Category: Front Page
Things are moving right along with our build out in Birch Bay. Last week we completed the formwork for the foundation footing. Yesterday we poured the footing and tomorrow we’ll set the forms for the stem wall. Once the foundation is complete, we can build a house with the Ortiz family! Want to help? Email Janet at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (360) 715-9170.
Work for Habitat
We’re hiring in the store! We’re looking for a full-time Assistant Store Manager and a part-time Donation Ambassador/Warehouse Attendant/Driver. If you’re passionate about the need for affordable housing, Habitat might be a great fit for you. Come on in and apply!
Join Our Carpenters Club to Build without Lifting a Hammer
It takes more than labor to build a house. For every home we must raise about $150,000 for land and materials. We’ve relaunched our Carpenters Club giving program – an easy and convenient way to help build without ever breaking a sweat. By signing up to give monthly recurring donations through your credit card, debit card, or bank account, you help create a reliable stream of monetary support that is vital to building safe, decent, affordable shelter in partnership with working families. Call Hillary at (360) 715-9170 or email email@example.com to learn more. Click here and choose monthly donation frequency to sign up now. When you give, you build!
Meet the Lopez Family
Erlin and Sergio Lopez live in a 3-bedroom apartment with their 4 children. Which would be a little snug but overall not too bad if it weren’t for the fact that they share that 3-bedroom apartment with several extended family members. As it is, Erlin, Sergio, and their kids live crammed into a single bedroom. Way beyond snug.
Working Towards Home Ownership
Like so many Whatcom County residents, the Lopez family works, goes to school, and pays their bills … but still can’t afford safe, decent shelter through traditional channels. So when they heard about Habitat, they immediately applied to become homeowners. They joined our program in August and have been working hard on their sweat equity hours. When we asked Erlin and Sergio what they’re looking forward to most about owning their own house, they said, “Having a steady home where we’ll be able to see our kids grow.” They said the kids are already lobbying hard for a dog!
Proud Partners of Habitat
When we asked Erlin and Sergio what they’d like people to know about them, they answered plainly, “That we’re not bad people.” Indeed, we’re proud to partner with this amazing family. But we know about the judgment and intolerance so many hard-working folks face simply because they can’t afford decent shelter in a world where housing grows more expensive and unattainable every day. We invite any who may have doubt to volunteer … we’re confident that if you work alongside any one of our partner homebuyer families, you will finish the day with a changed heart.
Progress on Leeside Drive
We’re making real progress out in Birch Bay, thanks largely to the generosity of our supporters. On Monday, Mike Peetoom – owner and operator of Mike Peetoom Construction LLC – brought one of his earth movers out to the site and got to work. He scraped grass and topsoil and dug the trenches for the foundation. A lifelong Whatcom County resident, Mike was happy to be able to help. “I’m a dirt guy,” he said, grinning. “If you want me to swing a hammer, I’m worthless.”
You Don’t Have to Swing a Hammer to Help Build a House
Like Mike, John Paradis of Umpqua Bank, supports Habitat generously. He served on our Board of Directors for 10 years and now serves as the Co-Chair of our Homebuyer Selection Committee. “I believe in what Habitat’s doing,” he says. “I’m all about affordable housing. And we’ve got some really great [homebuyers] we’ve been able to work with.” Today he presented us with a $4000 check from the Umpqua Bank Charitable Foundation for the Leeside project. Women Build and Youth United Build teams will soon begin constructing the Ortiz-Mendoza home with the family.
Celebrate Progress with Us
Join us on Sunday, October 30th at the Habitat Store from 2 to 4pm for a Permit Party to celebrate the progress we’ve made so far. We’ll have plenty of cake and inspiration to fuel us for the next phase of the project … building a house!
Local Business Owners Illustrate That Giving Is Building
In Whatcom County, 42% of residents earn less than the basic cost of living. The average wage here is not enough to afford a 2-bedroom apartment. These circumstances set the stage for families living in overcrowded, substandard conditions. At Habitat for Humanity in Whatcom County, we’re trying to do something about that. We work with qualifying families to build safe, decent, affordable homes and lives beyond the oppressive grip of poverty. But we can’t do it alone. And there are so many different ways to help us build.
When You Give, You Build
Paul and Linda Teater, relative newcomers to Whatcom County, exemplify the neighborly spirit of our community. They’ve long been generous promoters of the welfare of others and their gifts to Habitat continue that tradition. Owners of the local Budget Blinds franchise, they outfitted both the Van Dyken and Gutierrez homes entirely in blinds at no charge. Additionally, they’re covering our office windows here at Habitat – again, at no charge. Money we don’t spend to cover our office windows goes towards building shelter. Money the Van Dyken and Gutierrez families don’t spend to cover their windows is freed up for health care, education, and basic needs. This is the impressive impact of the Teaters’ gifts.
What Will You Build?
With the Leeside project nearing the construction phase, 3 other new builds in the works, several repair projects, and Telegraph Townhomes just around the corner, we need more help than ever to continue building strength, stability, and self-reliance through shelter. Call (360) 715-9170 and help us build today!
Work Begins in Blaine
It took nearly 4 years of persistent effort, but at the end of last month we finally received a permit to begin building on the Leeside Drive lot we acquired back in 2012. We celebrated Habitat style … by rolling up our sleeves and getting to work!
Building House Number 37
This will be our 37th ground-up build in Whatcom County and we’re partnering with the Ortiz family to make it happen. The Ortiz’s joined our program in December of 2011 and have already put in over the minimum 500 hours of sweat equity before we’ve even broken ground! They were out at the build site this past Saturday working alongside volunteers and staff to clean up the lot and remove debris.
