The Birth of Hope Rebuilders
Rod Hyatt (Finalist of Seven States of Change Part 3)
Acts 2:17 “… your young men shall see visions and your old men will dream dreams.”
My vision for the future is one that I have had since I was a young man. It is of a world where everyone is accepted not by how they look or what they wear, or by how much they have in the bank, but by what they can contribute, by how they treat those less fortunate. A world where those who have fallen on bad times or have physical or intellectual challenges are helped by those who are better off. A world where no one needs to be a refugee, and those who have been refugees are welcomed and accepted into their new society. A world where everyone has a safe and decent home in which to live in peace and harmony.
My dream, now that I am an old man, is the establishment of the ReBuild Center where we can provide a safe space for the marginalised in our communities to have the opportunity to better themselves and be part of the building process. Doing Life: Doing Good.
In 1976, Millard Fuller along with his wife Linda went to Koinonia Farm near Americus Georgia and along with Clarence Jordan and several others formed an organisation that became Habitat for Humanity that has since built a million homes worldwide. In 2005, after being forced off the board of Habitat, Millard and Linda went back to Koinonia and started a new ministry that became Fuller Center for Housing. The inaugural meeting of The Fuller Center at Koinonia, also Habitat’s birthplace, established this new mission: “The Fuller Center for Housing, faith driven and Christ centered, promotes collaborative and innovative partnerships with individuals and organisations in an unrelenting quest to provide adequate shelter for all people in need worldwide.”
How it works
The Fuller Center accomplishes its work by creating partnerships that bring together churches, schools, businesses and civic organisations to build decent, affordable homes for people who are unable to secure adequate housing by conventional means. Most fundamental to the organisation’s overall functioning are partnerships with covenant partners, local organisations that sign an agreement with The Fuller Center to build or renovate houses for families in need in a particular area.
Covenant partners are governed by local board members who are in charge of family selection and counseling, fundraising, training, managing mortgages, organising volunteers, finding skilled labor and spreading the word. The FCH headquarters in Americus, Georgia, provides publications, general support, promotional materials, training for board members and – whenever possible – fundraising assistance.
All homeowners work hand-in-hand with volunteers to build their own homes, which are then sold to them on terms they can afford, based on the Biblical idea of no-profit, no-interest loans. With some smaller renovation projects, an innovative payment program called The Greater Blessing Program is utilised, whereby recipients promise to repay the loan amount without signing an actual mortgage agreement. They decide the monthly amount they can afford to repay and the period of time that it will take to repay the cost of repairs. There is no legal obligation to repay these loans. Payments made by homeowners are put toward future Greater Blessing housing projects.
All decisions about family selection are managed by the board of directors of each local covenant partner. Income requirements vary from community to community. However, there are three basic criteria that everyone uses: applicant need (can’t qualify for conventional loans and/or living in substandard conditions), applicant willingness to partner (“sweat equity” volunteer hours required) and applicant ability to repay the loan. The Fuller Center does not accept government funds for house construction due to reporting requirements. Houses are sold to the homeowners with no interest and at no profit on an equity share basis.
Fuller Center for Housing Queensland Australia is the first Australian covenant partner. It is the benefactor of the ReBuild Center which is being set up to generate funds that will go towards the administration of Fuller Center for Housing, so that when people make donations towards projects, 100% of their donation will go into those projects.
Watch this space for an announcement about the crowdfunded capital raising program for ReBuild Center.
Perhaps you might like to check it out? We ALWAYS need heart centred support!
By sharing my story, I hope to inspire you to LIVE yours!
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