Youth for Christ’s City Life ministry, Fort Wayne UNITED, and FWPD Come Together to Build a Habitat Home in Southeast Fort Wayne, the Collaboration Shows the Community Working on More than Just a Home

Youth for Christ’s City Life ministry and Fort Wayne UNITED will volunteer side by side with the Fort Wayne Police Department to build the first walls for a Habitat for Humanity of Greater Fort Wayne 2020 partner family. This collaborative build will take place Sunday, July 26 from Noon – 6pm.

Habitat for Humanity’s everyday mission is seeking to put God’s love into action by bringing people together to build homes, communities, and hope. While their mission remains the same with every partner family, volunteer, and home, this panel build in Southeast Fort Wayne specifically represents the conversations and needed change surrounding racial inequality and injustice.

“Building a home is a physical representation of the hard work that’s happening right now and will continue to take place in our community and throughout the world,” stated Andrew Gritzmaker, CEO Habitat for Humanity of Greater Fort Wayne. “Our hope is to lend support and resources to provide an opportunity for fellowship and to keep the conversation going while providing a family in our community with an affordable home.”

Serving as a board member for Fort Wayne UNITED, YFC, and Habitat of GFW, Pastor Luther Whitfield feels privileged to work alongside each group as they join together with the FWPD:

“I am thankful and extremely proud to see all of these organizations coming together for this community project, particularly at a time when there is so much division in our country today,” said Pastor Whitfield. “By working together, we are sending an alternative message at such a needed time. That we are better together, better for our community and its residents and families. Together, we will begin to BUILD a brighter tomorrow for a deserving family in our community.”

Chris Todia, CEO of Youth for Christ of Northern Indiana, believes it is “crucial to come together and keep the conversation about racial equity and the rebuilding that is needed at the forefront where it belongs.” YFC serves a diverse group of young people — “our mission is to reach every kid and let each young person know we are here for them,” continued Chris Todia. “As we do this hard work together, and as we call the next generation to join in with us, we will see transformation and we will see healing.”

Logistically, this Habitat “Panel Build” will focus on building and raising all the walls of the home within a 6-hour window. The day will be broken out into (6) one-hour volunteer shifts where leaders from each organization will engage a total of 150 volunteers for the project. By the end of the day, they will have raised 19 walls (4 exterior, 15 interior) to officially kick off a home for one of ten families partnering with Habitat GFW this year.

The excitement to come together as a community and begin a build for a family in Fort Wayne is also shared by both Iric Headley, Director of Fort Wayne UNITED, and Sgt. Sofia Rosales-Scatena from the Fort Wayne Police Department:

“Quality of life is an essential ingredient in the lives of hopeful and healthy families, and a home is the greatest physical foundation that hope can be built upon,” stated Iric Headley. “Fort Wayne UNITED is pleased and honored to be a part of building our community in partnership with other organizations and citizens that believe in serving together.”

“The Fort Wayne Police Department is honored to assist in this Habitat build and excited to be joined by Youth for Christ and Fort Wayne United,” said Sgt. Scatena. “Having these kinds of interactions with youth will improve understanding. Having open dialogue will enrich all of us. We are grateful for the opportunity.” 

Throughout the day, Theopolis Smith III, also known as “Phresh Laundry”, will paint an original mural on a piece of OSB which will later be attached to the home. His mural will serve as a symbol of the day and remain a part of the home forever.

Special thank you to Brotherhood Mutual for sponsoring lunch from Lewis Street Grill and Hot Dog Boyz for crew, staff, and volunteers.

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WHAT: Habitat for Humanity’s Renaissance Pointe Unity Panel Build

WHEN: Sunday, July 26, 2020, Noon – 6pm

WHERE: Renaissance Pointe, 2415 Gay St., Fort Wayne, IN 46803


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About Youth for Christ’s City Life ministry

Youth for Christ is a movement of people who are compelled by love to offer hope to the next generation. The nonprofit engages young people in healthy, authentic relationships and that happens through ministry programs like City Life. City Life is committed to pursuing teenagers in the urban neighborhoods of Fort Wayne by sharing the hope and love that God has for them. City Life is a relational, holistic, community-based ministry that desires to see deep change in our community through raising up young people who live in our community. We call this indigenous leadership, which simply means to LIVE and LEAD in your neighborhood. 

To learn more about Youth for Christ, visit yfcnin.org.

About Fort Wayne UNITED

Fort Wayne UNITED is a Mayoral initiative that places two national efforts, Cities United and My Brother’s Keeper, under one umbrella. It is designed to answer the call to enhance opportunities, advance youth advocacy and help create a safer city for all, but more specifically for black men and boys. By bringing together a group of passionate and committed leaders, the initiative will educate, inform and engage the community in an effort to make positive change one neighborhood at a time.

For more information, visit cityoffortwayne.org/fort-wayne-united-home

About Habitat for Humanity of Greater Fort Wayne

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Fort Wayne is a nonprofit, non-denominational Christian housing ministry uniting volunteers and local investors with qualified families to provide the opportunity of affordable homeownership in Allen, Huntington, and Wells counties. Greater Fort Wayne Habitat has provided sustainable homeownership to more than 244 families in the region in the past 34 years.