This fall marks the 5 year anniversary celebration of the Investor Property Partner Program, launched back in 2013 by two pioneer investor couples; Dave and Peggy Shumway and John and Ginny Opsahl. Both couples generously rent apartments or townhouses that they own back to Fellowship Housing at a reduced rate for use by our single moms and their children.
When the housing market crashed in 2008 and homes were for sale in the years following at incredibly low prices, the Shumways thought, “What if we could just buy a house or two and help someone while investing our money?” One of their pastors pointed them to Fellowship Housing and they were put in touch with the Executive Director at the time, Brooke Bartlow. Dave and Peggy were driven by a desire to put investment money to better use by making a difference in the community; They would have been happy to do it even without the possibility of financial gain, but this made it a no-brainer. Dave reflects, “This way someone could benefit EVERY DAY from our investment. We feel like we are part of the Fellowship Housing team and have confidence knowing we’re not landlords on our own. It’s a great reassurance since this is something we’ve never done before.”
Peggy recalls a profound moment during their time with the Investor Property Program; “One February weekend, David was out of town. The weather was well below zero and one of the units had an issue with the furnace. David and I connected and found a emergency HVAC company that could come. Our normal “guy” was booked all day with other people in similar situations. I grabbed my computer, and spent the late morning sitting on the floor of the living room in that unit with the two adolescent boys, as the mom was working. The repair man came and fixed the furnace for a fee that included an emergency premium. As I handed him my credit card, I didn’t flinch over the bill. We have the money in reserve plus more. I thought about how many months of discretionary spending that would have been for the mom on the Fellowship Housing budget. Even at her full wages, that would have been a big chunk. It was a reminder of how very blessed I am.”
Their desire to help the moms of Fellowship Housing runs deep with this eternal perspective in mind. They are grateful to be a part of keeping operating expenses down for the program and find joy in giving the moms a vision and hope through providing them the type of home now which they will be able to rent or own themselves once they graduate.