Build with the Ortiz’s
There are many more work parties to come and we’ll need all the hands we can get to help the Ortiz family finish their home in time for the 2017/2018 school year. Please contact Janet Straka at 360.715.9170 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up to volunteer with Habitat. This project is led by Women Build volunteers. Habitat welcomes volunteers of all genders.
Bob Matthes: Changing Lives with Habitat
A retired engineer, Bob Matthes has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity in Whatcom County since 2009. Prior to that, he volunteered with Habitat affiliates in Missouri and Iowa, primarily on the construction site. He enjoys working in the store here, though, because there’s plenty to do year-round, rain or shine. He loves the fact that the store is able to use those perfectly good materials that might otherwise end up in a landfill. He also appreciates the employment opportunities the store provides.
Bob dedicates a good amount of his time to us – the equivalent of a part-time job – and has done so for many years. When we asked him, “Why Habitat?” he had this to say:
Safe, decent, affordable housing is indeed tangible … and definitely something to celebrate!
Bob would like those considering volunteering with Habitat to know that there are plenty of opportunities beyond the build site and that, “This is really a chance to change people’s lives.” Thank you, Bob, for changing lives with us.
What Does Safe, Decent, and Affordable Look Like? See for Yourself!
This Saturday and Sunday, October 1st and 2nd, we’re participating in the Building Industry Association of Whatcom County’s annual Showcase of Homes. If you’ve never seen a finished Habitat house, this is your chance. This home, located at 2780 West Indiana Street in Bellingham, was our second passive-inspired build and we’re excited to show it off!
What’s A Passive-Inspired Build?
Energy efficient houses reduce poverty by helping to make long-term home ownership affordable. Think about it: how helpful is owning a house when you can’t afford to heat it? On the other hand, what if your home only cost $40 per month to heat? At Habitat we work to get as close to passive design standards as possible, which means we build super insulated homes with heat recovery ventilation (HRV) systems that keep air flow continually moving. A tightly insulated home that’s also well ventilated is a healthy, safe home that’s also extremely affordable to own and maintain.
See One for Yourself this Weekend
We’ll be at 2780 West Indiana Street from 11am to 4pm on both Saturday and Sunday to greet you, answer any questions you may have, and show off one of our finished builds. The homeowners are proud and happy to welcome you into their safe, decent, affordable home. Come on out!
Every Home Is A Strong Foundation
It was a beautiful day out in Sumas on Sunday as we gathered to welcome the Gutierrez family home. Executive Director John Moon opened the celebration with a reminder of the ripple effect that occurs each time another family is housed – their mortgage payments (made to Habitat for Humanity in Whatcom County) create an income stream that helps make more homes possible for more families. In this way, the Gutierrez home is both a strong foundation for the family and a strong foundation on which we continue to build.
A Strong Foundation for One Family …
Every parent wants a better future for their family. Every child deserves to live in stability. As young Salvadore cut the ribbon on the home his family rehabilitated with Habitat, that better future and that stability came sharply into focus for all of us in attendance. It was a symbolic moment that embodied not just the work done to get to this point, but all of the work now possible beyond it. With a decent place to live and an affordable mortgage, the Gutierrez family can save more, invest in education, pursue opportunity, and have more financial stability.
… Is a Strong Foundation for Many Families
As we look ahead to more builds – including Telegraph Townhomes, the 24 home project slated for groundbreaking in 2017 – we do so from the vantage point of other, completed builds. Builds like this one, which will help to fund future projects. And the hand up multiplies, raising more people out of poverty and into stable, independent lives. Will you help to fortify this strong foundation by giving today?
Welcome Home, Gutierrez Family
On Friday, September 9th, the Gutierrez family’s home closed, becoming the 4th complete house rehabilitation we’ve performed. And what a change! Just look at a few before and after photos …
Remarkable! The Gutierrez family has put in hundreds of hours of work to make their dream of home ownership a reality and we feel privileged to have partnered with these dedicated folks.
Join Us for the Dedication
This Sunday, September 18th, we’ll meet at 211 Front Street in Sumas at 4PM for a home dedication ceremony. All those with well wishes for the Gutierrez family are welcome. A home dedication is a moving, celebratory time to congratulate the family as well as to thank the many volunteers and donors who have helped bring about a permanent housing solution to yet another struggling family. We’d love to see you there!
Janet and Fred – our Volunteer Coordinator and our Resource Development Manager – had a lovely time visiting with the enthusiastic employees at WorldMark Blaine resort and WorldMark Birch Bay resort today. Resort staff is eager to volunteer as a group on some of our projects and we’re thrilled to have them! Is your company interested in having Janet and Fred out to present to your staff? Email us at email@example.com or call 360.715.9170 to schedule a visit.
Costa Rica Q&A
With recruitment for our Costa Rica build trip in full swing, we thought it’d be a good idea to hold an informational Q&A Session for those who are interested but have questions or concerns. Our highly experienced Trip Leader, Sarah Bond-Yancey, will be on hand to give you all the details you need. If you’re considering the Costa Rica trip, plan to attend this hour-long session on Thursday, September 8th from 6-7PM at the Community Food Co-op Bakery Café (405 E. Holly St. in Downtown Bellingham).
Work for Habitat
There are some rather large shoes to fill in our office, friends. Our dear friend and co-worker, Becca Bell, passed away and left a vacancy that will require a special person (or persons) to fill. Do you know a talented Office Manager/Bookkeeper who’s looking for a new professional home? Please pass our interest along. (See the job listing on Craigslist.)