Minden Press-Herald

Oct 01st

Fuller in tune for benefit concert

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Helping hands and giving hearts will benefit new homeowners.

A benefit concert will be performed by Monday Nite Choir Boys with a silent auction to follow on Thursday, March 21 at 6:30 p.m. in Springhill at the Community Activity Center. Funds raised for The Fuller Center for Housing of Webster Parish will be used to build their 51st home in the parish.

"We don't build a house on credit. We pay for it as we go," said Derek Melancon Executive Director.

He explains that the Fuller Center is in need of monetary donations and adds that individuals can convienently donate online by PayPal at www.fullercenterwebster.org.

His hopes are to raise at least $10,000 at the Benefit Concert in Springhill.

"Any money given is tax-deductible," he said.

Melancon continues to say that generally, the houses cost about $46,000 to build (materials) and all labor is by volunteers.

"These homes not only provide a stable home for the family to live in, but also provide economic development. It helps the homeowners become productive and it helps the children live in a safe home," he said.

He believes the homeowners are good people and hard workers, but may not make as much money as others.

According to their website www.websterfuller.org, a Fuller Center home is not a hand out, but a hand up. Homeowners are required to put in 500 hours of volunteer work with the first 100 hours being in a finance and budget class.

Homeowners are also required to put $500 down on their home.

The Fuller Center allows homeowners to repay the cost of building materials by providing a 20-year loan at zero percent interest.

The application process is typically open once a year. Applicants must submit tax returns, paycheck stubs and a basic application that has to meet a certain level of poverty.

"We also go out to their current homes and inspect to see what their needs are and make sure they meet the qualifications. Some people have literally had their bathroom floors falling in," he said.

Melancon believes that gift of new homeownership changes people's lives.

The Fuller Center is a Christ-centered, faith-driven organization that was started in spring of 2005 by Millard Fuller and his wife Linda.

To date, there have been 50 homes built by the Fuller Center for Housing-Webster Parish. The Fuller Center provides opportunities for families to have a simple, decent place to live.

Concert tickets are available at Fuller Center Office in Springhill, Springhill North Webster Chamber of Commerce Office, House of Diamonds in South Main Mall, AmJenn's on Main Street in Springhill, online at www.websterfuller.org and at the door the night of the concert.






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