Frequently Asked Questions
What is The Fuller Center for Housing of Greater Kansas City MO?
The Fuller Center for Housing of Greater Kansas City MO is a local Covenant Partner organization of The Fuller Center for Housing based out of Americus GA. The Fuller Center for Housing is a Christian 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that seeks to eradicate poverty housing by promoting partnerships with individuals and community groups to build and rehabilitate homes for people in need.
What is The Fuller Center of Kansas City’s vision?
The United Nations estimates that more than 1 billion people around the world live in substandard housing — including millions in the United States. In the Greater Kansas City MO area research and public data show that thousands of people live in substandard conditions as well.
The Fuller Center for Housing, faith driven and Christ centered, promotes collaborative and innovative partnerships with individuals and organizations in an unrelenting quest to provide adequate shelter for all people in need worldwide.
The Fuller Center for Housing of Greater Kansas City Mo seeks to realize this vision starting in the northland and is open to invitations to help in other areas where the need is great.
How do you accomplish your work?
The Fuller Center of Kansas City seeks partnerships within our communities that bring together churches, schools, businesses and civic organizations to build decent, affordable homes for people who are unable to secure adequate housing by conventional means. Under the guidance of The Fuller Center for Housing, the Fuller Center Kansas City works in partnership with other service-oriented organizations and countless volunteers to build and repair homes. 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 no-profit, no-interest loans. With some smaller renovation projects, an innovative payment program, called “The Greater Blessing Program” is utilized, 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. It is a leap of faith in the basic goodness of humankind and is proving to be very successful.
The Fuller Center is committed to keeping administrative costs low to ensure that the maximum amounts of funds go toward building and repairing homes for people who need them.
Where are you currently building homes?
The Fuller Center of Kansas City has completed projects in Clay and Jackson counties. Additional projects have been approved throughout the northland and other parts of the city where the need is great. Requests have been received and applications are being processed from homeowners in Kansas City, Liberty, Gladstone, Excelsior Springs, Independence, and Raytown.
In the United States, The Fuller Center for Housing has active Covenant Partners in over 60 communities. Inquiries come almost daily! Internationally, The Fuller Center has Covenant Partners in place or forming in Nepal, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, El Salvador, The Netherlands, The Democratic Republic of the Congo, The Republic of the Congo, Australia, the Cook Islands, Peru, India, Armenia, Ghana and Sierra Leone.
How does The Fuller Center choose cities or regions in which to build?
The Fuller Center doesn’t do the choosing – communities that recognize need in their regions approach The Fuller Center to help them address their concerns. The need is great. The Fuller Center will go where we are asked to help.
This is how the Fuller Center for Housing of Greater Kansas City MO got started. A group of churches called Christian Carpenters felt called to do more to address the needs in the northland and to be open to responding to needs throughout the community.
How can an individual get involved?
There are several ways to become involved. As a tightly-run, cost-conscious organization, we are always in need of people’s time, talents and treasures!
- Volunteer – Individuals committed to building, renovating and repairing homes can join one of The Fuller Center’s upcoming projects. In addition there are several committees on which to volunteer. Once you are engaged then encourage others to volunteer!
- Donate – We welcome all donations to be used to fund our programs. Tax-deductible contributions can be mailed to The Fuller Center for Housing of Greater Kansas City MO, P.O. Box 901365, Kansas City, MO 64190-1365. Or donations can be made online at http://www.fullercenter.org/ and designated for the Kansas City, MO CP. In-kind donations of building materials and services are also greatly appreciated.
- Spread the Word – Tell your family, friends and colleagues about The Fuller Center and its work. Visit the Fuller Center website athttp://www.fullercenter.org/ and send them an online postcard. Put a bumper sticker on your car to tell the world about us. Send letters to everyone on your Christmas card list about the work of The Fuller Center of Kansas City.
How are families selected?
The criteria for being accepted as a partner family are based on need and the ability and willingness to partner with The Fuller Center of Kansas City. The Greater Kansas City Covenant Partner plans to do new construction, rehabilitations of existing homes and our Greater Blessing Program. If you are interested in information on applying for a house or a Greater Blessing project for yourself or someone you’re concerned about, please contact us.
