ARM’s vision is to end sub-standard housing in rural Alabama. We pursue this vision directly by responding to the immediate needs of families in rural communities living in homes that are either not safe, warm, or dry. We extend the love of Christ through home repair because we believe that “poverty housing” is contrary to God’s desire for the people of rural Alabama.
A person’s home is a fundamental aspect of their pride and an essential part of their livelihood. Without a home that is safe, warm, and dry, families can run expensive utility bills, suffer from the effects of insects, mold, and other health issues. In the south, extremes in heat and cold which are “silent” killers for the elderly and young children. Many of the families we serve through home repair are elderly, or disabled, or living on a fixed income. Home repair simply doesn’t t into their budgets. Once we get to know these families through personal contacts and local agencies, we use an extensive selection process to choose which families need the most urgent repairs.
We believe that home repair accompanied with your personal friendship and faith stories are an incredible encouragement for families – and they love the youth! Many are inspired to see these young servants working so hard and with so much generosity and hospitality! Throughout the year, we stay connected to the families we serve through fellowship events, small gatherings, and personal correspondence. We provide home repair year-round at our Tuskegee site, but can only work with families in the Livingston area during the summer.
A Typical Day’s Work
Home repair may involve several types of work including building or repairing wheelchair ramps and porches, replacing rotten oors and leaking rooves, patching holes in walls or ceilings and preparing for paint, and basic plumbing. The work is challenging – many of the homes we repair are older and may not have been constructed according to building standards. Despite these challenges, we believe this work is worth all the effort we can give. We love serving with our families and we encourage you to develop personal relationships with them as you serve.
What’s Your Role?
Get ready to get your hands dirty! Your group’s role in the home repair ministry is to do the work necessary to complete the repairs assigned by our construction coordinators. In addition to your construction work, you’ll be getting to know the family whose home you’re repairing. These relationships are truly transformative! We encourage you and all your youth to share their faith stories with our families, to spend quality time with them, to pray together, and share Christ’s love with each other. Both dimensions of the home repair ministry are equally important.
Your group will be divided into work crews of 4-7 people. You may bring as many crews as our mission site capacity allows (see our Ministry Sites page for capacity details). However, each of your work crews must include at least one construction-knowledgeable person and provide transportation to and from its work site. A “construction-knowledgeable person” does not mean a construction expert or licensed contractor! This person only needs to have some prior home repair/renovation or construction experience (work on previous mission trips is ok!) and be comfortable using various kinds of tools, including power tools. Above all, they need to feel comfortable leading a crew of students safely and effectively while working alongside our construction staff to answer questions, provide directions, and coordinate tool & material needs. Please give us a call if you have any questions or concerns about the level of construction experience you’ll need! Also know that we do have some flexibility in the projects we assign to your team which can sometimes allow us to match the project with your skill level.
Before you arrive, we’ll send you an information packet that will include a recommended equipment list for each of your crews. We do recommend that you bring your own tools if possible but we have tools available too.
What’s Our Role?
The role of the ARM construction staff is to facilitate all aspects of your home repair work. We ensure you have the proper materials and tools for your site, create a plan outlining your tasks for the week, and are available to help answer questions throughout the week. After you arrive on Sunday, one of our construction coordinators will take you to your site, introduce you to your family, and walk you through the repairs you will complete. Each day, we’ll host a construction meeting with representatives from each of your work crews so that we can identify any issues and keep your projects running smoothly. There are times when our staff can stay and work with your group on your project but this is not something we can guarantee. Several construction manuals and resources are available for your team if necessary.