The Fuller Center of Greater Kansas City’s Vision
“In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:35
Millions of elderly and disabled Americans own their own homes, yet lack the funds or physical ability to keep them in a state of minimum repair. Many of these homes could be restored to a livable condition with a few hundred to a few thousand dollars and a few days of labor. The Fuller Center can help.
Through The Greater Blessing program, homeowners can apply to a Fuller Center Covenant Partner to have their homes restored to a simple, decent living condition. The program seeks to aid homeowners with extremely limited income who cannot afford, for example, to replace a leaking roof, fix broken windows or repair hazardous kitchens or bathrooms. The Greater Blessing program is based on Jesus’ teaching that it is more blessed to give than to receive, allowing homeowners to experience the “greater blessing” of giving.
How the Program Works
- Homeowner submits an application to a local Covenant Partner
- The Fuller Center provides a written job estimate and work agreement
- A repayment plan based on the homeowner’s budget is developed
- Volunteers repair the home
- When the work is done, the homeowner is given a Greater Blessing box with enough envelopes in it to repay the cost of the materials over an agreed-upon period and on terms they can afford
- If unexpected bills or medical emergencies come up and a monthly payment cannot be made, the payment schedule is simply increased by one month
- Homeowner payments are recycled to purchase materials to help another neighbor in need
To request a Greater Blessing, please contact us.
The houses are also not giveaways and are intended to help homeowners lift themselves out of poverty and create a safer, more stable future for their families. Partner families are chosen by local Fuller Center covenant partners after application and evaluation. Homeowners must be unable to obtain a conventional home loan or mortgage before we consider their application. They are required to put in about 350 hours of sweat equity toward a new home (some of which can be done by family members) including volunteering on their home, other Fuller Center projects and administrative tasks, attending mandatory homeownership classes or by doing volunteer work with approved area non-profits.
Fuller Center houses are generally between 900 square feet (two bedrooms and one bathroom) and 1,250 square feet (four bedrooms and one to two bathrooms). Guidelines are included for persons with disabilities to ensure that Fuller Center houses are accessible. The Fuller Center also recommends that, whenever possible, covenant partners install energy-efficient appliances and use energy-efficient building practices that will help reduce living costs for partner families.
Because The Fuller Center seeks to build communities, not just houses, care is taken to assure that the houses are attractive and – to the extent they remain affordable – distinctive. These things are done creatively, for example, by choosing welcoming paint colors and making shutters out of leftover wood.
Houses are built mostly by volunteer labor led by experienced house captains except for when professionals, such as plumbers and electricians, are required to meet local building codes and ensure the safety of the house.
Local construction committees use our general guidelines to build simple, decent houses for partner families that are suitable for the recipient and the neighborhood. Covenant partners are responsible for coming up with house plans, selecting families and raising funds to build homes.