Are you a Christian organization?
We are! The Fuller Center is an ecumenical Christian organization that bases its work on what Millard Fuller called, “The Economics of Jesus” and “The Theology of the Hammer.” We work in partnership with God and men and women around the world as we build God’s Kingdom on earth by improving and transforming lives. We gladly invite and welcome volunteers and supporters of all faiths who share our basic belief in giving people dignity by helping them build and own a home.
Do you have to be a Christian to be affiliated with The Fuller Center?
Absolutely not! We work with people of all faiths who share our basic belief in giving dignity to all by helping them own a home. For example, many of our partners in Nepal are Hindus, and we work with Christians and Buddhists in Sri Lanka.
How are you different from Habitat for Humanity?
Since both organizations were founded by Millard and Linda Fuller and share the same goal of eradicating poverty housing worldwide, there are naturally many similarities. However, The Fuller Center is different in four key ways:
- The Fuller Center seeks to empower local organizations, keeping a lean and efficient structure. By keeping salaries and operating expenses at a minimum, we ensure that a high percentage of the money we receive is at work building houses in local communities.
- The Fuller Center continues the practice of building homes at no profit and charging no interest.
- We feel strongly that government has a critical role in providing adequate shelter. However, while we gratefully accept government help in acquiring land or installing infrastructure, we do not accept government funds for house building.
- In its repair ministry, The Fuller Center utilizes a unique repayment method which does not require the home as collateral. This innovation has allowed us to reach out to help the folks who are deemed “too poor to help” by the credit and financial standards of Habitat for Humanity and others.
Are you competing with Habitat for Humanity?
Absolutely not! More than one billion people live in poverty housing around the world. The worldwide housing situation is so grave that we need Habitat, The Fuller Center, and thousands of other such organizations. And since the need is so great, we believe God will provide enough resources to all these ministries to accomplish God’s work.
What is the “Greater Blessing Program”?
This ministry completes repairs on owner-occupied houses and encourages recipient families to repay the cost of the materials over time, on terms they can afford, without interest and without the use of a mortgage. This gives families the opportunity to experience the greater blessing of giving. These repairs bring the house to an adequate, livable condition, allowing the residents to live safely in their own homes for a much longer time, but without requiring the title to the property as collateral. We provide payment envelopes in the “Greater Blessings Box,” a small, hand-carved wooden box made at Koinonia.
Why did Millard Fuller leave Habitat for Humanity?
After a successful record of more than 28 years as founder and President of Habitat for Humanity International, the board of directors decided in 2005 that it was time to part ways with its founder and his wife, Linda, due to major differences, primarily about Habitat’s vision and operating philosophy. Since Millard’s death in February 2009 Linda Fuller has rededicated herself to continuing the mission to eliminate poverty housing around the world through this new organization, The Fuller Center for Housing.
Millard Fuller has experienced extraordinary professional success. Former President Bill Clinton said he “literally revolutionized the concept of philanthropy.” Why did he form this new organization rather than just retire?
Through the dedication of thousands of committed people around the world, Habitat for Humanity sheltered more than a million people in need during Millard’s time as its leader. Yet, throughout the world, more than 1 billion people continue to live in poverty housing, and 100 million are homeless. Millard’s lifelong mission was to eliminate this shameful situation and he found great joy in his life’s work! Moreover, many people today start over at the age of 70. Millard continued to be very active physically doing the things he always loved – water ski, climb mountains, and pursue his love of hiking. He said often, “There’s nothing in the Bible that tells you to retire to Florida with a fishing pole when you turn 70.”
Millard Fuller’s sudden death from an aneurysm on February 3, 2009 shocked the world but also inspired thousands to pledge their lives to carry on his vision of a world without poverty housing. The Fuller Center for Housing of Greater Kansas City MO intends to do our part, in collaboration with like-minded people and organizations, to achieve this vision here and help achieve it around the world.