By Rebecca Sheir
Some local clergy members are working to solve what some see as a spiritual crisis in affordable housing.
Angeloyd Fenrick, the founding pastor of Higher Ground Church in Southeast D.C., believes affordable housing, and houses of worship go hand in hand. "If we really believe that God provides for all of our needs, if we're his representative on earth, we ought to be about doing that," says Fenrick.
But the problem, says Fenrick, is most clergy members don't know much about the housing business. That's where David Bowers comes in. His group, Enterprise Community Partners, has helped faith leaders launch the development of nearly 700 units in the D.C. area through a series of workshops. He calls this week's "the ABCs of development."
"Participants really get a flavor for from the time I have an idea to the time we cut the ribbon, and then after that, what do we need to be thinking about," says Bowers.
Fenrick says her church has built 11 units for the working homeless. "And now we'd like to expand the number of units that we have," she explains. "Using these sessions, I've learned about some mistakes I've made and how not to make those mistakes in going forward."
Fenrick's goal is to add 50 new units within the next year.