Habitat for Humanity in Whatcom County

22/23 Annual Report

Adding Resilient Communities

A Word from Our Leadership

The thirty home Mateo Meadows project in Everson represents so much of how Habitat for Humanity in Whatcom County matured in the 2022/2023 fiscal year. Homes in the pipeline increased from 11 to 44. More importantly, many more of our neighbors who currently live in substandard conditions now have a pathway to escape the bonds of intergenerational poverty through homeownership. This number has increased from the low thirties to over one hundred. Habitat’s impact is growing exponentially.

A $450,000 grant from Whatcom County, below market construction financing from Habitat International and significant commitments from foundations and in-kind donors means that homes will soon be under construction.

The first eight homes will be completed in 2024 and the entire community completed in early 2027, representing a thirteen-million-dollar investment in the City of Everson and Whatcom County’s affordable homeownership housing stock.

Our Construction and Strategic Planning Committees have been asking and answering questions around ways to keep our homes permanently affordable, which means the homes we build are affordable to purchase, affordable to maintain, are climate resilient and remain affordable upon resale.

Equally important, Habitat has been looking at ways to meet the overwhelming housing need while building communities in a sustainable way. This means pushing at the edges of Habitat’s traditional service and subsidy model. The Mateo Meadows project in Everson will provide a pathway to homeownership for underserved populations such as those in emergency shelter. The Everson community will also offer a housing choice for those who earn too much for Habitat financing but too little to purchase a starter home in Whatcom County.

An integral part of this year’s growth has been how Habitat approaches building community. For more detail of how we are accomplishing that, continue to read all the articles in this Annual Report along with past and upcoming newsletters. Each element has a significant impact on long-term affordability, resiliency and sustainability.

Thank you for your investment in Habitat this past year. We couldn’t have accomplished so much without you.

John Moon

Executive Director 

Habitat for Humanity in Whatcom County

Volunteer Spotlight, Randy

Site Jester, Lynden Native, Fisherman

Randy Scobee is with us at the construction site nearly every Wednesday and Friday, and is regarded by many as a sort of court jester on site. As a result, he couldn’t help but crack a few jokes during this interview. His jokes and lighthearted attitude, however, don’t detract from his craftsmanship. His work may be one of the only things on site he takes all that seriously! 

Randy started volunteering with us way back in 2002 and has accumulated over 2,300 volunteer hours since then. He was seeking a place to give back to his community and found Habitat for Humanity. At that time, he had plans to move a state over and recalls, “I thought when I went to Idaho I would have some time to do that, so I thought I’d get a head start here, and I did.” 

Although our volunteers generally participate in every phase of construction, many have a favorite job. Some were carpenters before retiring, others know a lot about plumbing, but Randy isn’t one of these volunteers. In his own words “I love everything. There isn’t anything I don’t like…actually I don’t like hanging sheetrock.” He laughs, “That’s not fun. But that’s about the only one.” 

For Randy, the main attraction to volunteering is the camaraderie that he feels with his fellow volunteers. When asked about his favorite moments from all those years of volunteering, he thinks of his fellow volunteers rather than himself, saying, “The stories people have, you know, about themselves and about their families. [The stories from] the future homeowners, it’s fun to hear about that, and it’s fun to see them.” 

Our affiliate has grown and developed significantly over the course of his volunteering career, and he’s excited about our plans for the future. When asked what excites him about the work our affiliate is doing he exclaims, in typical fashion, “Oh, I love doing the same job three times!” He laughs, “Maybe you should cut that,” and adds, “I think we can learn a lot from what we’ve done in the past. I think we can improve on the quality of not only workmanship but our not having to do the same job two or three times.” He’s witnessed these improvements in craftsmanship and productivity, and the evidence is clear in the number of homes that our affiliate is beginning to build each year. 

Years ago, when Randy started volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, the aspect of our mission that resonated most with him was the relationships that volunteers are able to develop with homeowners as a result of the Sweat Equity hours they fulfill. He recalls, “I did a couple of Mission trips down south of Tijuana – great time; great time. They do it once a year, they do it for one week, and they’re done.” Even on short projects like these, Randy was able to develop relationships with the future homeowners. 

