Kim Tobin - Habitat for Humanity
Kim Tobin from Habitat for Humanity was another guest on the show this week. Read the full article to find out about the talking points of the show. You can also visit WNPV and listen to the shows archives.
- ReStore. The ReStore is our home improvement thrift store. It's located in West Norriton and we sell gently used furniture and appliances, paint, flooring, sinks, windows, doors, lamps, etc at a fraction of the cost. We sometimes get donations from large companies like Lowe's or Marriott but we are always looking for donations from the general public. We even have a truck that will pick up items from Wednesday through Saturday.
- There are 5,700 families in Montgomery County that live in substandard housing. But what does substandard housing look like? It's families who don't have hot water to get ready for work and school, it's when they don't have heat so they have to sleep with winter coats and gloves on, it's living with infestations of rats and bugs. And even with these conditions, families are forced to pay over 30% of their income on housing.
- We are currently building in Norristown, Pottstown, and Upper Dublin. We have completed 50 homes in Montgomery County.
- Holiday Campaign: our holiday campaign is underway. One of our amazing homeowners, Christine Isaac, wrote this year's appeal letter. She has been a homeowner since 2009 and has two sons. Our campaign this year is about building a home for the holidays and it combines stories from homeowners, donors, volunteers, and staff and crosses many platforms including direct mail, facebook, our website, and personal phone calls. We encourage people to get to know our Habitat family and see how they can give the gift of a home this holiday season.
- Upper Dublin School District: we have started an exciting partnership this year with the Upper Dublin School District. Earlier this summer, we met with Dr. Pladdus, the Superintendent, to put together a program for each school. Each school is doing an awareness activity and a fundraising campaign. We expect this partnership will raise over $20k this school year and will have the school district be a partial sponsor for one of our new homes in Upper Dublin.
- Corporate Build Days: we are offering a new corporate team build program for companies that want to send groups to do community service while learning to work together as a team. We meet with our corporate contact prior to the build to discuss objectives and how we can build a team building day. We include t-shirts, lunch, a DVD slideshow of the day, and much more. We also request a significan donation for these days to allow us to continue building homes in Montgomery County. Donations range from $1-$5k and recent corporations that have participated are: GlaxoSmithKline, Penn Liberty Bank, Pfizer, CoreDial, and we have Johnson and Johnson coming up this week!
- Faith Builds: one of our homes in Upper Dublin (dedicated in 2009) was part of an inter-faith build. 14 churches and synagogues joined forces to raise 1/14th of the cost of the home. Each congregation had multiple opportunities to build on site with the family. There are over 750 faith organizations in Montgomery County. If each one could raise $1000 per year (less than $100/month), we could build seven new homes in Montgomery County EVERY YEAR!
- We have an amazing partnership with Villanova University. It is a long-term partnership where they raise funds for an entire house every other year. Currently, they are working on a home in Norristown, which was kicked off with a week-long blitz build in September. We had over 100 Villanova students, alumni, faculty, and staff working in two daily shifts.
- We have over 50 families in our pipeline who are waiting for houses. The first step if you are interested in a Habitat home is to attend a New Homeowner Orientation. The next one will be in January. There, families can find out more information about the process and to see if they qualify initially.
- A common misconception is that Habitat homeowners get their house for free. They don't. They qualify for a home through a series of orientations, meetings with a family selection committee, credit checks, etc. They do receive an interest-free mortgage, which keeps their monthly payments usually around $600-$700/month. They do own their homes. Habitat is the mortgage holder and we use the monthly mortgage payments in a revolving fund to build more houses.
ReStore: 610-631-3149 or www.habitatmontco.org/restore (Hours: Wednesday-Friday 9-5 and Saturday 9-2)