Phillips calls Thompsons the real heroes in wanting to help others

Published 2:00 am Sunday, May 7, 2017

Tim Phillips wanted to do more than just help his friends of more than 30 years when they discussed the idea of Mike and Regarner Thompson purchasing rental properties to assist those in need of affordable housing in Lafayette County. The life-long Oxford resident and real estate agent decided he would donate his commission off the sale to Interfaith Compassion Ministry, which assists those in need.

Phillips and the Thompsons have donated $8,000 to ICM to help residents being displaced due to the closure of Riverside Place.

“This money will help with deposits for people finding housing somewhere else and also for utility deposits and other things that people moving into a new environment need help with,” Phillips said. “We will continue to help Interfaith with future donations as we find other suitable properties.”

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Phillips admires the work ICM Director Lena Wiley has done.

“The job that she does is incredible with the help of Dick Marchbanks and the board,” Phillips said. “Lena works tireless hours helping the needy, whether it be someone that needs help with their light bill or a family that needs housing for a few nights at the Ole Miss Motel. Lena has touched so many lives in this community.”

The idea of working on the affordable housing issue in Oxford became apparent to Phillips when he served on the Vision 2037 Planning Advisory Committee.

“Affordable housing was one of the main issues that was discussed,” Phillips said. “So many people in our community are forced to move out into surrounding counties to find housing that they can afford. Working with Crye-Leike Oxford Real Estate, I see the price of houses and it is hard for many families to make a house payment and make ends meet.”

So about six months ago, Phillips and the Thompsons talked over lunch about different ideas for purchasing property for affordable housing.

After looking at several properties, they were finally able to buy three parcels.

“We have another contract on another property and will continue to add properties as we find them,” Phillips said.

He gives the credit to the Thompsons for wanting to step up and help others.

“Mike and Regarner are the real heroes, trying to give back to a community they are proud to call home and are paying it forward,” Phillips said.

Wanting to give back and make the community he grew up in better is something Phillips credits to his parents, Jesse and Jeanette Phillips.

“My parents instilled in me at an early age that paying it forward was something that you do,” Phillips said. “It only takes a simple gesture to help someone and maybe change someone’s life.”