United Christian Home rehabilitation continues on Fuller Street in both property and person. Edward Brasher who came to United Christian Home approximately 18 months ago for assistance, is now the resident manager and has graduated as Magnum Cum Laude from Northwest Louisiana Technical College.
"This program helped me get back on my feet," Brasher said. "Many projects at the houses are nearing completion and it feels great to have completed my education."
Bob Dickson, rehabilitation chairman for United Christian Home, said things "look promising" for Ed, other residents and the future of United Christian Home.
"Our board reorganized last month, and I feel positive things are going to come from this great group," Dickson said. "Everyone who has served has done an admirable job. Without the help from the community, this organization and our work would not be possible."
The board is in the process of drafting new bylaws and reestablishing its 501c3.
The new board consists of Paul Gray as First Vice Chairman; Mary Whitaker as Second Vice Chairman; Charlotte Jones as Treasurer, Margaret Evans as Secretary, Ed Brasher as a Resident Director and Judy Dodson, Community Relations Chair.
New members include Allen Holland, Ronnie Sales, Lee Estabrook and Pastor Royal Scott, Jr.
Several challenges face UCH as it attempts to provide shelter.
"Not only do we serve the homeless in Webster, but we often get calls from Claiborne, Bienville, Bossier and Caddo parishes," Dickson said. "When people come to us, they usually arrive with little more than the clothing on their back.
"They need everything from clothing to toiletries," he continued. "There are many ways the community helps and still areas where we could use more help."
Dickson said volunteers are needed to paint and perform other minor projects at the homes.
Building supplies and work are often donated to UCH to maintain housing standards, and community organizations and church groups often make commitments of volunteer work.
"The Master Gardeners have committed to maintaining the yards of the shelters," Dickson said. "And the Simple Church in Bossier provided the work when we roofed the house. Of course, when you start naming people, there is always someone left out. The important thing to note is we are lost without support from the community."
Dickson said United Christian Homes differs from other housing programs in the area in that its service is temporary and aims to offer a means for individuals to being to provide for themselves.
"When we have someone come to us, we see where they are at in life and try to help them get a job or maybe their GED," he said. "Our program is temporary. The goal is to get the homeless people we serve on their own two feet."
United Christian Homes was established approximately 40 years ago by area Christian churches to provide temporary, emergency shelter to applicants over 18 years of age who are homeless as a result of some catastrophic fire or storm.
Needy families are chosen without regard to race, sex, religion, national origin, age, financial status, veteran status or disability.
Anyone who is interested in supporting UCH should contact Bob Dickson at 377-4840.