Underfunded and under-resourced neighborhoods can be found in abundance all across the United States and, unfortunately, Montgomery is no exception. Rather than pretend these impoverished houses and families do not exist, the Christian mentoring ministry House to House (H2H) is taking a more direct approach to ensure that these families are granted a new home and budgeting philosophy.
House to House was founded as part of the underprivileged youth development ministry Common Ground Montgomery in 2009, but evolved in 2011 as an independent non-profit ministry. By focusing its ministry on renovating abandoned homes and educating families on how to budget for a household, House to House uses God’s gospel to teach its volunteers how to “love our neighbors as ourselves,” regardless of their differences.
Mike Bunce, a native of Lansing, Mich., and the executive director of House to House, was a recently laid off construction manager when he felt called to become involved with Common Ground Montgomery and launch the House to House ministry in the impoverished neighborhood Washington Park. The name of the ministry was taken from Acts 5:42, which reads: “Day after day, in the temple courts, and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ.”
Since its establishment, House to House has transformed many homes in the Washington Park area into beautiful, affordable homes for residents in the neighborhood. The relationships built alongside the renovated homes demonstrate the importance of sharing the love of Jesus Christ and treating others the way you would want to be treated. They accomplish this by providing services in three areas: home renovation, mentoring and education, and involving the public through a volunteer program.
Although individual situations may vary, typically families involved with House to House are given a mentor to help teach the importance maintaining a household budget and paying bills in a timely manner. Once the family has proven to the H2H mentor that they can complete these tasks on a regular basis, an Investor-Partner obtains a loan up to $40,000 needed for the purchase and renovation of a Washington Park home and the family pays off the home expenses in time. Volunteers are used extensively throughout the entire renovation project with the help of three subcontractors who guarantee their work as safe and up to building code requirements.
Ministries like House to House run primarily on the actions of volunteers and donors. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer for House to House, fill out the ministry’s Volunteer Contact Form at www.h2hlife.org/volunteer. If you would like to make a donation to House to House, they can accept multiple forms of payment at www.h2hlife.org/donate.
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