Faith-based charity yet to deliver on promise of low-cost homes

Print
Email
|

by BYRON HARRIS

Bio | Email

WFAA

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 11:29 PM

Updated Saturday, May 12 at 8:36 AM

NEWS 8 INVESTIGATES

DALLAS - Scores of poor North Texas families may have lost tens of thousands of dollars to a "faith-based" organization which promised to build them low-cost homes.

The group has been collecting money for four years, and never built a house.

It says it's a charity, and has used three names: The Fuller Center for Housing of Greater Dallas, Global Perspectives and The Jesus Plan.

The Fuller Center for Housing of Greater Dallas started in 2008, as a local affiliate of the Fuller Center of Georgia. The Georgia group has built and refurbished homes for the needy in 23 countries, including the United States. The organization was founded by Millard Fuller, who split off from Habitat for Humanity to start a faith-based charity housing program.

At the Fuller Center for Housing of Greater Dallas, participating families were required to donate 350 hours of community service and put $1,800 into escrow on the road to gaining a low-cost, low-mortgage house.

Gracie Hill vaulted all those hurdles in 2010 and was told she'd have a three-bedroom, two-bath house in DeSoto. It never happened.

She began asking for her escrow money back last year, before she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was told the money was on the way, but it has never arrived.

"They're basically lying to people," she said of program officials.

Denicia and Sylvester Wright donated their labor and the $1,800 escrow as well. No house was built, and no refund was made.

Last fall, Mrs. Wright complained to the parent organization in Georgia.

"This has never happened in my experience, and I've been doing this now for over twenty years," said David Snell, president of the parent organization, Fuller of Georgia.

Fuller of Georgia severed its relationship with the Dallas group.

"They need to return those funds," Snell said.

"I just feel like they have no remorse," Mrs. Wright said about the Fuller Center for Housing of Greater Dallas.

Once Fuller Dallas got thrown out of the parent group, it held "family meetings" designed to smooth the anger of the people who wanted their money. The money hasn't come, but excuses have.

Fuller Dallas would now be called "Global Perspectives," they were told.

Global Perspectives is not a charity. The only evidence of its existence is a website connected to Dr. Margaret Noguera,  the original founder of Fuller Dallas.

Global Perspectives' website focuses not on Dallas, but on Belize, Central America, highlighting real estate deals and business consulting opportunities there.

Dr. Noguera has not been seen by members for months. In a phone conversation with News 8, she would not reveal her current address or phone number.

The remaining figurehead for what started as Fuller/Dallas is a Grand Prairie preacher, Rev. Kim Anding.

Anding is an employee of Faith Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church in Grand Prairie. In two meetings with News 8, Anding would not reveal how much money he and Noguera have collected, how many 'family members' are waiting for their money, or where the money is.

E-mails to family members say Anding himself has been traveling in Belize.

In a "News Release" sent to News 8, Anding said the program is now called "The Jesus Plan." He promises the money will be refunded on June 7. Members will not get their full $1,800 back, the release says, as $300 will be deducted for the "costs of the program."

In our second meeting with Anding, he said, "You know, 51 percent of non-profits fail."

E-mail bharris@wfaa.com

Print
Email
|