The Sonoma County Gazette: Community News Magazine
Sonoma County Gazette
Subscribe
| more

Photo Gallery

10 Things You May Not Know About Habitat for Humanity of Sonoma County

thumb_2_HH-House.jpg

10 Things You May Not Know About Habitat for Humanity of Sonoma County

By Tamara Stanley, Executive Director 

1. The CEO of Habitat for Humanity is not Jimmy Carter!

Despite their high profile and impassioned public support for our national organization and its mission, former President Jimmy Carter and First Lady Roslyn Carter remain occasional and humble construction volunteers, giving of their time like thousands of others across the country to help worthy, hard-working people attain the dream of home ownership.

2. Yes, there’s a local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity right here in Sonoma County!

The good news is our organization enjoys a high profile and tremendous brand identity on a national and international level. The not-so-good news: that high profile tends to obscure the fact that the organization is comprised of thriving local affiliates—like the one here in Sonoma County!

 3. We build homes all over Sonoma County, and have current projects in Cotati! 

Right now, and pretty much all year long, we are engaged in building projects that help people who commit to 300 hours of "sweat equity" and have shown a demonstrated ability to make payments on the home that Habitat for Humanity makes possible for them. Currently, we have ?? homes underway in Cotati.

4. Our local Sonoma County affiliate celebrated its 30th birthday last year.

Since our founding in 1984, we have helped 37 families move into new, affordable homes, which they had the unique and important pleasure of helping to build. That is a pace of slightly more than one home per year. Our goal is to increase that pace in the future.

5. Families are carefully screened and qualified when they apply for assistance from Habitat for Humanity.

A Habitat family's income must be within 50%-60% of the median household income in Sonoma County to qualify for a purchase. Families are expected to meet employment, income and labor requirements for participation in the program.

6. To the degree possible, the size and scale of homes are matched to the family who will become its owners.

That means enough bedrooms so all children can have a place for productive work and rest, a large enough kitchen for everyone to enjoy family meals, but at a price point they can afford.

7. Habitat for Humanity homes help restore neighborhoods and increase home prices.

Our goal is not only to help individual families but to upgrade entire neighborhoods with new homes occupied by proud and responsible owners. Our preference to build on blighted properties and empty lots helps ensure that every Habitat for Humanity home will enhance the collective life of the community. In addition, we employ the latest green building practices that help maintain value and contribute to a sustainable future.

8. We operate our own home improvement thrift store in Santa Rosa!

Our “ReStore” on Piner Road puts a unique twist on the traditional thrift store, with a major focus on home improvement items. That means we accept donations of a wide variety of items, from building supplies to cabinets to flooring to tools and a whole lot more. Want to do good and get a receipt for your tax-deductible donation? Come see us from Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

9. We rely on both unskilled and professional labor to get our homes built to top quality specifications.

Our unskilled volunteers need professionals beside them, handling the jobs only professionals can do. Come be part of this movement—become a Habitat volunteer! 

10. There has never been a foreclosure on a Habitat for Humanity home in Sonoma County.

We trust that speaks for itself and is perhaps the most telling indicator of all on what this program means for the families involved in it, and the many volunteers and donors who make it all possible.