck to paycheck, largely dependent on tips.  Even though Hurricane Florence missed our island in fall 2018, it did take a toll on the working poor due to many businesses closing down during that week of uncertainty.  KC had $500 towards his rent, but he was coming up short on the balance due because of days missed at work.  Deep Well confirmed with his employer that the restaurant was closed for four full days and that KC received no compensation for those days and then sent his landlord the balance due for his rent, keeping him safe in his home.


  • Dina is 58-years old and battling a second round with cancer.  The treatments are debilitating and affect every corner of her life, from what foods she’s able to eat, to her ability to parent her teenage son.  Getting through every day is a huge challenge for Dina.  During this crisis, Deep Well helped her with food from our Wellness Pantry, including easy-to-digest, protein-rich shakes to help fortify her in between chemotherapy treatments.  Deep Well also assisted with an electric bill and a rent payment to help her get her feet under her.


  • Ella has Spina Bifida and her home needed some critical repairs.  Her roof was leaking, and only two rooms in her home had air conditioning — and it was the middle of hot, sultry July.  Deep Well’s Livable Housing team partnered with a roofing company to fix the roof and install a large, combo A/C and heating unit to fully cool/heat her whole living space.  Ella has so many challenges, but Deep Well was able to improve her life in the most fundamental of ways, providing a safe and more comfortable home.


  • Fred is an elderly resident of Daufuskie who has been battling cancer for over a year and continues to have regular doctor appointments for his treatment.  But Fred needed transportation help, so Deep Well stepped in.  Fred caught the ferry from Daufuskie to Hilton Head, where a Deep Well volunteer picked him up at the dock, got him to his doctor, then returned him to the dock to catch his return ferry home to Daufuskie. 


  • Gloria and Jorge and their five children are usually self-sufficient, but Jorge injured his foot badly, putting him out of work temporarily from his construction job.  When they showed up at Deep Well’s offices, a coordinated plan emerged to keep the family safe — Deep Well provided groceries so the family didn’t go hungry; Volunteers in Medicine (VIM) treated Jorge’s injury, and Gloria was referred to The Literacy Center for English classes to improve her language skills.


  • Lisa is 80 years old and doesn’t like to ask anyone for help, but she had lost her glasses and was really struggling to do simple household tasks with limited vision.  She lives very frugally and is proud to keep up with all her monthly bills.  But, a cold snap in January and a heat wave in August bumped her electric bill much higher than normal, leaving her in a tight spot.  Lisa paid the power company the amount of her usual monthly bill, and Deep Well covered the balance of the bill by sending the payment directly to the power company, and then coordinated with the Lion’s Club to get her new glasses. 


  • Edith is 70 years old, suffers from sickle cell disease and is unable to work.  She was getting by on her $700/month social security check, until the HVAC system in her home died.  Deep Well’s Livable Housing program assessed the home situation and its Board opted to fully gift Edith with a new HVAC system so she could remain in her home, surrounded by neighbors and her church family, who help look after her.   If she hadn’t been able to remain in her home, she might have had to move away from her caring and supportive network, which would have devastated Edith.


  • When Renee’s marriage ended, both spouses suffered financial stress. Renee worked at a local preschool to support her three children. This past winter, the preschool was closed during the holidays and during our unusual stretch of January “snow days,” leaving Renee with no money for her electric bill. Deep Well paid the bill and also invited her to shop in our pantry for groceries to ensure Renee and the children had food every day while she caught up the household finances.


  • April came to Deep Well after she received an eviction notice. She is 65 years old and had many medical problems that prevented her from working for a few weeks at the job she had for over six years. April was delaying social security until she was 66, which was a wise long-term decision, but it was putting her in a bind short term. After we confirmed her employment and the missed work, Deep Well paid a full month’s rent for April to bridge the gap.


  • Tammy is a single mom with four children, whose ages range from 15 down to six.  Her husband deserted the family a few years ago, leaving Tammy as the sole provider.  Because her hours were reduced at her housekeeping job due to the off-season, she was coming up short on her rent payment.  Deep Well validated with her employer that Tammy was an excellent and reliable worker and that the company simply didn’t have more work for her at that time.  So, Deep Well stepped in to cover the short term shortfall, keeping Tammy and her children safe in their home.


  • Terry lives in her grandmother’s small home, which she inherited when her grandmother passed a decade ago.  Like many older homes, it needs a lot of TLC to keep it up and, with Terry and her partner working full-time, it was difficult to keep up with it all.  It was also difficult to find extra money needed for repairs.  Terry called Deep Well to report that they had no hot water.  After an assessment from our Livable Housing team, Deep Well purchased and installed a new hot water heater to replace the ancient, broken unit.


  • Kim and Andy came to Hilton Head from Alabama because they heard jobs were plentiful and a “friend of a friend” said they could bunk at his apartment until they found their own place.   They quickly found jobs, but realized that housing costs were still out of their reach, especially once security and utility deposits were factored in.  In two short months, they ran through all their savings and their “friend of a friend” kicked them out, so they were now homeless and visiting Deep Well to do their laundry and use our shower facility.  After confirming that family in Alabama would welcome them home, Deep Well gave Kim and Andy gas cards and food for the trip to get them home where they had a network of help.


  • Bessie is 92 years old and has Alzheimer's.  One of her devoted daughters lives and cares for Bessie, along with her two grandchildren in their modest home.  When the HVAC system went out this fall, the family called on Deep Well for help, as the $4000 price tag to replace the system was outside their resources.  After assessing the situation, the family pooled resources for a down payment and agreed to a small monthly loan repayment amount, while Deep Well gifted almost half the cost of the equipment and installation to the family.   Finding good solutions in a time of crises is at the core of Deep Well’s mission.


  • Laura works full time as a housekeeper in a local hotel, and her adult son, Luke, works at a local restaurant.  They live in a trailer with Luke’s two children.  Due to a leak in their laundry room from their ancient washing machine, the Deep Well Livable Housing team came in to fix the leak and repair damaged flooring, while the Deep Well furniture program got them a voucher for a “new to them” washing machine.  Now, this four-person household is in much better shape thanks to programs at Deep Well.


  • Jan works full time and has custody of her teenage daughter, who, after a tick bite, has been battling a series of serious health issues due to Lyme’s Disease.  While the family does have health insurance, all of the deductibles and many of the doctor-prescribed treatments are not covered by their plan.  Jan and her daughter have traveled to Georgia and Florida to see specialists for her condition.  Deep Well has paid some of the medical bills not covered by insurance and has provided gas cards to help with medical appointment travel expenses for the family.


  • Harry lives on St. Helena Island and hadn’t been able to eat solid food for several years because he needed dentures.  After visits to the Beaufort Jasper Hampton Comprehensive Health Dental Clinic, a treatment plan was created.  But even with the sliding scale income discount offered by the clinic, the cost of upper and lower dentures was out of reach for Harry on his tiny social security income.   Deep Well stepped in and helped fund the cost of the dentures for Harry, and he can now enjoy solid food, including the wonderful fresh vegetables grown on St. Helena.



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