DUBLIN, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – One Dublin non-profit is on a mission to restore on the south side of the city.
The group Dublin R.I.S.I.N.G. recently received more than $160,000 from the Georgia Department of Community Affairs to help low-income families own their rehabilitated homes.
R.I.S.I.N.G or Resident Implemented Spiritually Inspired Neighborhood Groups mission is to help the families both economically and socially.
“We’re at the point right now where we’re stuck,” co-creator Doug Wolfe said.
But not for much longer.
Inside the non-profit’s headquarters on Rowe Street, Wolfe and the group’s staff are working to move forward.
“These are not mansions, obviously. Our homes are not going to be high end,” Wolfe said.
The state awarded the group $160,140 in grant money as part of the 2016 Community HOME Investment Program (CHIP). The program awards help local governments and groups help provide safe and affordable housing for their citizens.
“We understand that affordable housing is a necessity in this community,” Cherice Blackwell, the non-profit’s administrator, said.
She says receiving the money from the state is a sign the group is doing something right.
“Just that look of hope that they have that they know that we’re working with them to make a better place. That keeps us going,” Blackwell said.
So far, the non-profit has restored six houses with plans on fixing up seven more. The group has built a playground and community garden and purchased eight vacant lots.
Wolfe, who at one point was funding the renovation projects little by little on his own, says it was his and his wife’s calling to start fixing up the neighborhood.
“I was at a point where I needed help. I got helped by other people. Those people now, some of those same people need my help,” he said.
Wolfe is helping as much as he can — planning on using the grant money to restore at least five more homes to help make residents new home owners who are currently in public housing or renting.
“Once I found God and my relationship with God, I felt like I had to be of service, not only to God, but to the community,” he said.
It takes about $40,000 to restore a house in that area.
Wolfe says he and the group aren’t sure what they’ll do first with the money. Dublin R.I.S.I.N.G. will start working with the grant money in August.