'Building for Change' to benefit single, homeless mothers

Published: Jan. 9, 2019 at 5:32 PM EST
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(01/09/19) - A house being built in Midland County will help provide shelter for families other than the one which moves in.

Greystone Homes is building the Larkin Township house and is donating the proceeds to Midland's Open Door.

The non-profit works to get single, homeless mothers back on their feet through a variety of programs.

Executive Director Renee Pettinger said the effort, known as 'Building for Change', will change lives. "To know that one family, whoever buys this home, is going to impact many families, is incredible," she said.

Each year Midland's Open Door provides more than 11,000 nights of shelter, but the need is much greater.

"We've only been able to house about 60 percent of the homeless, single mothers from Midland County. And so we launched a new program to get moms into housing quicker," Pettinger said. "One income, trying to find child care, and being able to afford child care is really difficult. So our single moms are seeing just really hard barriers."

Chrissy Smith is one of the moms they're helping with various programs.

"It was either go back to a shelter or something else was going to have to happen," Smith explained about the struggles she's faced as a single mother of three children.

She was invited to speak at Wednesday's framing party, a celebration of the project's progress. Community members, including Smith, were invited to leave their mark on the home by writing a note on the framework.

More funding will allow Midland's Open Door to help more moms, like Smith.

Wall is happy to help. He's on the non-profit's board.

"It's not just a hand out, it's, 'here let's help you get re-established and going again'," Wall said.

Donating the proceeds from the sale of the home is his way of supporting their mission. "If you're able to just write a check. you know, we need those kind of people as well," Wall said. "But if, you know, you're a skilled trade and you're able to give back by donating part of your time, then it's certainly a wonderful way to give back to the community as well."

Wall said many contractors working on the home have donated their work or provided discounts.

The house will be ready to move in later this spring, and they are still looking for someone who wants to buy it.

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