Churches in Action
Houses After the Hurricane
In the wake of Hurricane Andrew, the Mennonite Church of Homestead, Florida, wanted to help the poor of Dade County move out of the suddenly crowded apartments and tenements. The church discovered that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development had the funding to make it happen. But how could a church use government funds?
The church established a separate, non-profit Community Development Company (CDC), that, while led by church members, has access to government funds and block grants.
Since 1992 the "Nehemiah Project" has built or rebuilt 53 homes, which are sold to low-income families at appraised (not market) value. The CDC also uses the funds to help offset the new owners' mortgages and teach classes (on topics such as credit and equity management) that will help the new owners keep their homes.
The Serving Bowl
Steve Sjogren tried the traditional methods of evangelism when he planted Vineyard Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. But after 18 months, ...1