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Affordable Housing


The house renovating program of House to House (H2H) at Washington Park in Montgomery, Alabama.

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Affordable Housing


The house renovating program of House to House (H2H) at Washington Park in Montgomery, Alabama.

Affordable housing

We build authentic relationships with prospective residents in the classes we teach. When a student is qualified for a house by demonstrating their ability to manage their household budget, and other requirements, resulting in their nomination by their mentor, we will determine the family’s needs and try to match these needs with a house in the neighborhood. When a match is found, we find a way to pay for the renovation which, in some cases, requires as much as $50,000. In some cases we pay for the renovation with a loan which we commit to repay knowing that the rent payment makes this possible.

Having a financial stake in the family’s development, we are more intentional about addressing any lateness or failure to pay as soon as it happens. In the worst cases, we may be forced to evict families who may not be able to learn the importance of financial responsibility any other way. If we did not need to collect the rent, we may be more inclined to forgive lost rent payments as a gift to the family.  When we are able to use gifts to pay our bills rather than work and responsible stewardship, we all learn quickly to depend on this.  A ministry that creates this kind of dependency is not really helping the families they serve. In fact, without meaning to, their actions are an affront to the dignity of these families.  Relationships can not survive this in the long term.

Every home we acquire is completely renovated starting with the removal of all wall boards to expose bare studs. This facilitates the replacement of termite damage and the installation of new wiring, plumbing and HVAC ductwork.  Damaged flooring is removed to determine the stability of floor joists.  Walls are moved in many homes to give the home a more contemporary design.  Master suites and great rooms with eat-in kitchens are created, if possible.  Every home receives new kitchen and laundry room appliances including microwaves and dishwashers.  Extra time and money are invested to make sure the home is as solid and livable as any house we would build for ourselves. “Good enough” is unacceptable if we hope to show our love and gain our neighbor’s trust. Families are invited to help choose colors, fixtures and flooring types. It is built into our ministry plan to sell each home we renovate to families who have learned how to qualify for a mortgage.  

For an answer to the often-asked question, “Why don’t you tear these houses down and build new ones?” - please see our Introduction.

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Foundations Class & Mentoring


he mentoring and education program of House to House (H2H) at Washington Park in Montgomery, Alabama.

Foundations Class & Mentoring


he mentoring and education program of House to House (H2H) at Washington Park in Montgomery, Alabama.

Foundations Class and mentoring 

By living in the neighborhood, facilitating classes and renovating homes, we have been entrusted with the unusual privilege of bringing Christian mentoring relationships to the students in our classes. Mentors walk alongside the students in our classes. The mentor shares the love of Christ with the student and encourages them to become future mentors.

As a Christian ministry, we know that the Great Commission requires us to “go and make disciples” of Christ. We take four weeks at the beginning of our Foundations class to teach and proclaim the gospel. Mentoring is discipleship. A saving knowledge of Christ is the best foundation on which to build a mentoring relationship. In addition to sharing our faith in Christ, mentoring also involves showing a family how to establish and follow a budget and many other life skills.  The most important thing a mentor can do is simply be there for their disciple-in-training - to walk alongside.

In the short time we have been engaged in mentoring, several students have professed faith in Christ for the first time and many more have expressed surprise to discover that they were taught a different gospel that now seems wrong. Several students have become married, a marriage that would have ended is being held together and a mother who left her children alone overnight has learned why this is wrong and how to avoid this. Mentoring allows the ministry to wait on providing a home to a family until the necessary responsibility and accountability is in place and the mentor can vouch for it.  We are using the practical experience gained to teach people how to become mentors no matter where they plan to use this training.

The Foundations class meets on Tuesday evenings for several weeks in a row and then rests between class subjects for a few weeks. These classes create a strong sense of community, and teach many life skills including budgeting, job readiness, parenting, marriage enrichment, and nutrition - all with a Biblical perspective. The students in our Foundations class are loved, challenged and encouraged to grow in the knowledge of Jesus Christ, our one and only hope of salvation.  

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Volunteer Program


​The volunteer program for House to House (H2H) at Washington Park in Montgomery, Alabama.

Volunteer Program


​The volunteer program for House to House (H2H) at Washington Park in Montgomery, Alabama.

Volunteer Program

 

The Housing Program is not feasible without the help of countless volunteers who donate their time and talents to move renovations a little closer to completion. Many people ask us, “what parts of the construction process are available to volunteers?” It is much easier to list the parts that are not: electrical, plumbing and HVAC. These three subcontractors will guarantee their work and satisfy building code requirements. Christian contractors will also reduce their normal prices to help us.

Volunteers come from every denomination and from businesses in the community. They have come from as far away as Oklahoma and Pennsylvania. Volunteers sometimes help with non-residential projects like building a fence at the Common Ground building but the vast majority of projects are on houses in Washington Park. We separate the Volunteer Program from the Housing Program because volunteers are such a special responsibility. It would be difficult to sustain interest in volunteering, especially among the same churches and groups, if we failed to leave them with a positive experience. This experience must be planned and delivered for each group so that we avoid injuries, confrontations, idleness, improper construction and all the other things that can take away from a great experience.

The most important thing, however, is that the volunteer come away with a closer walk with Christ. Many simply receive the joy of helping their neighbor and showing Christ to them. Some bring misconceptions of their role or of the dignity of the neighbors we serve.  We work very hard to speak truth in love on the need for mutual indebtedness and our common need for a Savior.  We encourage the neighbors we serve to work with the volunteers and share their testimonies. 

It is common to host a group of 10-20 people on Saturday morning. We provide all the materials, tools, safety equipment, and safety training during any work day.  It is not necessary to have any construction experience before coming. We ask that each group bring their own water and that they wear practical shoes and clothing. We're asking groups to consider a tax deductible $5-$10 donation per person for work days. This is an optional gift and won't keep you from coming to serve. It helps us provide supplies for groups like yours as needed throughout the year. Children are welcome to join us when they are accompanied by their parent or guardian.  We encourage groups to come for a week at a time. House to House offers safe, comfortable lodging in the neighborhood for an additional fee.  

Many groups have taken the seeds of this incarnational ministry back to their cities and planted them in under-resourced neighborhoods.