FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

 

  • What is the Fuller Center for Housing?
  • What is the Fuller Center’s vision?
  • How do you accomplish your work?
  • Where are you currently building homes?
  • How do you choose cities or regions in which to build?
  • What is the role of a Fuller Center Covenant Partner?
  • How are families selected?
  • Are you a Christian mission organization?
  • Do you have to be a Christian to be affiliated with The Fuller Center?
  • How are you different from Habitat for Humanity?
  • Are you competing with Habitat for Humanity?
  • What is the “Greater Blessing Program”?
  • Why did Millard Fuller leave Habitat for Humanity?
  • Former President Bill Clinton said Millard Fuller “literally revolutionized the concept of philanthropy.” Why did he form this new organization rather than just retire?
  • Where can I get more information?
  • How can I get involved and help?

What is The Fuller Center for Housing?
The Fuller Center for Housing is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that seeks to eradicate poverty housing by promoting partnerships with individuals and community groups to build and rehabilitate homes for people in need.

What is The Fuller Center’s vision?
The United Nations estimates that more than one billion people around the world live in substandard housing — including millions in the United States. The Fuller Center for Housing, faith-driven and Christ-centered, promotes collaborative and innovative partnerships with individuals and organizations in an unrelenting quest to provide adequate shelter for all people in need worldwide.

How do you accomplish your work?
The Fuller Center creates partnerships within communities that bring together churches, schools, businesses and civic organizations to build decent, affordable homes for people who are unable to secure adequate housing by conventional means.

The Fuller Center works in collaboration with our covenant partners, other service-oriented organizations and countless volunteers to build and repair homes. All homeowners work hand-in-hand with volunteers to build their own homes, which are then sold to them on terms they can afford, based on the Biblical idea of no-profit, no-interest loans.

With some smaller renovation projects, an innovative payment program called The Greater Blessing Program is utilized, whereby recipients promise to repay the loan amount without signing an actual mortgage agreement. They decide the monthly amount they can afford to repay and the period of time that it will take to repay the cost of repairs. There is no legal obligation to repay these loans. It is a leap of faith in the basic goodness of humankind and is proving to be very successful.

We are committed to good stewardship, and work hard to keep our administrative costs low and to select our recipient families wisely. This helps to ensure that the vast majority of your tax-deductible gifts go toward building and repairing homes for those in need.

Where are you currently building homes?
In only four years, The Fuller Center has spanned the globe and now has covenant partners in 50 communities and 15 countries. Growth continues at a rapid pace as groups from new communities contact us every week about forming partnerships.

Covenant partners (As of September 2008)
US Cities (41):
Chattahoochee Valley (Lanett and Valley, Ala., and West Point, Ga.), San Diego, Calif., Central Florida, Fla., South Walton County, Fla., Tallahasee, Fla., Americus-Sumter County, Ga., Koinonia Farm, Ga., Cusseta, Ga., Atlanta, Ga., Flint River at Lake Blackshear, Ga., Union City/Fairburn, Ga., Bloomington, Ill., Central Indiana, Ind., Pottawattamie County, Iowa.. Greensburg, Kan., Central Kentucky (Clark, Montgomery and Powell Counties, Ky.), Springfield, Ky., Webster Parish, La., Shreveport-NW Louisiana, La., Benton Harbor, Mich., Greater Twin Cities, Minn., Greenwood, Miss., Yalobusha County, Miss., St. Louis, Mo., Montana Highliners, Mont., New York City, N.Y., Columbus, Ohio, Darke County, Ohio, Oklahoma City, Okla., Columbia, S.C., Spartanburg, S.C., Dallas, Texas, San Antonio, Texas, Piney Woods Heritage, Texas, Shenandoah Valley, Va., Smyth County, Va., Suffolk, Va., Northern Virginia, Va., Potomac Highlands, W. Va.

Countries (15):
Nepal, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, El Salvador, The Netherlands, The Democratic Republic of the Congo, The Republic of the Congo, Australia, Cook Islands, Armenia, Peru, Ghana, Jamaica, Sierra Leone and India.

How do you choose cities or regions in which to build?
The need is great. The Fuller Center will go where it is asked to help. We partner with local community leaders and organizations because they know who has the greatest needs in their area. We enable communities to come together to help their own.

What is the role of a Fuller Center Covenant Partner?
Covenant partners are local organizations that sign an agreement with The Fuller Center to work in partnership to build or renovate houses for families in need in a particular area.  The Greater Twin Cities Fuller Center for Housing serves Minneapolis and St. Paula and their surrounding communities. 

While a connection with The Fuller Center is of great help to local organizations in terms of expertise, information sharing, training, funding and name recognition, the real work takes place at the local level where funds are raised, volunteers are mobilized, families are selected and nurtured, and houses are built or rehabilitated.

