By Susan Olp
Billings Gazette, Mont.
Before long, a house will take shape at 1716 Lone Pine Drive in the Josephine Crossing subdivision.
But the home will be more than a start for one family.
It will represent the opportunity for a thousand aspiring entrepreneurs in 16 of the most impoverished countries in the world to make their own dreams come true.
McCall Homes, homebuilder for the subdivision, is partnering with nearly 40 subcontractors and vendors to donate a portion of their work in building the home.
The goal is to generate $100,000 to fund small-business loans, or microloans, around the world through the work of an international nonprofit.
Homes for Hope
The house is the first in Montana to be built under the auspices of Homes for Hope, a nonprofit organization that operates in the building industry.
Homes for Hope works with builders and their trade partners to build houses that then generate revenue to help eliminate world poverty.
The nonprofit primarily works with HOPE International, a faith-based organization that provides microloans, savings services, training and mentoring to help people in developing countries become self-sufficient.
On Thursday, more than 40 people gathered at the Josephine Crossing home site for a groundbreaking ceremony to launch the Billings project.
Greg McCall kicked off the event by telling how HOPE International and Homes for Hope got started.
Help in the 1990s
The common denominator is Jeff Rutt, a Pennsylvania homebuilder, who was part of an effort in the late 1990s to provide aid to Ukraine.
Rutt would build a home and take the proceeds of that home and join with others in buying supplies that the community desperately needed, McCall said.
The first year, the cargo shipment of food, medical supplies and clothing was extremely welcome. Over time, however, the people became so dependent on the supplies that the effort was no longer effective.