Newest Fuller Center House is in Valley

Published 10:20 am Thursday, June 13, 2024

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VALLEY — Robin Pierre has come full circle with her work for the Chattahoochee Fuller Center Project (CFCP). She’s in her first year as the CFCP’s executive director after having served as former director Kim Roberts’ main assistant for a number of years. At the end of last year, Roberts stepped down as the full-time director to take a lesser role with the organization. It allows her more time to work with the extended circle of Fuller Center families.

“I would not be here in this role today were it not for Kim,” said Pierre. “She still helps us in so many ways.”

“It’s fitting that my first project as director is on Harmon Street in Valley,” added Pierre. “When I started out with the Fuller Center in 2016, the first project I worked with was when we built the first two houses on this street. God has brought me back here, and I like that.”

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The house being built is for Pastor Karanja Story of nearby Rehobeth Baptist Church. Rev. Story, wife Kaleyah and their school-age children will be living there, only a hop, skip and a jump away from the church. It won’t be hard for them to give anyone directions to their home. It will be the last house on the right on Harmon Street, not far from the big water tank that sits on the hill.

Rapid progress is being made on building the new home. The weather has been hot but there’s no rain in sight. Approximately 45 people from the New Oregon Mission Team are in town to take on this task. They are from Fort Payne, Alabama and have done volunteer projects for the CFCP in the recent past. Starting from a concrete slab on Monday morning, they had the house dried in by Tuesday afternoon. 

House captain Shane Dutton is easy to spot. His nickname is Possum and he wears a t-shirt with a possum on the front. Josh Burt is the cut man. Any time something needs to be cut with a power saw he’s ready to do it.

The Fort Payne group will be here for the balance of the week. Some will leave on Thursday and some on Friday.

“We can’t say enough for Lanett Mayor Jamie Heard and the people of Mount Hermon Baptist Church,” Pierre said. “Our volunteers have been staying in the church’s family life center this week. We want to thank them for the hospitality they have provided.”

Donations have been most helpful for the current project. West Frazer (Norbord) has donated OSB for the roof, Knauf has provided the insulation, 4 Seasons Heating & Air the heating and cooling units, Chris Bridges has done the electrical work and Nicholas Lopez the plumbing.

“Dr. Rick Kuhl and a work crew from the Church of the Highlands in Auburn will be doing some work for us this weekend,” Pierre said. “Another group of about eight to ten people from Hyundai Transys will be here Monday to put down the faceboard and the soffit. The New Oregon group has been great. They’ve put up the walls and taken care of the roof. They will put on the outside vinyl before leaving. They have worked so hard. We make sure they have plenty of water to stay cool in this hot weather. We treated them to popsicles this afternoon.”

Coca-Cola has provided the drinks to help keep everyone hydrated on hot afternoons.

“It’s been hot for the past few days, but the lack of rain has been a blessing,” Pierre said. “It’s let us get a lot done in the first two days. Even so, I am so pleased with the work being done by our volunteers from Fort Payne. They have been great, and we appreciate them so much.”

The home on Harmon Street will be the 81st one built by the CFCP since 2007. In addition to a senior duplex in Lanett, the CFCP built three new homes in Opelika in 2023. Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller was cousins with Fuller Center founder Millard Fuller and is most pleased to have Fuller Center homes in Opelika. The three new homes that went up last year are on Dover Street, Jeter Avenue and Raintree Street.

The CFCP may be building more new homes in Opelika this fall.

The City of Opelika is providing substantial funding for the builds that take place there.

The CFCP is looking to partner with the Chambers County Circle of Care Center for Families on a transitional home for single mothers. At some point, this new construction could be going up in the Rehobeth Heights area. “God is good,” Pierre said. “It is amazing what he can do. He brings back hope when we can do such projects.”

The CFCP was formed in 2007 with the ambitious goal of building affordable housing and changing neighborhoods in the Greater Valley Area and nearby areas in Alabama and Georgia. Fuller Center founder Millard Fuller (1935-2009) was born in Lanett and spent his formative years in the Valley.