Schuylkill County Church Helps Families Buy First Homes

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MAHANOY TOWNSHIP -- The Community Mission in Minersville is helping people in need buy their own homes.

Gavin Billbe is a disabled Army veteran. He has never owned his own home, but now that's all about to change.

"It's a dream come true having the opportunity to own a home," Billbe said.

Billbe will be buying this home just outside Mahanoy City. Pastor Bob Alonge from The Community Mission in Minersville made this all possible.

"After we rehab this house,  we're going to be selling them this house at a very discounted rate," Alonge said. "No interest. And, they'll be able to move in and discover home-ownership and the American Dream."

About a month ago, the church partnered with an organization called the Fuller Center in Georgia. The Fuller Center works with community groups to find housing for the homeless and to people who can't afford to buy a home.

Pastor Alonge has already had five homes donated to his church. Billbe is the first person to buy one of them. The home needs repairs, but Billbe hopes to be in it by the start of next year.

"Being able to own your own home is just such a statement that most people in the United States nowadays are unable to realize," Billbe said.

Pastor Alonge wants to grow what he's started. Now, he's looking for donations of supplies, labor and homes to help even more people.

"These displaced people were able to go from being homeless to living in homes in the course of one month, which is a miracle in itself and this is because of the kindness of one person," Alonge said.

All people interested in living in one of the community mission's homes must qualify to be placed. If you would like to help donate to the project, contact Pastor Bob Alonge at (570) 617-4620 or at