Left: Volunteers begin renovations on L.I.V.I.N.G. Ministry’s second house on Maple Avenue. (Photo Courtesy L.I.V.I.N.G. Ministry)
In 2006, L.I.V.I.N.G Ministry, like the people they serve, needed a home for its organization. In the past five years, they’ve renovated one house for the homeless and are currently working on a second house on Maple Avenue in Perry Hilltop.
L.I.V.I.N.G. Ministry, an organization dedicated to helping the homeless, began renovating its first house in 2006 because they lacked a headquarters to develop their discipleship program. The house they are currently renovating was purchased in 2009 and was once used as a drug house. It is right next door to their new headquarters.
“Someone would have given us a free house in East Liberty, but we found this one [on Maple Avenue] and we took it,” said Executive Director Charles Chapman..
Those close to the organization said the renovations were akin to the work of the faith-based group. They want to “build upon the old and see what it can be.”
When L.I.V.I.N.G. wanted to begin its renovations on their second house, they sent out emails, applied for state grants and received donations Within six weeks had raised $14,000 to fund the project.
The group hopes to finish all the restorations within a year or two. The first house took almost three years to complete.
Chapman said the ministry welcomes 700 volunteers coming from all across the country, who logged nearly 6,000 work hours last year.
Ultimately L.I.V.I.N.G. would like the new house to operate a five-day-a-week program where the homeless in the community could come and be activeby operating a small grocery store or a similar project.
The ministry interacts with 1,500 homeless people during the year and visits 10,000 people in city shelters.
With this project, Chapman said the ultimate goal is not only to transform the house from its decrepit state, but to transform the lives of its following through the renovations.
“Our theory, our motivation,” Chapman said, “is to transform the spirit of a person.”
To find out more about L.I.V.I.N.G. Ministry and their work, visit www.livingministry.org or call 412-586-4663.