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Project Management

Articles about managing home repair ministry projects.

A Day in the Life, Part 2

In Part One of this blog series, we took a look behind-the-scenes at some of the work and networking that takes place for the ministry's work to get done. Today, we'll look at a service project day.

Day 1 - Project Day


Serving HomeownersToday is Saturday and it's our usual project day (if you live in metro-Atlanta, and are interested, please join us on a project. We need you!). I wake up early, pray, read some Scripture and think about today’s devotional for the crew.

I grab the pile of tools, boxes, compressors and hoses, extension cords and the cooler with drinks and load the truck. I am out the door by 7:30 a.m.

On site, I greet volunteers as they arrive, get waivers signed by the new ones, explain how the project should go and find out who is comfortable going up on a ladder. We have a devotional and a prayer with the homeowner and volunteers and the work begins. I always try to finish by early afternoon, if possible.

We found rotten studs behind the drywall we are patching. Sometimes projects grow in scope right before your eyes. I arrive home late, due to the surprise with the studs. I rest for a bit, then unload everything I can’t lock up in the truck. It’s been a tiring but rewarding day! Thank you, Lord!


Should We Take the Project?

Once your home repair team is taking projects it is important to have criteria by which you can make a "go/no go" decision.

It is generally good practice not to make a snap decision on helping if there is any doubt. Get back to the team and talk about it. Make a visit or even multiple visits to the site with more people, if questions remain. It is easy to tell the homeowner that you need to present the information to the team so that they can make a decision.

Don’t make it more complicated than it needs to be. It could be as simple as sending a father and son to change the flush mechanism of a leaky toilet. It may not even be necessary to make a pre-project site visit. Let the person visiting the site evaluate and complete a project if possible.

What criteria will be used to evaluate a project and Go/No Go?

Projects should be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Broken down houseSize: Is it feasible for the team to tackle the project in terms of time and people needed?
  • Safety: Can you do the project without putting the homeowner, ministry, or volunteers at risk?
  • Skills Required: Does the team have the skills required to complete the project? You can run off your volunteers if you give them projects that they don't know how to handle.
  • Repair or Improvement: If the project is deemed a repair, it is eligible for volunteer assistance. If an improvement, unless it is absolutely necessary, it automatically becomes a referral to a professional. The exception to this is when an improvement is necessary because of a specific, critical situation (i.e. handicapped ramps). Sometimes special projects (playgrounds, fences) are considered if they make the home more “livable” for adults or children.
  • Financial Situation: While the ministry does not have rigid income requirements for assistance, the financial situation of the homeowner is considered. If the homeowner is struggling financially, then help may be offered based on assistance from a financial ministry.

How Do I Set Up A Home Repair Team, Part III

Roof projectThis is the third and final part of the three-part blog series, "How Do I Set Up a Home Repair Team?" In the first post, we looked at the ministry leadership team and role. In the second blog, we looked at the all-important Project Leader role.

Today we conclude by looking at the Project Coordinator and Tradesman roles. If your team looks a little different and doesn't have all of these positions, that's fine. These are suggestions only.

Project Coordinator

  • Contacts the homeowner to obtain a thorough description of items that need to be addressed
    

  • Visits the homeowner during the scoping of the project (preferably along with the PL)
    

  • Assists the PL and Leadership Team in contacting volunteers for the project
  • Follows up with the homeowner to address any additional concerns, put them in contact with other ministries, etc.
  • Periodically updates the homeowner on the status of the project


Tradesmen

  • Individuals who work professionally or are very accomplished in a particular skill
  • Provide non-leadership expertise for specific needs / projects

      For more suggestions for starting and running a home repair team as a mercy/outreach ministry, sign up for our resources at no cost!
      Read the rest of the series:

      Part 1       Part 2


How Do I Set Up A Home Repair Team, Part II

Roof projectThis is part two of the blog series, "How Do I Set Up a Home Repair Team?"

In the first post, we looked at the ministry leadership team and role. This series is one possible way to set up a home repair team as a mercy or outreach ministry (and probably represents a more mature ministry, although the ideas here should hopefully be very helpful to younger ministries as well). If yours looks different, that's fine. Use what works.

Today we look at one of the most important members of your home repair ministry, the Project Leader.

Project Leader Responsibilities

  • Prior to Project
    • Estimates and confirms scope of the project
    • Works with Home Repairs Leadership to establish Project Date
    • Synchronizes with Project Coordinator (if necessary) to contact homeowner
    • Insures confirmed volunteers have been contacted and have date/start time/directions, etc.

    • Project Day
        Project Day
      • Arranges for necessary supplies to be available when needed
        • Obtains as much as possible in advance
        • Plans for supply run(s)
        • Delays start of volunteers if materials are late or other delays occur
      • Assigns work to volunteers
      • Insures work is conducted in a safe manner
      • Verifies that assigned volunteer tasks match their abilities
      • Makes sure appropriate tools and safety equipment are used
      • Insures that team operates in a respectful, polite manner
        • The team represents your church
        • Most importantly, the team members serve as ambassadors of Jesus Christ
        • If there is a problem with someone on the team who may not understand this issue, please refer the situation to one of the leadership team members
      • Insures that job site is cleaned up and any debris removed

      • Post Project Follow up
        • Notify Home Repairs Leadership of final status of project for the day
          • What was completed
          • What was not completed
          • Any additional requests/issues
          • Final list of volunteers
        • Turn in expenses for reimbursement

      Our goal in handling projects is that from the time we get a project on the list to the time we complete the project should be no more than 3 months, preferably.
      Read the rest of the series:

      Part 1       Part 3


How Do I Set Up A Home Repair Team, Part I

Is your church considering or open to home repair as an outreach or mercy ministry? Or are you in the process of organizing? One of the most important steps in setting up your home repair team is determining how you will be organized. Over the next couple days, we will be sharing with you some descriptions of positions within a home repair team. This model represents a fairly sophisticated team, and is just one way of staffing, but our hope is that it's helpful in starting your service ministry or optimizing the team that you have in place already.

If you want this information in a complete document, download the PDF file. More information like this is available by signing up on the web site (no charge).

Part I - Leadership Team Member

Your Home Repairs leadership team should meet at least monthly to:

  • Discuss new projects
  • Review status of open projects
  • Set goals & direction for the ministry
  • Assign project responsibilities

In addition, for each project handled by your ministry, a leadership team member is specifically assigned to the project. When the project is assigned, the leadership team member is responsible for:

  • Managing the project if there is no Project Leader (PL) - the Project Leader position will be discussed in more detail in a future blog
  • Obtaining a list of volunteers and insuring they are contacted
  • Coordinating with the Project Leader and the Project Coordinator (PC) to establish a date for the project (see PC role information in Part 3)
  • Insuring that the status of the project is maintained in the Home Repairs Database (reporting project & volunteer information)
  • Assisting in scoping the project & making sure that your ministry coordinates with the homeowner

Read the rest of the series:

Part 2       Part 3