Helping the Helpers – The Hines Family Story

Almost every weekend, five members of the Hines family can be found in downtown Indianapolis serving the homeless at a soup kitchen. The outpouring of encouragement, prayers and service from the family seems fitting and normal for people strong in their faith. The servant lifestyle hid the fact that the Hines family was itself in great need of assistance.

Before The Fuller Center for Housing stepped in, Elizabeth Hines and her four sons were living in an apartment complex that was so unsafe, the children could not go outside to play. Despite such poor living conditions, Elizabeth, a kindergarten teacher at True Care Academy in Indianapolis, was able to live debt-free while providing for her family and still helping others who were without a home at all. Still, a full-time job and responsible living were not enough to lift the family out of poverty housing. 

The Hines family heard about The Fuller Center from their church, Christ Church Apostolic in Indianapolis. Elizabeth applied for a home because she wanted to show her sons that working hard can help you get ahead in life. On July 12, 2009 – after nine weeks of construction by over 100 volunteers, including five of Elizabeth’s siblings – the Hines family received the keys to their new home. The four-bedroom house was the first completed by the Fuller Center’s covenant partner in Indianapolis.

Elizabeth fought back tears during the housewarming ceremony, admitting afterward that she feared she would never be able to own her own home while raising four sons on her kindergarten teacher’s salary.

“[Elizabeth] is an amazing person and an inspiration to all who know her,” said Jane Burgess of the Central Indiana Fuller Center. “[The family] is so strong in their faith and in their desire to serve others even in spite of the little that they have. They care so deeply about others.”

The four brothers, all musically talented and accustomed to making music as a family, performed at the housewarming ceremony. Yoshua, 14, plays classical piano and trumpet. His three brothers, Gabriel, 13, Micah, 11, and Philip, 10, enjoy singing together.

The boys and their mother are also huge sports fans, sharing loves of football, basketball and golf. Now that they live in a safe home all their own, Elizabeth won’t have to fear going outside to play with her children.

The Fuller Center is proud to have been able to help such a giving, charitable family help themselves.

Learn more about the work of the Indianapolis covenant partner on their page as well as the Millard Fuller Legacy Build hosted there in 2010.

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