What has kept him coming back every week up until today remains the same. For him, the most rewarding part of “Habitat – especially when you’re retired – is that you’re more involved with the people – both the people you work with [on site] and the future homeowners.”

Neighborhood Revitalization


Fantasy Reader, Extroverted Introvert, Nature Explorer

Working with interns is such a fun and rewarding experience for us. It’s an opportunity to get fresh ideas, engage our student community and provide a glimpse into our day to day operations — and being a nonprofit that is simultaneously a charity, a store, and a construction company, opportunities abound. 

Originally from Snohomish, Bella moved here to pursue a degree in Recreation Leadership Management at WWU. We’re grateful she decided to spend 10 weeks working with us as a Social Media and Events Intern, and that her program offered her the ability to earn college credits while working with Habitat. 

Bella participated in many events – from the Raise the Roof Auction, and the Lynden Fair, to Ragnar and Tour de Whatcom – and helped spread the word about each of them. “Somehow I was able to learn a lot,” she said, “without getting overwhelmed and losing a sense of my overall goals. I’m also fortunate that I had multiple people willing to mentor and teach me.”

 Having known little about Habitat for Humanity in the beginning, Bella quickly caught onto what we’re all about: “I think the Habitat program is a perfect representation of how to help give people a hand up,” she said, “Helping families become more financially stable in the long term by providing housing is so impactful. In general, the hope, and the way people help each other is such an amazing thing to be around.”


We were excited to welcome Jose, Marta, and their three children to the Habitat program this year. They are one of the first families to join our program who are destined to move into our Mateo Meadows Community in downtown Everson. 

The family is excited to join our program as well, for homeownership, and all of the things that stable housing will offer – permanency, comfortability, and security. 

Jose is quickly fulfilling his Sweat Equity hours, primarily at the build site. His experience in construction makes it a comfortable place to be, though he’s excited to be learning a different set of skills, and is happy to fill in at the Habitat Store from time to time. Stephanie, his daughter, who is 18, is a weekend regular at our store, helping to organize and price items in receiving. 

The family moved to Whatcom from Guatemala over a decade ago after being granted asylum, and settled down in the city of Everson. When asked about what he likes about Whatcom County, Jose told us, “The trees, the rain, the people are nice – everything. And I see a future for my younger kids too, because there is a college here.” Jose found work in construction, installing utility lines. The work is seasonal, but he likes that it offers longer periods of time to spend with his family. 

When Everson flooded in late 2021, the family was living in Everson Meadows. “Our apartment was completely flooded, and we lost all we had.” Jose said. They had no choice but to move, and Everson Meadows, the only affordable housing option for Everson residents, was eventually declared beyond repair and set for demolition. In all, 26 families were suddenly without a place to live. 

Jose and his family first moved into a hotel, where they had to pay daily for the stay. Eventually, “Somebody offered a camper for us to stay in, because it’s too expensive to stay in a hotel…” The family stayed in the camper as long as they could, but it was winter, “the hose in the RV started freezing,” Jose said, “if we needed to use the bathroom, we didn’t have water.” 

Eventually, someone in their church offered their duplex to help them through the transition. After a month and a half, the family found a more permanent place to stay – a two bedroom apartment near downtown. Like so many structures in Everson, Nooksack and Sumas, their current apartment is riddled with flood damage; there are bumps and gaps on the floor, mold on the walls, doors get stuck and dirt seeps up the shower drains. The two-bedroom is also too small for a family of five. 

Stories like Jose’s make it imperative for us to build, not only affordable housing throughout all of Whatcom, but homes that will get families through the rough weather days ahead. Our commitment to serving Whatcom’s low-income communities makes future affordability a crucial aspect of the way we build homes. Not only do we offer affordable monthly mortgage payments, but part of getting our homebuyers ready for a changing world means building climate resilient homes that are affordable today, and affordable to maintain decades into the future.


