Thousands of volunteers transform vacant homes in 3 Louisville neighborhoods

Thousands of volunteers transform vacant homes in 3 Louisville neighborhoods
Corneilus Butler (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Corneilus Butler (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Kevin Franke (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Kevin Franke (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – Vacant homes in west Louisville are getting a face lift, thanks to nearly 1,000 volunteers from Southeast Christian Church.

Fuller Center of Housing of Louisville is being supported by donations and thousands of volunteer hours to help renovate homes and path a new start for families.

During the three week long project, 12 houses are being transformed in the Shawnee, Russell and California neighborhoods. Volunteers are ripping out dry wall and flooring, installing new plumbing and electricity, but this isn't a hand out, it is a hand up.

Prospective homeowners are selected through an application process and are required to put in a minimum of 350 hours of work into their own home.

"They go through a rigorous financial education course," Fuller Center of Housing's Executive Director Corneilus Butler said. "Anything from budgeting, mortgages, escrow and taxes."

After a family is selected, the construction in the home is geared toward their needs. The homeowners will pay on a 20 year, interest free, mortgage. Fuller Center of Housing's goal is to provide a home that the family can afford to maintain, too. Volunteers are installing energy efficient windows and insulation.

The process is one that pleases the whole neighborhood, according to Butler.

"It lights up the neighborhood," Butler said. "People like to see the construction happening."

But, it wouldn't happen without the donations and skills at the construction site. Without these volunteers, the jobs wouldn't get done.

"Building materials are huge for us," Fuller Center for Housing Development Officer Kevin Franke said. "We have people that will donate rolls of insulation, windows or roofing materials, anything that will go into a house."

The thousands of volunteer hours make each house a home, but with each finished project, Fuller Center for Housing is looking for the next one.

"Cornelius and I are concerned about building the next 200-300 homes as well," Franke said. "We are so glad the volunteers are here now but we hope they stick around for the years to come."

To donate tools or materials or volunteer, call 502-272-1377 or drop them off at Fuller Center for Housing of Louisville, located at 4509 West Market Street. All donations are tax deductible.

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