HOUSES FOR HEALING EXPANDING
By LORETTA FULTON
A large stone with the engraving, “Jesus, For You,” seemed an appropriate keepsake as an old garage was cleared from land recently acquired for an expansion of Brian Massey’s Houses for Healing.
Massey had been looking for land to add 16 more tiny houses to the four already built on North Hickory Street. As it turned out, the land he needed was right across the street. Massey explained how the acquisition transpired in his end-of-the-year email:
“I looked all over for available land…that we could afford… and kept coming up short. Nothing seemed to be coming together,” Massey wrote. “That was when Rich Kinney approached me about buying the Kinney Family land directly across the street. After seeing the size of the lot, I became ecstatic! I knew the LORD was at work when I realized exactly 16 tiny houses could fit on that lot…right across the street! So, after several financial miracles, we closed on that lot in July…debt free.”
Massey also got some help from the city when he sought rezoning to medium density. The new property happened to be in a Neighborhood Empowerment Zone, which meant the city waived the $1,500 application fee.The City of Abilene Planning and Zoning Commission voted unanimously to approve the rezoning request, which was followed by approval by the City Council.
Once all the technicalities were taken care of, an old garage was cleared from the land in preparation for the 16 additional houses. The houses are provided for people from area communities who are undergoing long-term medical treatment in Abilene. The patient and family members can stay in one of the tiny houses without having to drive back and forth for treatment. Each house is sponsored by a church and members assist with transportation, groceries, and errands.
The stone with the engraving was one from the garage that was torn down by volunteers, including from Hardin-Simmons University, Boots on the Ground, McMurry University, Texas State Technical College and others.
Acquiring the land for more houses was just one of the great things that happened to Houses for Healing in 2019. Massey provided the following recap:
- the gazebo Hillcrest Church of Christ put up
- an Eagle Scout project for our prayer garden
- a playground for small children
- finishing the Community Room
- Cookouts for our guests, churches and groups that have helped us
- landscaping on Phase 1
- irrigation system on Phase 1
- a security system all houses on Phase 1
- outdoor night lighting
- purchasing and clearing land across the street
- beginning remodeling work on the chapel and kitchen for phase 2
- and several other projects
With 2020 on the horizon, Massey is expecting even greater things to come as he continues to build a much needed ministry in Abilene.