Homeowner with deaf-blindness to get major renovations

Kansas City, Mo. – On Saturday, Oct. 9, 2010 the Fuller Center for Housing of Greater Kansas City, Mo. will kick off its first major home renovation project for homeowner Calvin Stallings, a man with deaf-blindness since birth. Volunteers will begin work at 9 a.m. and then will break at 10 a.m. for a brief ceremony to commemorate the start of the project.

Stallings was born in St. Louis in 1965. While his mother was pregnant, she contracted Rubella, which resulted in Calvin being born deaf and blind. His parents both died when he was very young. Having no family, he bounced around from place to place. In 1980 in Columbia, Mo. Calvin met his current guardian, Mike McCarthy.

In 1997, Stallings was able to purchase the house in which he currently lives with support from McCarthy. His home is a great source of stability in his life. However, with limited resources maintaining the home has been difficult.

The Fuller Center for Housing is a Christian housing ministry that builds new homes for low income families and also repairs and renovates owner-occupied homes for people who don’t have the resources and/or ability to do the work themselves. Stallings was referred to the Fuller Center by Lorie Perdieu, the future homeowner of a universal design home the Fuller Center is building in the northland in partnership with Northland Neighborhoods, Inc. (Read more about Lorie here.)

McCarthy and Stallings’ friend/advocate Rachel Hiles applied to the Fuller Center on Calvin’s behalf for assistance with desperately needed home repairs. Fuller Center Project Supervisor, Allen Harris, a volunteer, developed a scope of work and then sought contractors and vendors to donate professional labor and donated materials for the estimated $24,000 project. About $8,000 is still needed to complete the project.

The scope of work includes: new roof and gutters, exterior repairs and painting, new windows, electrical and plumbing repairs and upgrades, interior wall and ceiling repairs and painting, and a new air conditioner. Renovations will drastically improve the energy efficiency of the home and provide Stallings a safe, decent place to live and call home for years to come.

Initial funding was received from individuals, businesses and a grant from the Heartland Presbytery. In addition Stallings contributed property tax credits he received. Stallings will pay back the balance of the cost of materials with a zero interest loan on terms he can afford through the Fuller Center for Housing. In this way Stallings is an equal partner in the project to renew his home and secure his future. His payments will go into a revolving fund that will help pay for projects for other people in need.

Other partners on this project are the Tower Homes Association, where Stallings lives, and his church, Transfiguration of Christ Church.

Learn more about the work of the Greater Kansas City Fuller Center here.

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