Habitat for Humanity in Whatcom County

Habitat Build Updates


Where We Are

The present moment at Habitat for Humanity of Whatcom County could be described as a sort of “calm before the storm.” Our pace has slowed in past months in advance of projects in Custer, Everson, and Bellingham which will begin this coming spring, summer, and fall, and likely transpire at the same time. Expect to have the luxury of choice in the near future when it comes to volunteering on a HFH Whatcom construction site; we intend to have multiple sites open most days. 

Click here to find out where you can volunteer with us each week. 

Habitat Store Improvements

In anticipation of this controlled chaos our affiliate has been growing. The construction crew has been frontloaded with folks who are passionate about our mission and excited to divide and conquer across HFH Whatcom’s future project sites.

Our store and executive staff have grown too, which led to the remodel that has been creating a ruckus in our store for the last two months. Fear not, store patrons, our work is nearly done. We’ve expanded off the staff conference room to add three 9’x7′ offices. Construction team members and volunteers have also been helping the store to make the most of its floorspace by constructing large tables to stack merchandise.

Stop by to check them out and get a feel for the craftsmanship of our volunteers!

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service

The construction of said tables was one of a number of projects which took place at our Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service event. A group of over 40 volunteers donated their precious time to us in the interest of honoring Dr. King’s legacy and his commitment to public service and nonviolent action. 

With their help, we successfully connected the four units of Telegraph 1B to the city’s water, spread mulch around the saplings and shrubs in our native habitat restoration area, assembled furniture donations which have been sold at the store, constructed the aforementioned tables, poured concrete for the street sign which proclaims the property as the Telegraph Townhomes, and painted the conference room at the store. Thank you to all those who participated!

Telegraph Townhomes

Move-ins are imminent at Telegraph 1B as the units passed final inspection a week ago and are, for all intents and purposes, complete. We’ve spent little time there over the past two months in comparison to our work at the store. Nevertheless, in this time we have finished a number of projects, both big and small, to prepare the units for occupancy.

The most visible change has been the labor-intensive landscaping project to bring 1B to code in accordance with City of Bellingham Green Factor requirements. In total, we planted 10 trees ranging from small to large canopies at maturity, 135 shrubs two feet or taller at maturity, 38 groundcover plants, and 17 climbing vines. We were fortunate enough to personally test the hardiness of the shrubs and groundcover by doing more than half of the planting after overnight snowfall. The plants, being native to the Pacific Northwest, appeared unbothered–though our makeshift greenhouse to melt the frozen root balls may have played a part.

Inside the units, we have been making finishing touches like hanging mirrors, towel bars, and toilet paper holders in bathrooms, putting up closet bars and shelf systems, and deep-cleaning. Outside, we also painted our fire lane curb to meet code.

We estimate that 90% of Telegraph 1B’s construction was completed by volunteers. In the last year, our construction volunteers donated over 7,000 hours of labor to our affiliate, factoring out to a value of $210,825.47. See our annual report for more.

Where We Are Headed

As was mentioned above, big things are coming for our Whatcom County affiliate.

Last month, we finalized the purchase of a 3.5 acre lot on Lincoln Street in Everson. Plans for this lot include 38 townhomes, and 8,000 square feet of commercial space with apartments upstairs. The most recent developments here have included the shifting of materials from our Bellingham site to the warehouse on the property, the organization of said materials and tools, and the framing of rooms in a corner of this warehouse which are intended to be an office, bathrooms, a kitchen, and living area for Americorps volunteers and RV Care-A-Vanners who will join us in the coming months.

Additionally, in Custer, we will be building an 1,100 square foot single-family home. Around the same time, we will break ground for the next phase of the Telegraph Townhome project.

Finally, keep your eyes and ears open for information about the acquisition of another property in Sumas and the construction plans for this site.

Mateo Meadows

Telegraph Townhomes

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