• 73°

Fuller Center to build 17 homes

LANETT — Chattahoochee Fuller Center Project (CFCP) Executive Director Kim Roberts and her assistant, Robin Pierre, had an emotional day last week. They met with a family who had lost their home in the March 3 tornado in Beauregard and gave them the good news that they’d been approved for a new Fuller Center home.

“There’s two teenage children in the family, and they were so excited,” Roberts said. “They told us they did not want to go back to living in a trailer. We couldn’t help but be a bundle of tears watching their reaction.”

Dozens of families lost their homes, and 23 people were killed by that tornado. Most of the people who lost their homes are living in apartments at no cost to them thanks to the generosity of the East Alabama Medical Center and its foundation. This is a temporary move until permanent housing can be found for them. Some are moving back into manufactured housing and some into CFCP homes. Three such homes have been built and have been moved into. From now until the end of the current calendar year, 14 more will be built.

“Robin and I have been busy bees,” Roberts said. “There’s so much to be done, but that’s what we are here for.”

The Fuller Center is planning to take part in the building of 17 new homes in Beauregard this year.

“We appreciate Samaritan’s Purse for what they are doing,” Roberts said. “They are getting families back into mobile homes with each one having a storm shelter.”

The CFCP’s next build will be taking place this month. They are partnering with the Church of the Highlands in Auburn to build new homes for the Rowans and the Yarbroughs, two Beauregard community families who lost their homes in the tornado. One of the homes will be built on Highway 51 and another on Lee Road 721.

Two Auburn builders, Eric Ward and Daniel Holland, will be the house captains. Assisted by Steve Tramell, Ward will be working on No. 46; Holland will be in charge of No. 47.

“The Church of the Highlands has lined up hundreds of volunteers to do the work,” Roberts said. “We will start work this Friday, June 14 and dedicate them on Saturday, July 13, which will be the church’s Serve Day. We were honored they called us and told us they wanted us to team up with them and to work alongside us.”

Two more new homes will be built in August and 10 more in the Millard Fuller Legacy Build in October. That will bring the total number to 17 this year.

Landmark Builders of Auburn and the First Baptist Church of Columbus will be teaming with the CFCP two build two new homes in August. Columbus First Baptist is also sponsoring the first two homes of the Legacy Build.

“We’ve got so much to do,” Roberts said. “We’ll be working on 46 and 47 this month. Next month, the Auburn United Methodist Church and the Gateway Family Church of Opelika will be building two sets of walls for the Legacy Build. In August, Builders First Source of Auburn will build three sets of walls. All the walls we will need will be built before the Legacy Build starts. For the Legacy Build, the Hallmark Foundation will be sponsoring three new homes, EAMC’s Cornerstone Foundation will sponsor one, the Auburn Happy Hour Rotary Club will sponsor one, Providence Baptist Church and several other churches in Beauregard will be sponsoring one and WRBL and Columbus First Baptist will be sponsoring one.”

The Church of the Highlands will be sponsoring four new homes, the two being built this month and two in the Legacy Build.

“We have been really working to pull this all together,” Roberts said. “On Saturday, June 13th, WRBL will be having a fundraiser at Sam’s in Columbus. Robin and I will be there to help them. It will be our first time holding buckets, but we will be glad to do it. The same day, there will also be a fundraiser at Kroger in Tiger Town.”

Roberts said it had been gratifying to have formed some new relationships in Lee County.

“Everyone has greeted us with open arms,” she said.

Michael Dilworth of Dilworth Development in Auburn has been great to work with. Pastor Rusty Sowell of Providence Baptist has been great. They will provide lodging for the volunteers, so will the Southview Assembly in Opelika. So many people are stepping forward to help and it means so much.”

“We also want to thank Fran Irmiter of EAMC-Lanier and Coca-Cola for helping us with the meals for all of our builds,” Roberts said. “The East Alabama Community Foundation and the Southview Assembly have made some generous donations for materials for the homes. Good 360 has donated 572 bundles of shingles for the new homes.”

Roberts said that she and Pierre put in many, many hours in trying to pull this together, but that it had been a rewarding experience.

“We have worked so hard, but it’s been worth it,” she said. “It’s been crazy good. This is what the CFCP is all about. We have made some wonderful new relationships. I never dreamed that we’d be doing anything like this.”Roberts said there’s a higher power behind what has been taking place.

“God shows up with a different blessing every day,” she said. “It comes from all directions, and we want to give him all the glory.”