The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

May 13, 2012

Fuller Center for Housing ready to help Joplin

JOPLIN, Mo. — A newly arrived nonprofit group is ready to help Joplin residents find housing in the wake of the 2011 tornado.

Bob Barker, a retired chaplain from Miami, Okla., said the establishment of the Joplin Area Fuller Center for Housing began with what he calls “a holy nudge.”

“I often talk about what I consider to be a holy nudge from the Lord — that God sometimes nudges people in a direction, and if we listen to that then many times things will start happening,” Barker said.

For Barker, his journey took a turn after a conversation with Charles Ray, coordinator for disaster response with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. Barker said he was inquiring about becoming involved with the group’s disaster response effort.

“That was May 19, and the tornado hit that Sunday,” he said.

In the ensuing weeks, Barker coordinated teams of volunteers from the American Baptist Alliance who flocked to Joplin to aid in the recovery effort. Barker said that in September, Ray suggested bringing the Fuller Center for Housing to Joplin in an effort to meet the community’s acute need for housing.

Barker, who sits on the group’s board of directors, said the group’s articles of incorporation were approved earlier this year by the Missouri secretary of state’s office, and the group received 501(c)(3) status, making all donations to the group tax-deductible.

According to the organization’s website, the Fuller Center for Housing is a nonprofit ecumenical housing ministry dedicated to eliminating poverty housing worldwide.

The Fuller Center was founded by Millard and Linda Fuller in 2005 in their hometown of Americus, Ga. The couple also founded Habitat for Humanity in 1976. The couple split with Habitat in 2005 but maintained their desire to provide adequate housing for people in need. By forming partnerships with local organizations, the group seeks to provide support that communities need to build and repair homes for the impoverished. The group boasts covenant partnerships in 70 communities and 16 countries around the world.

Barker said the Fuller Center has a “sibling relationship” with Habitat for Humanity. Their goals are similar, as are their methods.

Randy Crane, another director of the Joplin Area Fuller Center, said the group has selected its first partner family and hopes to begin construction of its first home in June. He said the group is seeking partner families and applicants to take part in the organization’s Greater Blessing Program, which provides up to $5,000 in repairs and renovations to existing homes.

Barker said the group hopes to build up to eight new homes this year and provide repairs to up to 15 existing homes. Barker stressed that the Fuller Center is not a stopgap relief effort. He said the organization’s commitment to the community will continue.

“When we set up the Fuller Center, it wasn’t just to meet the immediate needs of people affected by the tornado,” he said. “At some point in the future, we would like to reach beyond the Joplin tornado-affected area to help the surrounding communities.”

Barker said those interested in applying for assistance from the Fuller Center may pick up an application at the group’s offices inside the Transform Joplin Warehouse at 1201 S. Wall Ave., or contact Dixie Starmer, Family Selection Committee chairwoman, at dstarmer@cableone.com.

Substandard housing

Officials with the United Nations estimate that more than a billion people around the world live in substandard housing.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • r073114rebuildjoplin3.jpg 30 volunteers a day would be a ‘game-changer’ for Rebuild Joplin

    Betty and Louis Wirick, both 79, say they are grateful to have survived the 2011 tornado as it tore down part of their home of 25 years on South Bird Avenue. But three years later, they are frustrated.

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • Event for veterans on tap at Crowder

    For area veterans who have returned home from more than a decade at war, the Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks hopes to send a simple message at an event this weekend: Welcome home.

    August 1, 2014

  • Fair to feature goats, chickens and decorated bras

    Along with the usual fair sights, sounds and smells — livestock, poultry, produce and the like — there will be something a bit unusual at the Cherokee County American Legion Free Fair this year: Decorated brassieres. And pink. Lots of pink.

    August 1, 2014

  • Damien D Doxley 051314.jpg Prison term meted out in carjacking case

    A Newton County judge assessed a defendant in a Joplin carjacking case seven years in prison Friday on a conviction on a charge of tampering with a motor vehicle.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • 080114 Older worker1_72.jpg Co-workers, friends honor nurse with 50-year career

    Wilma Massey has worked a half century in health care and, even at the age of 74, she’s the first to arrive at work each morning.

    August 1, 2014 2 Photos

  • Amendment 7 backers tout safety, new jobs; foes say special interests to benefit

    The constitutional amendment, sent to the voters by the Legislature this year, would temporarily increase Missouri’s sales tax by three-quarters of 1 percent, raising an estimated $5.4 billion for the next decade to fund transportation projects.

    August 1, 2014

  • Brownback names 3 Kansas Board of Regents members

    Gov. Sam Brownback on Friday named a former veteran Kansas House member and two attorneys to the board overseeing the state’s higher education system.

    August 1, 2014

  • Grant to fund solar energy system for PSU’s Plaster Center

    An $80,000 grant from Westar Energy will fund solar panels to provide both energy and education at the Robert W. Plaster Center, now under construction at Pittsburg State University.

    August 1, 2014

  • Survey seeks views on Joplin’s future goals

    Residents are being asked to fill out a survey on priorities for Joplin’s future. The effort was inspired by a meeting of community leaders last month. Survey forms are available at the Joplin Public Library and online at www.surveymonkey.com/s/jointjoplinareaplanningsurvey.

    July 31, 2014

  • Habitat slates volunteer work days

    In the wake of the 2011 tornado, Joplin Area Habitat for Humanity has been a partner with organizations and individuals in the construction of 86 new houses. But what’s also needed, Executive Director Scott Clayton said, are repairs to area homes.

    July 31, 2014

Must Read
Sports
Photos


Facebook
Poll

Do you plan on voting in the Aug. 5 elections being held in Missouri and Kansas?

Yes
No
     View Results
Opinion
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter