The wave of foreclosures that have hit America in recent years has led to a glut of vacant houses. And many Fuller Center covenant partners are using the Save a House/Make a Home initiative to help fill those with decent families.
But Aleta McDaniel of The Fuller Center’s newest covenant partner, The Fuller Center for Housing of Greater Miami, is among those still fighting to keep foreclosures from happening in the first place. She spends her days in the courts of Miami, representing people who have their backs against the wall late in the foreclosure process.
“They are in foreclosure and going through the foreclosure process, and they really don’t have attorneys, so here the court offers the opportunity to pretty much have a voice or some kind of options before they are actually foreclosed on,” she said. “So I basically help people who are going through that process. We are trying to stop it and find the last option before the house is foreclosed.”
McDaniel said that foreclosures continue to be a problem in the Miami area, as are homelessness and a lack of affordable housing.
As the president of The Fuller Center for Housing of Greater Miami, McDaniel hopes to use affordable housing as a way to combat recidivism in the justice system. She said that people who can obtain safe and decent affordable housing are more likely to become positive contributors to the community.
“They face tremendous barriers getting any kind of housing, much less affordable,” she said. “They run into so many different barriers. The church that I go to (New Birth Baptist Church) is active in the community and tries to help people. Through their outreach program, they try to reach out to people who are finding difficulty with getting housing because they have that type of background.”
Director of U.S. Field Operations Kirk Lyman-Barner was impressed by McDaniel’s compassion for people in need.
“When I started working with Aleta, and she was in the discernment process about starting a Fuller Center covenant partner, I could tell by her spirit and her vision that she would be the type of leader who believes in people even though they may have had past troubles, and she would be an advocate for hope for helping them make smart choices about rebuilding their lives,” he said.
“One of Millard Fuller’s favorite sayings was ‘Every house is a sermon about God’s love.’ Every house is indeed a sermon of God’s reconciling love because every homeowner has a story about how someone, just like Aleta, came by and offered them a hand up. I’m very excited about our new covenant partner in Miami.”