Local ministry building a home for a hero

Published: Sep. 29, 2020 at 7:26 PM CDT
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FLORENCE, Ala. (WAFF) - A home for a hero - that’s exactly what Hearts for Homeless is, a group that offers help to community members in need.

They’re currently building for a local Florence veteran.

"I’ve been hoping someone would look my way and do something for me,' said Cleatus Higgenbotham, “Yep, that day has finally come.”'

Cleatus Higgenbotham is left with 45 years of memories in his heart as he watched his house get demolished for new beginnings.

“That’s why I wanted to come down and watch them tear it down, because I have a lot of memories in that house,” said Higgenbotham.

One memory near to Higgenbotham’s heart is displayed in his front yard. He’s a Vietnam War Veteran.

The road to demolition and getting a new house for the veteran started when he simply asked for a new A/C unit.

That’s when Anie McElyea, co-founder of Hearts for Homeless, got involved.

“Larry and I came down to put it in and just noticed the whole house was falling apart. It was falling in. The ceilings were falling in and everything and we just couldn’t leave it like that so we had to do something,” said McElyea.

Hearts for Homeless has raised nearly $30,000 to help rebuild Mr. H’s home but still needs more help.

“The project has reached more than just our hearts for homeless group. We have lots more people coming in to help and volunteer their time and their services,” said McElyea.

The community is coming together to build a new home for a hero.

“I’m proud because this is the first time a bunch of people have helped me. Nobody else will,” said Mr. H.

To connect with the group, visit their Facebook page.

Monetary donations can be made to ‘Home for a Hero’ at any First National Bank location, online at, or on Cash App to “$heartsforhomeless”.

Their mailing address is: Hearts For Homeless, P.O. Box 323, Athens, AL 35612.

Donors are asked to specify if the donation is for “Home for a Hero.”

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