In 2010, The Fuller Center of Central Indiana hosted the Millard Fuller Legacy Build. It was hardly just a weeklong success as it proved to be the springboard that transformed St. Paul Street and neighboring areas of the Fountain Square neighborhood, where crime, drugs and deteriorating houses were the norm before The Fuller Center stepped in.
In a couple of weeks, The Fuller Center of Central Indiana will begin working in a new area — on Tacoma Street, about a mile and a half south of Fountain Square. But the situation on Tacoma Street is quite different from that of St. Paul Street four years ago.
“It’s an older neighborhood,” Fuller Center of Central Indiana President Heather Rayka said. “It’s actually a nice neighborhood where people have kept up their homes for the most part. It’s right off Interstate 65, so there’s easy access. There’s shopping and restaurants and things not too far away.”
During the two weeks of June 19-July 1, Fuller Center volunteers will be hard at work building three new homes on lots that were donated to The Fuller Center years ago. Though there was room for eight homes on the land, there was a problem.
“At the time, there were no city utilities, water and sewer, so these lots to most people were basically unbuildable and were donated to us,” Rayka said. “And a couple years ago, the city went in on their own and put in water and sewer for us, so they turned out to be a wonderful asset for us to have.
“We feel like we’re going to enhance this neighborhood with eight new homes because no new building has been going on there in probably 20-plus years,” she added. “We’re going to have our three homes right now and five lots to build on in the future.”
All three of the homes will go to hard-working single mothers. Two of the mothers — Joy Rodriguez and Pauline Hardy — are raising teenage sons, while Kumba Nyorkor is raising four children. All of the families were on the site of New Palestine United Methodist Church on May 3, joining volunteers in assembling wall packages supplied by CrossRoads Missions. The walls will be used to build one of the three homes, the one sponsored by Bontrager Homes.
“All three families came out to help on our CrossRoads build,” Rayka said. “They have bought into the program and what’s going on.”
Rayka said that they expect to begin pouring slabs for the three homes on Monday and that volunteers are urgently needed.