Houses For Veterans
The Fuller Center for Housing
The Greater NYC Area
TFCH (The Fuller Center For Housing) simply stated builds houses; houses that are affordable, houses that are interest free, houses for our veterans and houses for the greater NYC need based community.
I was living in a veterans group home with 12 veterans and using it as a base camp on my daily walk. There came a time I just walked to far from the home and it was no longer feasible to stay there. Coincidentally at that very same time I received a text message from an unknown source. He introduced himself and began to explain Fuller Center and the veterans programs surrounding it. I jumped at the opportunity.
The Fuller Center brings together volunteers from all walks of life and connects them with families in need. With the tutoring of experts they actually teach volunteers how to build houses. It’s a kind of OJT (on the job training) thus creating a wage free workforce. Through community building projects Fuller Center introduces those of a more privileged background to the housing crisis that exists in and around their own communities.
Jim, my contact at Fuller Center, was building three homes in a row. They were painted Red White and Blue, two were finished and occupied but the third was still under construction. It was used for storage for the other two. In it were boxes and crates of appliances, plastic and paper covering the rugs and hardwood floors, not one stick of furniture, but he said it was livable. There was electric and hot running water and that’s all I needed, I accepted.
Fuller Center acquires property’s in a variety of ways; condemned, foreclosure, vacant land. After houses are built an interest free mortgage is established. Depending on materials, land purchase, and fees, a veterans family or other need based family are reached out to.The average Fuller Center mortgage is 20 years and translates to $730 per month for a family earning $35,000 a year. That’s less than 1/4 of their combined income.
I celebrated my first night, one of four, sleeping on an Army Cot between the crates, building materials, and tools, sipping a glass of wine. Knowing I was the first veteran to occupy this space added to the fulfillment of my journey. Knowing that perhaps children would be raised by a transitioning veteran coming home from war filled my mind with wonderment and awe. I could’ve be more comfortable in a hotel but that wouldn’t be me. I’m comfortable between the crates sleeping on my cot and dreaming of my next adventure.