Life, Faith and Urban Farming

The life and happenings of an unconventional pastor and urban farmer living in the city with a family of five.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Open Hand Ministries

It's been a number of years now, I think three, since Open Hand Ministries got its start in the Garfield and East Liberty neighborhoods. Open Hand is today a ministry of three local churches, The Open Door, East Liberty Presbyterian, and Valley View Presbyterian. My friend, Michael Stanton, graduated from seminary the same year I did and started this ministry soon after, he's a member of Valley View Church. Open Hand Ministries rehabilitates abandoned houses in our neighborhoods, mostly in Garfield. But, the main aspect of the ministry is the people. Each house to be rehabbed is chosen after a potential homeowner is identified and has made it through the long process of getting credit and finances in order. This weekend Open Hand is finishing their first house of this year. Its an amazing accomplishment, a complete rehab with no corners cut. Just because it's a ministry does not mean the work is shotty, this house, which was abandoned for years, is now one of the nicest if not the nicest house on the block. The woman moving into the house is going to be a first time home owner. She is a single mom and is low income, but she has kept her finances in order through her many trials and tribulations. Her mortgage will be around 30k, meanwhile, the house must be worth 80 or 90k.

This Wednesday volunteers will have a final opportunity to put final touches on the house at 6pm. Sunday after worship we'll travel up the hill to all see the finished product and give a blessing on the house and pray for the family about to move in.

Michael and Linda are featured on an American radio works documentary entitled, War on Poverty. Check out the link below. - click on the "download an audio documentary" link on the left hand side of the web page to hear the documentary

Also check out the website.

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