Presbytery of Western North Carolina supports Mountain Projects and Smoky Mountain Housing Partnership

Tia Pike, Smoky Mountain Housing Partnership, Patsy Davis, Executive Director, Mountain Projects, Melonie Gross, Mission Chair Elder, First Presbyterian Church of Waynesville and Rev. Holly Davis, Pastor, First Presbyterian Church of Waynesville.  

Thanks to a $20,000 grant from the Mission Team of the Presbytery of Western North Carolina (PWNC), Smoky Mountain Housing Partnership (SMHP) will continue its mission of helping families achieve the American dream of homeownership.

As the affordable housing division of Mountain Projects, SMHP partners with nonprofits and finance entities to provide homeownership services such as credit evaluation, mortgage sources, down payment assistance, self-help housing, and turn-key homeownership opportunities. 

In 2023, the Mission Team of PWNC created an Affordable Housing Grant program that awards funding for the development of buildings, living spaces or properties. Nonprofit organizations who partner with a PWNC member congregation are eligible to apply for the grant.

Spearheaded by its Mission Team, First Presbyterian Church of Waynesville (PCUSA), a member of the PWNC, served as the partnership congregation for SMHP, allowing the organization to apply for the Affordable Housing Grant last year.

 “Affordable housing is something that’s needed in Haywood County and all over the US,” said Melonie Gross, chair of the Mission Team at First Presbyterian Church of Waynesville. “Anything that helps support that only does good.”

The congregation of First Presbyterian Church of Waynesville generously funds their Mission Team with 10 percent of total church contributions as they carry out the church’s mission to “Love God and Love Our Neighbors.”

“We meet and determine which organizations we want to support during the year,” Gross said, noting that supporting affordable housing was on the list. “We are just happy to have facilitated getting this grant for the Smoky Mountain Housing Partnership.”

The Mission Team and its Pastor Holly Davis presented a check to SMHP and Mountain Projects on March 20 at Mountain Projects’ Bethel Village development in Jonathan Valley. 

Bethel Village is a self-help housing subdivision in which qualifying participants work within a small group of 4-6 families to help each other build their homes under the leadership of a construction supervisor.

“We got to tour one of the houses,” Gross said. “It’s a great starter home.” 

The grant will be used to upgrade and secure the tools used for self-help housing projects.

“This grant will allow us to have a work trailer to be able to move from location to location,” said Patsy Davis, Mountain Projects Executive Director. “I want to say how encouraging it is to have faith-based efforts to preserve the American dream of homeownership. It’s hard to do that now without a lot of money and resources, so when we have that it really is inspiring.”

Davis will be attending First Presbyterian Church of Waynesville on April 14 along with SMHP Construction Manager, Chris Stevens, to lead the discipleship hour at 9:15 am and talk about what SMHP is doing throughout the community.

SMHP was one of eight non-profit organizations to receive an Affordable Housing Grant from the Mission Team of PWNC. To learn more about the PWNC, visit https://www.presbyterywnc.org/

Monetary support and volunteers are always needed for SMHP. To learn how you can help, visit https://smokymountainhousing.org/.

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