Church aims to curb violence by offering home to family for free

Updated: Oct. 12, 2019 at 7:36 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - A Richmond church is hoping to curb the city’s violence by offering a home to a family rent-free for one year.

“As a pastor in the inner city, you kind of deal with both the good and the bad,” said New Kingdom Christian Ministries Pastor Chris Moore. “It’s unfortunate that we have to have this conversation, but I think that it’s needed so that we can see that we can make a difference in our community.”

Saturday morning, his congregation and volunteers in the community hope to heal this community by offering hope through a home.

“The Hope and Restoration Program offers housing to a single-family rent-free for one year," said Moore.

Saturday, the hands and feet of New Kingdom worked to renovate the home that they will gift to a deserving family in the city.

A local business, called Southeastern Freight Line, also assisted the church by offering their landscaping service and hauling off debris.

“We’ve got a number of projects that we’re working on today,” said Corey Pleasants. “We’re not looking for anything in return. It’s always nice when you can uplift someone through your services and help.”

The home they renovated, which is next door to the church off Dill Avenue, has already served two different families. One family stayed in the home from August 2017 to August 2018. Another family stayed in the home until August of this year.

The renovations were necessary this year because there had been some wear and tear from the previous residents.

The church, along with Southeastern Freight Line, helped to remodel the entire home, including sanding and repainting the walls, adding new electrical wiring and appliances in addition to remodeling the bathroom, so that the home would feel brand new in time for the next residents to move in.

Volunteer with New Kingdom Christian Ministries installs new lighting in kitchen.
Volunteer with New Kingdom Christian Ministries installs new lighting in kitchen.(NBC12)

Moore says he believes giving a home to a resident can give them a sturdy foundation, which in turn will keep them from falling victim to violence. He believes this so strongly because he was a product of single-parent household living in violent conditions.

“I do believe that it does impact our young people when there is stability in their lives when there is some type of normalcy," said Moore. “I know that well because I was a product of that... and we’ve had two success stories already.”

The pastor says they’ve already had two success stories since the program’s inception. Moore’s wife, Shawnice, serves as the Director of the Hope and Restoration Program. She says they like to help the families they select by starting with the end in mind.

“We had one woman we selected whose goal it was to get some debt paid off so that she could rent a home of her own,” said Shawnice. "It’s a passion for me to help those that are lower-middle-class who just need that one opportunity to get over that hump to achieve their goals.

“Whatever it is we make sure we create milestones to meet with them to ensure that they’re getting to that destination on time,” said Moore.

Volunteer with New Kingdom Christian Ministries paints kitchen wall of home.
Volunteer with New Kingdom Christian Ministries paints kitchen wall of home.(NBC12)

In the future, they hope to be able to offer multiple homes to families in need so that they can continue to create positive change within the city’s neighborhoods impacted by crime.

“We picked the lemons brought it over a few hours later and found a way to squeeze every bit out of it to make it enjoyable,” said Moore.

Moore said he hopes to have the home ready by the end of the year so that they can move in the selected family by January 2020.

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