How are families selected?
The criteria for being accepted as a partner family is determined at the local level. Some of our covenant partner groups are focusing on new construction, others are focusing on rehabilitations and promote our Greater Blessing Program, and others do both new construction and repairs. If you are interested in applying for a house for yourself or a family member or person that you are concerned about, please Contact US and we will be happy to work with you. 

 If a group is not established in your community, consider starting one. Contact members of your local church leadership or local contractors and contact us to learn how to launch a Fuller Center covenant partnership.

Are you a Christian mission organization?
Yes. The Fuller Center is an ecumenical Christian organization that invites and welcomes volunteers and supporters of all faiths who share our basic belief in giving people dignity by helping them build and own a home.

Do you have to be a Christian to be affiliated with The Fuller Center?
Absolutely not! We work with people of all faiths who share our basic belief in giving dignity to all by helping them own a home. For example, many of our partners in Nepal are Hindus, and we work with Buddhists in Sri Lanka.

How are you different from Habitat for Humanity?
Since both organizations were founded by Millard and Linda Fuller and share the same goal of eradicating poverty housing worldwide, there are naturally many similarities. However, The Fuller Center is different in five key ways:

1.  The Fuller Center seeks to empower local organizations, keeping a lean and efficient structure. By keeping salaries and operating expenses at a minimum, we ensure that a high percentage of the money we receive is at work building houses in local communities.

2.  The Fuller Center continues the practice of building homes in the United States and internationally at no profit and charging no interest.

3.  We feel strongly that government has a critical role in providing adequate shelter. However, while we gratefully accept government help in acquiring land or installing infrastructure, we do not accept government funds for house building.

4.  In its repair ministry, The Fuller Center utilizes a unique repayment method which does not require the home as collateral. This innovation has allowed us to reach out to help the folks who are deemed “too poor to help” by the credit and financial standards of Habitat for Humanity and others.

5. FCH goes where it is called, no matter how small the location. We have a group steadily building homes, one at a time, in Cusseta, Ga., (population less than 800). And no corner of the world is too remote. We build in areas overcoming conflict and disaster.

Are you competing with Habitat for Humanity?
Absolutely not! The worldwide housing situation is so grave that we need Habitat, The Fuller Center, and thousands of other such organizations. Millard Fuller founded Habitat with the simple goal of eliminating poverty housing. That organization has made remarkable progress towards the goal, providing decent homes for more than one million of the world’s poor, but that success is dwarfed by the work that remains to be done.

Why did Millard Fuller leave Habitat for Humanity?
After a successful record of more than 28 years as founder and President of Habitat for Humanity International, the board of directors decided in 2005 that it was time to part ways with its founder and his wife, Linda, due to major differences, primarily about Habitat’s vision and operating philosophy. Millard, along with Linda, created The Fuller Center to continue their mission of eliminating poverty housing around the world.

Former President Bill Clinton said Millard Fuller “literally revolutionized the concept of philanthropy.” Why did he form this new organization rather than just retire?
Through the dedication of thousands of committed people around the world, Habitat for Humanity sheltered more than a million people in need during Millard’s time as its leader. Yet, throughout the world, more than 1 billion people continue to live in poverty housing, and 100 million are homeless. Millard’s lifelong mission was to eliminate this shameful situation and he found great joy in his work. His goal was to work as hard as he could for as long as he could.  And he did just that, working up until the very last moment before God called him home on February 3rd, 2009.  He died unexpectedly of a aortic aneurysm one month after his 74th birthday.  Learn more about Millard Fuller and watch a video of Millard Fuller’s Memorial Celebration.

Where can I get more information?
Please see our Contact Us page to find the right person. You may also sign up for our monthly e-news and quarterly newsletters by sending your contact information to: info@fullercenter.org.

How can I get involved and help?
There are several ways to become involved. As a tightly-run, cost-conscious organization, we are always in need of people’s time, talents and treasures. Please see our Get Involved page for more than ten unique ways to help this ministry serve others. We have listed just a few of your options below:

1. Volunteer - Individuals committed to building homes can join one of The Fuller Center’s upcoming builds taking place in various parts of the country. Find a covenant partner in your area and contact them about ongoing and upcoming projects. No experience is necessary.
2. Donate - We welcome all donations to be used to fund our programs. Tax-deductible contributions can be mailed to: The Fuller Center for Housing, P.O. Box 523, Americus, GA 31709. You may also make a donation online. In-kind donations of food for volunteers, building materials and services are also greatly appreciated.
3. Share the message - Tell your family, friends and colleagues about The Fuller Center and its work. Direct people to The Fuller Center’s Web site. Put a bumper sticker on your car or wear a Fuller Center t-shirt to help further our name recognition. Ask for brochures to pass out at your office or church. Send letters to everyone on your holiday card list about the work of The Fuller Center. Talk to your church leaders about sponsoring a family or forming volunteer teams.
4. Start a Partner - Prayerfully consider starting a Fuller Center covenant partnership or campus program in your community. For more information, contact our Director of Partner Development, Kirk Lyman-Barner at kirk@fullercenter.org or give him a call at (229)-942-9025.