Information and updates on how Habitat for Humanity in Whatcom County is working to address poverty in our community
Build Like a Girl
In an industry that’s historically excluded women, we believe our Women Build program testifies to the absurdity of that exclusion. And what better time to proudly present our evidence than during Women’s History Month?
A group of women in Charlotte, N.C. completed the first women-built Habitat for Humanity house.
Women Build became an official Habitat for Humanity International program.
Across the country, 52 homes were built through Women Build.
Habitat for Humanity in Whatcom County’s first ever Women Build project housed a 3-generational female household that had been living above a repair garage coping with exhaust fumes and mold.
Our Current Women Build Project
We started building with the Ortiz family at 7535 Leeside Drive in Birch Bay at the end of 2016. Now this Women Build project boasts a foundation, the framing, a fully shingled roof, and interior partition walls. We’ll begin siding the house next week.
Build Like a Girl with Habitat
You don’t need construction experience to volunteer with Women Build. All you need are a sturdy pair of shoes and the willingness to learn. Learn more by emailing Sarah at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (360) 715-9170.
Myth: Habitat Gives Homes Away for Free
One of the most persistent myths about Habitat for Humanity is that we give houses away for free. In fact, we sell homes at cost to qualifying individuals/families like the Gutierrez family who demonstrate a willingness to partner with us. These folks are what we call Partner Homebuyers and make no mistake: they don’t just buy their homes, they work for them, too.
Becoming a Partner Homebuyer
Partner Homebuyers are selected based primarily on three things:
- Need for housing. People living in substandard or unsafe conditions are good possible candidates for our program. The Gutierrez family home is severely overcrowded, a problem which often creates health concerns as well, thereby marrying substandard with unsafe – a deleterious combination.
- Willingness to partner. Becoming a Partner Homebuyer means entering into a long-term relationship with Habitat for Humanity. In the first place, building a home takes time and hard work. Then, once the home is built, homeowners remit their mortgage payments to Habitat. All in all, we’re talking about a relationship of up to 30 years or more. And with 250 hours of sweat equity to complete before construction even begins, that relationship begins with labor. Folks like the Gutierrez family have consistently demonstrated their desire to work alongside us toward a world where everyone has a decent place to live.
- Ability to repay the mortgage. Partner Homebuyers like the Gutierrez family have a proven history of prompt bill payments and the documented ability to pay their mortgage each month.
Transitioning to Habitat Homeowner
Soon the Gutierrez family will move into their new home. This transition signifies the culmination of about 16 months of consistent effort. After joining our program in April of 2015, they rolled up their sleeves immediately and got to work, primarily in our store. Within 7 months they’d completed their first 250 hours of sweat equity. Not content to rest on their laurels, the Gutierrez family worked even harder, completing another 250 hours by the end of the year. The home they’ll soon move into is far from free. They’ve paid with their labor and enthusiasm and will continue to pay with their pocketbooks. A true partnership, we’re proud to call the Gutierrez family our next Habitat Homeowners.
Celebrate Habitat’s 25th Year in Whatcom County!
- KAFE 104.1 live broadcast
- Hempler’s Hot Dogs
- Family Activities
- 25% off EVERYTHING at the Habitat Store ALL DAY LONG!
Photo copyright Derek Key, used under Creative Commons Licence
Looking for a summer internship?
Habitat has internship positions open on the job site and in our store!
Construction: Habitat is looking for two high school youth over 16 to serve as construction crew leader interns this summer, helping lead work site volunteers on our latest “Passive” design home Bellingham.
The program, funded by the Bike & Build Organization, is a six week internship. Participants will receive a $700 stipend/scholarship at the end of their service.
The first three weeks will concentrate on construction skill development. The second three weeks will concentrate on leadership development. The internship will consist of four, eight-hour work days per week for six weeks.
This is a great opportunity to earn money for college, get involved in Habitat’s mission, and learn construction skills!
Retail: The Habitat Store has openings for two retail associate interns. This position is open to applicants over 16 and will last for six weeks. Interns will learn customer service, cashiering, merchandising, and other retail skills while working four, eight-hour days per week. Interns will receive a $500 stipend/scholarship at the end of their service.
This is a good way to get job skills and earn money for school!