This year we were approached by the Haggen Foundation, and asked “What ‘Pie in the Sky’ item does Habitat wish for to improve sustainability?” From a long wish list of seemingly unattainable dreams, our team agreed on an electric vehicle which would allow us to expand our pickups, deliver items sold at our store, and take us another step away from carbon-based energy. 

That dream was materialized after we received a $35,000 grant from Haggen, allowing us to purchase a beautiful, brand-new electric van. 

The Store that Builds Homes is constantly changing, but our goal remains the same: make Whatcom a more affordable and sustainable place to live. We couldn’t do this without our incredibly supportive community and organizations like the Haggen Foundation, Bellingham Millwork Supply, Great Floors, Ace Hardware, Lowe’s, and Cascade Cuts – to name a few. 

We would like to thank the many donors – both individuals and organizations – who have brought tons (literally!) of donations ranging from tools and hardware all the way to plants and flowers. 

We’d also like to thank our community – donors, volunteers, shoppers – for contributing to our vision of a world where everyone has a place to live. 

Last but not least, we’re so grateful to our lovely staff who work hard to make the store better everyday. We are thrilled to be here in Whatcom giving second-hand items another chance while continuing to build affordable homes. 

Thank you for all your support! 

The Habitat Store Team


Responding to the effects of climate change, and creating a climate resilient Whatcom County is part of our vision of building a world where everyone has a safe, affordable place to live. Thanks to the City of Everson, Habitat Whatcom received $20,000 in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds this year, to be used for minor repairs to homes within the city. 

After beginning our work in Everson, Habitat quickly developed a partnership with Whatcom Long Term Recovery Group — a non-profit formed to provide relief and assistance to flood victims. WLTRG has a database of homes that are still in dire need of repair since the November, 2021 floods. 

This partnership has allowed both organizations to expand their impact. Since WLTRG’s funds are flood specific, Habitat is able to use ARPA funds to execute other – not flood related – critical repairs it identifies in these homes. 

So far, Habitat has done repairs, and in some cases replaced flooring, repaired subflooring, and installed new baseboards. We’ve also replaced doors, skirting and windows, and rebuilt a deck. 

The majority of our work has been in Everson, but thanks to the partnership, we’ve broadened our reach repairing homes in Sumas and Deming. 

The labor is free, thanks to our generous volunteers who donate their time on a weekly basis. This means the funds can go towards the purchase of materials allowing us to serve a greater number of families. 

Our commitment to serving Whatcom’s low-income communities makes future affordability a crucial aspect of the way we build homes. The effects of climate change – long talked about as a future problem for our grandkids – are with us now. To mitigate those effects, we need to build greener, stronger, more flood-resilient homes, as we continue to repair and replace what was lost. 

The damage from floods of Nov 2021 has been an integral part of all the planning for our future Mateo Meadows Community, The first step for construction will be to raise the building sites one foot above the Base Flood Elevation (BFE). The slab foundations will raise the homes another foot, putting the homes two feet above the BFE. Habitat also plans on using attic space instead of crawl spaces to run ducts, power and venting, to limit damage in the event of a far more catastrophic flood. 

Along with doing our best to prepare for future floods, these homes will be built to the highest possible energy efficiency standards, using triple pane windows, air-to-air heat exchange, and a highly insulated envelope. Consequently, they’ll be incredibly efficient to heat and cool. The first 12 units of the Telegraph Townhomes, a partnership project with Kulshan Community Land Trust and the Whatcom Community Foundation, have also been equipped with both individual and community solar panels; we hope to further increase solar energy at Mateo Meadows. 

Preventing damage from future floods is a crucial part of long-term affordability for our homebuyers, and long-term affordability is inexorably tied to Habitat’s goal of ending poverty forever for our partner families.

