History of Project Build A Future

Early in 2001, an article in The Houston Chronicle stirred interest in Fr. Henry Mancuso, Pastor of Sacred Catholic Heart Church north of Broad Street in Lake Charles.  The front page article described the work of Houston-area Churches in building quality, affordable housing.  Fr. Mancuso asked the simple question, “Why can’t that be done here?”  The people in the Lake Charles community seemed to need housing while there were blighted properties and empty lots near the church that could be perfect for new home construction.  After an initial discussion with Mr. Willie King, a local businessman and parishioner of Sacred Heart, and a second encouraging discussion with Mayor Randy Roach, the necessary “paper work began.”.  On August, 24, 2001 PROJECT BUILD A FUTURE officially came into existence.

Why the name Project Build a Future?

Fr. Mancuso felt that home ownership could well be the beginning of building personal futures for many people.  Home ownership would provide both the social capital and a source of wealth [equity] upon which people could literally and figuratively build a better future.

Project Build a Future builds homes that provide hope and opportunity for people dreaming of homeownership. While affordability is a cornerstone of PBAF’s program, it is not what defines our work…..quality is what defines our work. We strive to build a home that is a beautiful fixture in our community providing a source of pride and hope for our homebuyers, as well as an opportunity for permanent financial stability.

In addition, PBAF offers homebuyer counseling services that lay a solid foundation for financial success for our homebuyers which strengthens their ability to be successful over the longterm. In fact, PBAF has seen NO foreclosures on any of its homes since our inception in 2001.

Our mission is simple:  Engage in quality, affordable homeownership initiatives that will revitalize and beautify our target area.

Our Staff

Charla Blake
Charla BlakeExecutive Director
Renee Davis
Renee DavisAssistant Director
Felicia Navarre
Felicia NavarreProgram Coordinator
Beatrice Harris
Beatrice HarrisAdministrative Assistant
Dennis Elder
Dennis ElderConstruction Coordinator

Board of Directors

Brad Evans
Brad EvansPresident
Luvertha August
Luvertha AugustVice President
Tom Filo
Tom FiloSecretary/Treasurer
  • Gwen Cormier—member
  • Byron Hardy—member
  • Linda Morris—member
  • Marlon Guillory—member

Founding Members

Henry Mancuso, Jr
Henry Mancuso, Jr
  • Lutricia Cobb
  • Willie King, Jr.

Committee Members

  • Kala Kuhlthau—Finance & Human Resources Accountability
  • Melissa Dickson—Finance & Human Resources Accountability
  • Deborah Kennard—Finance & Human Resources Accountability
  • Brock Sullivan—Building & Marketing Committee