The Fuller Center for Housing’s first covenant partner in the state of Maryland is being founded in what is considered the wealthiest African-American-majority county in the country.
Prince George’s County is adjacent to Washington, D.C., with a population of just over 870,000 people. Its great wealth, however, does not tell everyone’s story in Prince George’s County.
“It’s one of the richest counties per capita in the United States, but it also has this very poor section,” said Charlene McCall, who will serve as president of the new covenant partner, which had been a Habitat for Humanity affiliate in the same area. “Throughout the county are pockets of poverty.”
It also is an area that has been hard hit by foreclosures, making it fertile ground for the covenant partner to put The Fuller Center’s Save a House/Make a Home initiative into action. The initiative takes donated properties off the hands of banks and investors who want to shed them from their inventory and refurbishes them into decent homes once again. All The Fuller Center for Housing of Prince George’s County needs is funds to get started.
“We’ve got plenty of volunteers,” McCall said. “Getting volunteers is no problem in the area. Our biggest need is money for building. Also, in this county, land is expensive. But we’ve been good at getting donated land from people leaving the county. We’ve been good at getting donated property and have only had to buy one property in the 13 years I’ve been here. And there are a lot of houses in this area that could be rehabbed.”
Joining The Fuller Center ranks also was a faith-based move for the partner’s board.
“We like The Fuller Center because it’s a Christian organization and has a Christian background — and we want to be involved with a Christian organization with Christian values that’s willing to build houses for people who need houses from all walks of life,” McCall said.
Fuller Center Director of U.S. Field Operations Kirk Lyman-Barner is thrilled to have Prince George’s County be the first new partner addition of 2013 as well as having The Fuller Center’s first covenant partner in Maryland.
“As The Fuller Center begins its yearlong celebration of the 40th anniversary of Millard and Linda Fuller’s effort to test the basic Christian principles of our housing ministry, it is a delight to have a leadership team in Prince George’s County that is so dedicated to sticking with our basic model of Christian compassion and love for neighbors in need and the hand-up instead of handout philosophy.”
Call 301-627-4890 for more information about The Fuller Center for Housing of Prince George’s County.