JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – A family of eight received a mortgage-free home thanks to the Appalachia Service Project.
Appalachia Service Project (ASP) is a Christian ministry that “inspires hope and service through volunteer home repair and replacement in Central Appalachia,” according to the organization’s website.
ASP has been providing home repair, making houses warmer, safer and drier since 1969. In 2012, they expanded their outreach to building new homes for low-income families called a ‘New Build Program’. This is their 250th home dedicated under that program.
“To be able to build 250 homes that are mortgage free for each and every one of these families, I think it’s a plus for them economically and it’s a blessing for us to be able to do it,” said Walter Crouch, President and CEO of Appalachia Service Project.
Not only does the ASP help families have shelter, but they give them the opportunity to build wealth.
“We are fighting against a poverty cycle that might be there in a family,” said Crouch. “When we do these mortgage free, that allows them to have more disposable income because they don’t have a rent payment or a mortgage payment, but also it gives them a thing a lot of these families have never had and that is equity in a home. A thing called wealth that they can later borrow against, use somehow to put kids through college, to start family businesses, to just live a better lifestyle.”
Volunteers have worked on the new home since around Thanksgiving of 2022, according to the ASP. The home was funded by the generosity of a private donor, Grace Meadows Church, matching funds through Food City, Lowes and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati. Many local companies helped provide construction, furniture and other housing needs, as well.
“Grace Meadows Church, here locally, took a missions offering on a Sunday,” said Crouch. “That was just incredible. Almost $50,000 they collected to go towards this home. And the moment we had that funding, we knew we could go ahead and build it.”
Danny Williams donated the land the new home is built on and also volunteered many hours of his time constructing the house.
“This is just a great representation of God’s love and how we should be trying to help each other instead of constantly just at each other all the time,” said Williams. “We’re all in this thing together. It doesn’t matter what your income is or anything else. We’re just in this together.”
Williams encourages the community to come out and volunteer, ensuring that there’s always something they can do to help others.
“Be willing to step out, ” Williams said. “When God calls you out, just be willing to step out. Be willing to get uncomfortable if you don’t know how to frame or you don’t know how to do the work, be willing to show up and just help.”
To volunteer or to apply for home repair or a new home, visit asphome.org.