Friday, December 4, 2020

Fuller Center brings much-needed housing rehab services to Sebago Lakes Region seniors

This fall, the Sebago Lakes Region Fuller Center
for Housing helped four older adult families stay
safely in their homes. Shown from left are Fuller
Center Board Member Steve McFarland, 
Community Volunteer Wayne Jones, Board
Member Karen Swasey Jones and homeowner
Ellen Huber as they worked to prepare Huber's
yard for the winter. SUBMITTED PHOTO
Only recently founded by a group of six local churches and organizations, the Sebago Lakes Region Fuller Center for Housing has gotten off to a remarkable start, already completing four projects for area seniors in spite of the challenges of COVID and a cold, rainy fall.

The local Fuller Center’s first project involved repairing and replacing window trim and siding for an elderly Windham couple.  That was quickly followed by rehabbing a much-used deck and steps for another older homeowner, and then completely clearing leaves, acorns, and gutter debris for two others in order to make their yards safer to walk in and to keep them off ladders themselves. 

The four projects involved 37 volunteers, local Fuller Center Board members and community residents. 

“Getting these jobs done was not deterred in any way by the need to wear masks and socially distance. The volunteers approached it all with energy and good humor, staying safe and being really productive,” said Steve McFarland, a Fuller Center Board member who worked on all four projects.

An affiliate of the non-profit national Fuller Center for Housing, the local Fuller Center was founded by representatives from Faith Lutheran Church, the Unity Church for Spiritual Growth, the North Windham Union Church (UCC), Windham Hill United Church of Christ, Raymond Village Community Church (UCC) and St. Joseph’s College, and serves the towns of Windham, Raymond and Standish.  The group’s mission is to provide a broad spectrum of home repair, clean-up, and rehabilitation services to qualified senior homeowners. 

Local Fuller Center services can include trim and siding repair, painting, property clean-up, light demolition, weatherization, door and window repair, handicapped access structures such as ramps, etc., all with the aim of supporting “aging in place.” 

“Studies demonstrate that when people can comfortably stay in their own homes as they get older, they lead better, healthier lives,” said Diane Dunton Bruni, local Fuller Center Board President.  “Our program helps to make that happen by assisting aging homeowners to keep their houses in good repair.”

Basic criteria to be eligible to receive local Fuller Center services include financial need, and a willingness to be involved in some way as health and finances allow. This is in keeping with the philosophy of paying it forward. 

The local Fuller Center is already gearing up for what it hopes will be a busy 2021 and is asking for
community support. 

“In preparing for next year, we would be very grateful to receive three things from our local communities; help in identifying senior homeowners who may have a need, involvement as volunteers for our rehab crews, and financial support through donations to the organization,” Bruni said. 

Suggestions for projects and expressions of interest in volunteering can be sent to the website at or by emailing the Fuller Center at  Tax-deductible financial contributions can be made online at the website.  For more information about the work of the local Fuller Center, please contact the Fuller Center through the website or by email.

The national Fuller Center (an IRS 501(c)(3) non-profit organization) was founded by Millard Fuller and his wife, Linda.  The Fullers were long-time friends of former President Jimmy Carter.  The Fullers had initially founded Habitat for Humanity in 1976 and led that organization for 29 years.  They parted ways with Habitat and created the Fuller Center in 2005 as a way to continue to pursue their original vision of ending “housing poverty”.  Millard Fuller died in 2009.  Linda Fuller is still very much involved in the work of the organization.  For more information about the national Fuller Center, see: <


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