By the Numbers


Active House Builds


RV Care-A-Vanners


Individual Contributions


Donuts Eaten


Through the Cars for Homes Program


Mortgage Paid Off


Volunteers Engaged
Total Volunteer Hours
Value Created

Hours by Department

Habitat Office
Habitat Store

The Habitat Store

Drop offs


Store Sales


Recycling Proceeds


Donation Pickups


Amount Diverted from Landfill

1,083,052.98 lbs

Round Up Donations



Our Growing Community

Build Community Day
MLK Day of Service
2022 Raise the Roof Auction & Trashion Show
WCAR Golf Tournament
Habitat on the Hill

Volunteer Groups

Village Books
Washington Conservation Corps
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Exxel Pacific
Peoples Bank
Wells Fargo
Bellingham Underwriters
St. Paul's Episcopal
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Leaning Forward

Addressing affordability, sustainability, resiliency and upward mobility in meaningful ways.

A family of four, earning between $77,000 and $125,000 annually, a group not typically eligible for housing programs, struggle to find a starter home or fixer-upper in Whatcom County to call their own. The American Dream of owning your own home is now all but inaccessible for 48% of Whatcom County residents. This means that over 50,000 of our neighbors are one rent increase from another move, yet another school system and even further away from jobs and shopping. They will not be able to build the stability and wealth that supports a healthy economy and satisfactory quality of life. Employers find it difficult to hire at a wage they can afford, and their employees can live on. Parents worry about where their children will live. Many call this Whatcom’s housing crisis for the Missing Middle. 

The solution is complex and will require government, business and non-profits doing their part, but regardless of perceived difficulty, Habitat has a vision and has begun implementing a plan to serve that family of four above earning up to $125,000 per year. 

Imagine a continuum of housing types, pricing and services which will allow someone in emergency housing, if appropriate, to become a homeowner without changing school systems. Furthermore, imagine a community of permanently-affordable, super energy-efficient homes and retail spaces built to be resilient to a changing climate which are close to schools, shopping and public transportation. 

Mateo Meadows in Everson, a thirty-home community, will incorporate all the above aspirations to build a more affordable, sustainable, and resilient community the Missing Middle can afford. But wait, there is more. The master plan includes retail space which could be used for a beauty salon owner, or similar business, which serves the local community and where the owner lives above their shop. 

Equally important, a spectrum of tenancy options will mean that families living in emergency or temporary housing will have an opportunity to rent, but with a pathway to homeownership through the ability to build financial equity, even as a renter. That Missing Middle family of four who were previously blocked from homeownership opportunities because they earned too much to qualify for housing programs, along with that single parent holding down two jobs and escaping unhealthy relationships now have a pathway to the American Dream. 

Over the next decade, Habitat hopes to expand the Mateo Meadows model to every community it builds. When Habitat can borrow at the amount it lends (0%) it can build similar communities, at scale, wherever it is needed and welcome.

Habitat Champions

Habitat for Humanity in Whatcom County extends our deepest thanks to everyone who has donated this past year. Thank you to the thousands who made individual contributions through the Annual Appeal, monthly Carpenter’s Club, various fundraisers, or dropped off their gently used items at our donation dock or purchased items from the store. We’d also like to thank the many Foundations and Community Supporters who share our vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to call home. We couldn’t do what we do without your support! Thank you.

AARP Foundation

Ace Hardware Bellingham

Amazon Smile

At Home Store

Bank Of America Charitable Foundation

Banner Bank

Belcher Swanson Law Firm PLLC

Bellingham Grocery Outlet

Bellingham Millworks

Bellingham Underwriters

Beneficial State Bank

Boundary Bay Brewery

Budget Septic

Builders Alliance

Builders FirstSource

Building Industry Association- BIAWC

Career Path Services

Cars For Homes Program

Cascade Connections

Cascade Natural Gas

Chicago Title

Chrysalis Inn & Spa

City Of Everson

Congregation Beth Israel

Crave Catering

Credo Construction


Ethos West Construction

Express Pros

Exxel Pacific

ExxonMobil Foundation

Favinger Plumbing & CAZ Construction

First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

First Fed Bank

First Fed Community Foundation

Fred Meyers

Furnishings Now

G&R Architects


General Teamsters’ Local 231

Great Floors

Guardian Northwest Title Co.

