The Man House (hand-up house?)

I’m really excited about an internship that we’re putting together at church. It’s sort of a learning by doing thing at this point. A buddy Josh and I are building it by doing it. The idea is for each intern to create a missional ministry. The experience will be an opportunity for us to discover our gifts and talents and what God has called us to do, and then to cultivate the skills and habits necessary to be successful in that calling. The emphasis is on being outwardly focused, ministering intentionally to and for those who are outside the church and not just those who are within it.
One of the things I’m excited to do as a part of the internship is to create a house for young men. One facet of the project is to help some guys who want to transition from homelessness or couch-surfing to having a place of their own. One of the purposes of the house will be to help these guys cultivate the skills and character of God’s men so that they can manage their own households and prepare to provide for a family.

One challenge faced by folks without homes is that they need a job to get a home, but it’s almost impossible to get a job without a home, an address and a place to get a shower and shave. The house could help these guys by providing a home rent free for perhaps three months with an understanding that they will be pursuing work and that they will stay to reinvest in the house once they do, perhaps for nine months or a year.

Another facet of the work will be to offer fairly low rent so the men can save money as well. This savings may be for home ownership, and other needs men will face as they look to start families. A recurring theme here is the role of men in families and the vision for the house is certainly to prepare men to start, and provide for families.

One way a lot of the goals of the house will be accomplished is to put a lot of us in the house. This will make some of the necessary work a little lighter and also allow the house’s finances to be spread more directions. The fullness of the house will also be a big challenge as relational issues and frictions are likely to be front and center. In a way this presents an opportunity for me to cultivate relational skills, conflict resolution, and such. I’ll get a lot of experience helping men with the problems men face. In this area of the state, pot is going to be a frequent issue, not to mention other flavors of substance abuse, pornography and who knows what else.

One thing that would be very exciting would be to buy a home for the project. This would help the project in a number of ways, but also it would be a means for me to purchase a house and invest in others with the house while easing the financial burden of the purchase. This is a community where purchasing a home can actually be a financially losing proposition compared to renting, so if a house comes along that will be feasible to buy for this project it will be an issue of God’s (miraculous) provision.

Right now, I’m just looking for a house either to buy or rent, crunching the numbers and rallying the troops. All of us who are going to be involved need to make sure our jobs and finances are prepared, not to mention our selves and souls.

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