Memphis pastor plans to restore and give away homes to families in need

By Ben Watson - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - The head of a local shelter is launching an ambitious plan to fix up abandoned homes in Memphis and give them away to families in need.

While they may look like old, abandoned homes for now, Pastor Larry Hunter sees them as a new beginning for needy families.

"I think these homes are going to be some nice beautiful homes once they get fixed up for some lovely families," he said Wednesday.

Hunter said a Memphis man donated an abandoned home and the one next to it on Lapaloma in South Memphis to his project.  Now, Hunter is working to line up volunteers to donate repair materials and labor so he can turn around and donate the homes to families in need.

"Putting people in these homes will bring back hope," Hunter said. "It will also let the neighborhood know that no matter how bad you get, there is always somebody that cares about you."

Neighbor Jocelyn Anderson said putting families in the homes will help improve the neighborhood.

"We have a rat problem because this house is empty and things like that, and we have people dumping tires in the back yard and things like that," she said.

Several years ago, Hunter founded Sober House for the Homeless. In the past he's had some success giving needy families donated automobiles.

He hopes to have similar success with his home giveaway project.

"I tell you, it's going to be a beautiful thing," he said.

Hunter is trying to generate enough donations to give away five homes in 2010.  To find out more, call The Sober House Shelter at 901-581-2860.

Copyright 2009 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.