Homelessness. When you hear that someone is homeless, what’s the first thing you think of? Do you picture someone begging for money on the side of the road? Do you picture a man? A woman?
My guess is that a loving, hard-working, single-mother of four children isn’t the first image that comes to mind, but that’s exactly the situation Mica and her family found themselves in when we first met. Mica was doing everything in her power to make ends meet, and no matter how hard she tried, she was coming up short. Soon, she found herself without a place to live.
Challenge after challenge piled up. Mica quickly found herself in survival mode, trying to make ends meet and to figure out where her family was going to sleep each night. After months of prayer, careful counsel & planning, a space became available in Renewal’s Affordable Housing Program. The day her family moved in was monumental. Her kids celebrated by cheering “We’re not homeless anymore!” while dancing around the house that was now to be their home.
When you are experiencing homelessness, there’s an indescribable stress hanging around you. It’s like a dark cloud that never leaves. You can’t think about what else is going on in the world around you. You can’t focus on your kids, let alone concentrate on a bible study. All you can think about is trying to get through the next moment before something else is thrown your way.
When the basic need of knowing you have a safe and affordable place to live is met, you have more capacity to engage in everything else that is important in your life. Instead of living in survival mode, you can actually begin to thrive. Instead of being consumed with worry and fear, you can find a new desire to learn more about what God’s word is teaching and how it applies to your life.
There are lots of affordable housing programs within Indy.
What makes yours different?
The goal of our program is not to provide participants with affordable housing. The goal
is to provide affordable housing in order to facilitate the transformation of participants’
Our program is an extension of the mission and ministry of Renewal Community Church. All
individuals and families who participate in this program are expected to be an
active part of Renewal’s ministry in the neighborhood.
Instead of creating a landlord-tenant relationship, our intention is to create a partnership where each partner is actively committed to the transformation of all aspects of the participant’s life. This is why we require participants to actively participate in meetings or classes designed to promote transformation in areas such as personal finances and budgeting, parenting, education, physical and mental health, addictions recovery, and more.
Who is eligible to participate in your housing program?
We evaluate requests on a case by case basis. If someone desires to change their housing, but does not desire to change their life, then this program is not a good fit for them. BUT if their goal is the transformation that is possible by becoming a disciple of Jesus, then this program can further that transformation by making a safe, affordable place to live a more realistic goal for them and their family.
We are not looking for renters. We do not want to be someone’s landlord. We want to be trusted partners that are granted permission to walk alongside families as they seek to transform their lives.
We are looking for people who are committed to transforming their lives through personal engagement, complete transparency, and a willingness to both speak and hear the truth in love.
Those who make a real, sustained commitment to that kind of transformation will be the ones who will be able to participate in the program successfully
What's Next? - Our Vision for the Future
The affordable housing problem in Indianapolis is huge, especially in our neighborhood. We recognize that we aren’t equipped to help most people find safe, affordable housing. But we’ve seen the difference that stability in affordable housing can provide. Providing families with safe, affordable housing, especially in single family houses that they can really feel are theirs, will change the trajectory of families' lives -- and speaks volumes about what Christ can do to transform us.
We currently have one house and are working in partnership with a family who is currently residing there. We want to purchase additional homes in our neighborhood to help transform the lives of even more families within our community.
How to Get Involved
Renewal is currently paying ~$600/month to underwrite rent costs. You can help cover that cost by sponsoring a family’s safe & affordable housing
$7,200 sponsors a family’s housing for 1 year (12 months)
$3,600 sponsors a family’s housing for 6 months
$1200 sponsors a family’s housing for 2 months
$600 sponsors a family’s housing for one month
$300 (combined in partnership with another church) sponsors a family’s housing for one month
Buy a house outright.
A typical three bedroom, one bath house in our neighborhood costs around $150K
You could buy a house outright and donate it to Renewal for use in our housing program.
You could buy a house and mortgage it yourself, providing it for use in our program but keeping it as an investment asset for the future.
You could allow us to buy the house and commit to paying the mortgage on our behalf.
Contact Mike Wilkins to further discuss these options