Tim Harmon cuts and installs baseboards for a first-floor room in the Project Phoenix home Tuesday. Once completed, the house, located at the edge of the Madison State Hospital grounds, will provide a temporary residence for people who have lost their home to fire or other disasters.

The home was given to Project Phoenix by the city of Madison on Feb. 8, 2011. Project organizers held an open house the next month to allow supporters a chance to see the major renovations that the building would need. At that time, many of the walls were nothing but the frames, there was a hole in the roof and there were no appliances.

"Almost all of 2011 was spent gutting the building," Harmon said. "Then we were finally able to start building it back this year."

Most of the work has been done by volunteers.

The organizers have hired professionals for drywall installation and other specialty work they were not able to do.

Harmon said the renovations are nearly complete and an open house will be held Jan. 20 to show off the finished product.

"There's still some needs to be met before then," Harmon said, including furnishing the 3-bedroom, 1-1/2 bath home with furniture, bathroom and kitchen supplies, and other household necessities.

"Our board will be producing a wish list that will be available on our website soon. We will also be registering at Walmart," Harmon said.

According to the group's website "Project Phoenix originated as the result of a challenge presented by pastor Bob Hicks at North Madison Christian Church called the 'Kingdom Assignment'. We were given $100 cash as a modern take on Jesus' parable of the talents from Luke 19:11-27, and simply asked to make a difference for God's Kingdom by making best use of the money."

The "Kingdom Assignment" challenge was made to Tim and his wife, Holly, on Feb. 24, 2008.

"It's been a long process," Harmon said Tuesday. "We've just kept on pushing along, with a lot of help from others."

Individuals or groups who want more information about the project or to volunteer or donate money or materials, can contact Harmon or other project members through the Project Phoenix website at www.projectpnx.org.

(Staff photos by Ken Ritchie)