Our partnerships expanded dramatically when NHSC was awarded a Mission Grant at the LWML Convention in DesMoines in June of this year. The grant was one of 19 Mission Grants voted on by the delegates at the convention.
“Helping Hand” is an owner-occupied rehab initiative focused on supporting the critical home repair needs of low-income, disabled, and/or elderly residents near LCMS congregations. The LWML grant will enable NHSC to serve and engage additional volunteers and provide critical repairs to owner occupied households in need in partnership with a congregation selected through a Request for Proposal (RFP) process. NHSC will provide a maximum of $90,000 to one LCMS congregation as it works to spearhead a Helping Hand Initiative in their community. This Request for Proposal (RFP) process is competitive and all proposals are due by December 11, 2015.
This initiative was piloted in Fort Wayne, IN, in 2014. It is a proven vehicle that enables congregations to reach out to their local communities through housing repair services, caring for their neighbors’ bodily needs while opening doors to provide spiritual care for unreached individuals and families. Families are selected to participate based on their need and income. In the pilot program the home repairs included siding installation; roof repair/replacement; windows and door repair/replacement; weatherization; and other minor carpentry, painting, and cleaning work.
NHSC has arranged for Laborer’s for Christ to take part in this initiative and offer low cost labor, but this does not preclude the partner congregation making use of other low cost labor options alongside LFC. Additionally, any work identified that will require licensed contractors will have to be coordinated and managed by the construction project manager. LCMS congregations will serve as rallying points through which volunteers and resources will be deployed into their community to perform these repairs. The project will serve a minimum of 10 families in the proposed target neighborhood(s). Additionally, the project is designed to provide financial education and guidance to the families served, which should enable these families to maximize the use of their limited resources.
The project should be implemented during an estimated start date of April 1, 2016, (or before) with a completion date of August 1, 2016. NHSC will provide up to $90,000 to support the project activities. NHSC’s end goal is that those residents served will have deferred maintenance challenges addressed and will be able to afford ongoing minor repairs moving forward. The project will leverage existing community resources currently serving these areas – namely the partner churches and their community partners. Applications which demonstrate that there are additional resources available to leverage the funding that NHSC’s is providing (e.g. donation of in-kind services, grants from local sources, or individual donations) will be reviewed favorably.
Since most congregations do not have the capacity to implement a full scale initiative such as Helping Hand, NHSC will lend its in-house expertise which includes providing logistical guidance; hire, insure and process payroll for the Laborer’s for Christ workers; project development assistance; access to homeowner communication and project tracking templates; and assistance with the identification of resources such as other community partners, volunteers and the identification of additional local funding and in kind donations.
If your congregation is interested in submitting a proposal to participate in this Helping Hand Initiative, review the RFP, create a proposal, and complete the budget template. Be sure to submit your application by December 11, 2015. If you have any questions about the grant or the application process contact Rev. John Albers, (314) 996-1317, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.