Habitat Home Improvement

Habitat Home Inspections

Haggen Foundation


Heritage Bank


Honcoop Gravel Inc.

IBEW Local 191

Industrial Credit Union

Interfaith Coalition

James K. Papp Photographer

John B. Watts Charitable Fund

John Deere

John L Scott Real Estate


Kulshan Community Land Trust

Lafeens Donuts

Lairmont Manor

Larson Gross, PLLC

Lautenbach Industries

Lettered Streets Covenant Church

Loretta P Russo Charitable Fund

Lowe’s Bellingham

Lydia Place

Lynden Interiors

Management Services Northwest

MastersBlend Coffee

MT Shoebox, LLC

North Puget Sound Carpenters Union #71

Northwest Surveying & GPS

Northwest Youth Services

NW Fence

NW Shippers Yard

Opportunity Council

Peaks NW Roofing

Peoples Bank

Perry Pallets

Phillips 66 Ferndale Refinery

Presentation Art Studio, LLC

PTLA Real Estate Group

Rice Insurance, LLC


RV Care-A Vanners Program

Samson Rope Technologies

Samuel’s Furniture

Seeking Health LLC

St James Presbyterian Church

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church

State Farm

TaylorMade Truck Driving School

Blackburn Family

The Eleanor & Henry Jansen Foundation

Thrivent Choice Program

Umpqua Bank Charitable Foundation

United Rentals Branch 921

Unity Spiritual Center

Village Books

Washington Conservation Corps

Washington Federal Foundation

Wells Fargo Foundation

West Coast Windows

WestEdge Credit Union

Western Forest Products

Westside Building Supply

Whatcom Community Foundation

Whatcom County

Whatcom County Association of Realtors

Whatcom Educational Credit Union

Whatcom Events

Whatcom Humane Society


Wilson Engineering

Women Sharing Hope

Woods Coffee


World Relief

Our Team

Board of Directors

Gina Stark, President

Eli Mackiewicz, Vice President

Ryan Kinney, Secretary/Treasurer

Mike Roberts, Director

Marlin Hendricks, Director

Isabel Meaker, Director

Lorrie Melton, Director

Habitat Staff

Alexis West – Donation Ambassador

Alic Tung – Training Manager

Andrew Bridgeforth – Construction Manager

Brady Skewis – Donation Ambassador

Chris Pritchard – Volunteer Crew Lead

Cody Hutton – Donation Ambassador

Courtney Bartley – Online Store Facilitator

Eleni Karadimas – Store Logistics Coordinator

Emily Brendle – Donation Ambassador

Emily Waters – Donation Ambassador

Erika Moore – Volunteer Development Manager

Faith Seivers – Donation Ambassador

Fiona Cowell – Front-end Manager

Fred Sheppard – Resource Development Manager

Gus Fales – Donation Ambassador

Hillary Pritchard – Operations Director

Ixchel Kissmann – Donation Ambassador

Jake Hernandez – Donation Ambassador

Jenrri Hough – Donation Ambassador

John Moon – Executive Director

Joshua Russel – Donation Ambassador

Kelli Fulton – Logistics and Procurement Coordinator

Linda Montoya – Bookkeeper

Luidmyla Reshitnyk – Donation Ambassador

Marcelo Pratesi – Advancement and Communications Director

Nate Underdown – Donation Ambassador

Perry Olason – Procurement Manager

Rue Macdonald – Front-end Manager

Skye Saling – Donation Ambassador

Tralayna Haslett – Volunteer Development Manager

Troy Buist – Construction Manager

Uriah Wilston – Operations Manager

Victor Paulson – Receiving Manager

Yggdy Winter – Store Logistics Coordinator

Zachariah Leher – Front-end Manager

Zachary Elicker – Volunteer Crew Lead

Thank you for being part of another year of building homes, community & hope.

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