Local housing organizations and churches work together through the Restoration Initiative to leverage resources and expertise to address the need for affordable housing in Kalamazoo
Online PR News – 21-March-2014 – Kalamazoo/MI – After a year of planning how to collaboratively work to address the local need for more affordable housing units in Kalamazoo, the Restoration Initiative launched their first community "Paint Day" last weekend.
The Restoration Initiative is a group of local churches and non-profit organizations that have worked together to purchase a brand new house in the Kalamazoo Northside neighborhood, which will provide affordable housing to a local working family.
On Saturday March 15th, Kalamazoo community members were invited to help paint the interior of the house and learn more about the need for affordable housing. A group of volunteers cleaned the walls, painted a base coat in many of the rooms, and discussed local housing issues. The next community paint day is scheduled for Saturday, March 22 from 9am to 2:30pm. A discussion on affordable housing will be held at 10:30am. Community members are encouraged to stop by and see the project even if they are unable to help. Volunteer shifts are limited in size, so please contact Cherrie at Open Doors to register: (269) 343-6064 ext. 300. All individuals, faith institutions, and community organizations are welcome to participate, regardless of their affiliation with the partner organizations.
The home was built by the Kalamazoo Valley Habitat for Humanity which has decades of experience working with volunteers and families to build and rehabilitate housing. The property will be owned and managed by Open Doors Kalamazoo, an organization that is working to address the great need for affordable rentals in our community by providing subsidized apartments and housings units to the formerly homeless. Community Homeworks provides support for low-income homeowners by organizing home repair and maintenance trainings and will provide these trainings to the family moving in to the home. Local church membership will provide the labor to finish and furnish the house. The steering committee includes church members from: First United Methodist Church, The River, St. Catherine of Siena, and Prince of Peace Lutheran Church. Michigan United, formerly the Michigan Organizing Project, has been organizing in Kalamazoo-area churches for years around the issue of housing justice and hopes to provide the people-power and fundraising capacity to rehabilitate and purchase the house. So far, $13,000 of the needed $20,000 has already been raised but we are still accepting donations to ensure the completion of this project. Those interested in donating should visit our website to learn more at: https://opendoorskalamazoo.wordpress.com/2014/01/22/what-is-the-restoration-initiative/