The Ginger Ford Northshore Fuller Center for Housing had two home dedications this past weekend in Hammond, Louisiana, and this weekend is welcoming a team from Salem Reform Church of Little Rock, Iowa, for a one-week build in Pearl River, Louisiana — The Fuller Center’s first in that city.
The first home dedication Saturday was for Daphne Vernon, who cut the ribbon on the 1,050-square-foot home she now shares with her 5-year-old son, Aaron.
“She has been waiting for one of our houses and going through our program for the last two years,” said Tamara Danel, Executive Director of the Ginger Ford Northshore Fuller Center. “We had a property that had been donated by the city, and it was to be used specifically for a workforce development family — meaning they had to have a job and be paying taxes. We chose Daphne because she fits our income range and works at a local hospital.”
The second home dedication Saturday was for Mark Miley, who is looking forward not only to raising his young sons Michael and Luke in the home but also to paying it forward with volunteering beyond his required sweat equity.
“We typically see more single moms and their children, so we’re excited to partner for the first time with a single dad,” Danel said. “He’s also a carpenter, which we really like, and he has volunteered to make cabinets for all of our houses in the future. We’re excited to have him on board as not just a homeowner but also as a contributing homeowner who wants to continue to pay it forward.”
Like all Fuller Center homeowners, Vernon and Miley will repay the costs of the materials on terms they can afford, over time, with no interest charged and no profit made. Those payments go into a local fund through which The Fuller Center can extend the hand of partnership to more local families in need of simple, decent places to live.
“The more new houses we build, the more new houses we can build,” Danel said, explaining the model Millard and Linda Fuller developed and that covenant partners like Ginger Ford Northshore have utilized to grow their impact. “The more mortgage payments coming in, the more people we can serve. That’s what we want — we want to increase our capacity, and we do that with each new house we build.”
“The more new houses we build, the more new houses we can build. That’s what we want — we want to increase our capacity, and we do that with each new house we build.” — Tamara Danel, Executive Director, Ginger Ford Northshore Fuller Center
That kind of capacity will be on display next week in Pearl River, as will be yet another Fuller Center tool — partnership.
Salem Reformed Church of Little Rock, Iowa, longed to spend a mission week serving others in the United States. The charitable outreach group Compassion Pearl River was eager to help a family build a decent home after 10 years of living in a FEMA trailer following Hurricane Katrina. Ginger Ford Northshore is bringing those forces together and using a CrossRoads Missions wall package assembled by YouthBuild members. The build, which will be Ginger Ford Northshore’s 27th project of the year (including renovations and repairs) begins Monday.
“It’s a three-way partnership to get it all done,” said Danel, who has been addressing recent flood damage even as they still see long-lingering effects more than a decade after Katrina. “It seems like all the ramifications of Katrina are ongoing, that’s for sure. Here we are, 11 years later, still addressing issues.”