Thomasville, Ga., is famous for its roses and its stately homes and antebellum mansions. But like most beautiful cities and towns, there are pockets of poverty and substandard housing.
That’s what the Seekers Fellowship Fuller Center for Housing will work to remedy as it becomes The Fuller Center for Housing’s eighth active covenant partner in Georgia, the state where the affordable housing movement was launched.
“The city of Thomasville is a great place to live and very affluent, but there is some substandard housing here, and our mission is to try to address substandard housing in our community,” said founding board member Charlie Lewis, who worked to bring The Fuller Center to Thomasville and whose son, Nicholas, will serve as president.
Lewis also is the leader of The Kingdom Group, an insurance services company based in Thomasville, and The Seekers Fellowship, a faith group that meets twice a month to “study the practical application of the values and principles, the laws of conduct and behavior that are found in the kingdom of God,” Lewis said, adding that both groups will play a significant role in combating substandard housing in Thomasville and Thomas County.
“In Thomasville, we’ve got well over a hundred employees, and we’re gonna give them the opportunity to participate,” Lewis said of The Kingdom Group. “Some of them have heard about it and are excited about it. Plus, we’re gonna use the folks we have involved in Seekers. And we’re going to engage builders and churches who want to participate.”
“It’s a wonderful area with many beautiful antebellum homes,” Fuller Center Director of U.S. Field Operations Kirk Lyman-Barner said. “But it also is an area with an aging housing stock. Many of the homeowners are elderly, disabled or low-income, and they can’t afford to make much-needed repairs.
“The Seekers Fellowship Fuller Center for Housing has identified many prospective local collaborative partners to help them with their new housing ministry, including area nonprofits, churches, high schools and two colleges,” Lyman-Barner added. “These relationships will help jump-start their efforts and will help them mature into a successful program, providing hope and help to their neighbors who really need some assistance.”