HABITATCHESAPEAKE.ORG | FALL 2016
Hearts & Homes
Inside this issue...
New Leadership Stronger Neighborhoods Building Hope LIUNA 9/11 Build Day Carver Vocational HabiCorps Donor Spotlight
Building Stronger Neighborhoods Habitat for Humanity is focused on creating access to affordable homeownership for deserving low-income families. Over time, we have learned that we can also build stronger neighborhoods by focusing our efforts on targeted neighborhoods and constructing or rehabilitating a critical mass of homes. Together with related community development activities, these concerted efforts can transform neighborhoods. A good example is the work of Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake in a portion of Govans, particularly revitalization efforts on McCabe Avenue, a troubled street in the heart the Woodbourne-McCabe neighborhood. McCabe Avenueâ€™s troubles began around the 1950s and later devolved into a center of gang violence and drug trafficking. The notorious McCabe Boys gang ruled the streets and crime crippled the neighborhood. Over time, residents moved out of the neighborhood and their homes stood vacant. The Woodbourne-McCabe neighborhood consists of nearly 1,100 residents with 97 percent being African American and nearly 65 percent of households report income of less than $34,000. (Continued on Page 5)
A word from the Chief... Executive Staff Mike Posko Chief Executive Officer Candice Van Scoy Chief Financial Officer Stephen Bolton Chief Operating Officer Gregg Mitchell Chief Development Officer
Board of Directors Bert J. Hash, Jr. Chair J. Michael Brennan Vice Chair Joe Noone Treasurer David Miller Secretary David Beck John Bond Steve Buck Arnold Carter Mark D. Case Bernice Coles Michael Gross Kim Sherman
Edward Haladay, AIA Lyn Harper Edwin Howe, III, PE Gregory Lechner Owen Rouse Jake Ruppert Stephanie Shack
Habitat Homes Change Lives. Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake is devoted to helping deserving low-income families gain access to the dream of homeownership. The reality of owning a home really is a dream come true for our homebuyers. We hear it from them often. “It’s not just a home, but a goal to work toward so that you can keep and maintain your blessing. I can’t say it’s been easy, but it’s been worth it.” Beneka, a single mother with a child who has developmental disability, also spoke eloquently about what her new accessible home means to her family. “This is our chance,” Beneka said. “This is our miracle.” A comprehensive study of Habitat for Humanity homeowners nationally, conducted by the University of Southern Indiana, revealed dramatically positive outcomes that result from homeownership. Findings included the following: • • • • • • • •
74% of respondents reported that their family’s well being improved 98% reported moderate to high self-esteem after moving into their home 93% take pride in their neighborhood 97% felt that Habitat has improved their quality of life 53% felt that their Habitat home has helped improve their job opportunities 57% indicated that adults in the home are furthering their education 74% indicated that their family’s overall health had improved 90% of women surveyed felt a sense of power being part of a Habitat build
Habitat homeowners are special. All must have a housing need, possess the means to pay a mortgage, be credit-worthy and complete financial and homeowner education programs. Eligible homebuyers make a down payment and contribute 300 hours of sweat equity in their home or to the organization. In return, Habitat homebuyers become eligible to purchase a home with a no-interest loan. By charging no interest, we are able to keep monthly payments low thereby reducing monthly housing costs for a low-income family below rental costs. Donors to Habitat Chesapeake enjoy the satisfaction of meeting a critical need for affordable housing, while also contributing to employment, education, health and overall well-being of homeowners and their families. Thank you for being a partner in progress. Mike Posko, Chief Executive Officer
Habitat Chesapeake Welcomes New Leadership Stephen (Steve) Bolton was named Chief Operating Officer of Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake in early September. In his new role, he hopes to bring everyone together as a team. “Of course, I also want us to help more families. If we stick to Habitat’s roots and create a strong, cohesive affiliate, our capacity to build more and more homes each year will follow.” Habitat Chesapeake is thankful to have Steve as a part of its leadership team. Steve grew up in Baltimore where he attended Calvert Hall and obtained a Business degree from the University of Maryland. Steve’s first job was with IBM in DC, while continuing to study at University of Maryland. After three years, he realized that he did not want to sit at a desk all day and the opportunity to help his brother-in-law build a deck sparked his passion for construction. Steve began educating himself on construction practices and soon started his own business that he managed for 12 years. At 41 years old, Steve moved to Maine because his stepdaughter transferred there for school. Steve had friends in Maine and had previously vacationed there, but he did not know that Maine was where his true calling would be; it was there that he discovered Habitat for Humanity. Maine seemed like a good opportunity. Steve gave up his company and worked for Ilex Construction as a Project Manager. With Ilex Construction, he was able to do various custom projects, including work in the locker room of M&T Bank Stadium, home to the Baltimore Ravens. Steve continued to work in Maryland three days a week, along with his work with Ilex. One day, he came across an ad for a local Habitat for Humanity Maine affiliate, seeking a volunteer to educate its youth on roofing. Thus, his journey with Habitat for Humanity began. Steve began volunteering in 1999 with Habitat for Humanity Portland and soon after became the Director. Working for Habitat for Humanity changed his way of thinking about construction. He drew on “best practices” from both for-profit and non-profit models, focusing on the challenge of building high-quality, on-budget homes with a volunteer workforce. Steve remains very passionate about the importance of volunteers and the balance between keeping costs down, while completing decent and enduring homes in a timely manner. Steve says, “You can hand a construction worker blueprints and assume they know what to do; you can’t do this in nonprofit construction. With volunteers, it becomes a teaching opportunity.” While in Maine, Steve enjoyed training volunteers in basic construction tasks, like using tools, painting, and building walls and was impressed and gratified by what they could accomplish. Steve also learned that in order to keep the costs down, in-kind donations, house shells, and volunteerism were vital. However, spending less money often means spending more time. “If there is preparation and proper planning, the Habitat system will work. To be successful in non-profit construction, you need to slow down to go faster,” says Bolton. While working at Habitat Portland, Steve had the pleasure of meeting Millard Fuller, Habitat for Humanity’s founder. Fuller visited Steve’s church in Portland, where he met with donors and volunteers. Steve found Fuller’s energetic presence to be an inspiration, as was his unique capacity to do so much global good for so little.
Building Hope, One Family at a Time
Home means stability for Andre Butler and his two sons. Andre is an inspirational man. As a single dad and full time concrete construction worker, he is very excited about the opportunity to have his own home.
Volunteer builders and funds for Andre’s house were provided by a partnership with Harkins Builders and Habitat for Humanity of Chesapeake.
“I’m looking forward to hosting family gatherings at my home,” Andre Butler said, standing in his dining area where open space will soon have an area for birthdays, dinners and more. “It feels good. I’m looking forward to joining the neighborhood association and staying active to improve and maintain this great community.” Andre spent years living with relatives and facing unexpected rent increases. He finally took a leap of faith and partnered with Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake to purchase a decent and affordable home for his two sons, ages 2 and 7. A graduate of Mervo Vocational-Technical High School, Andre loved learning the skills and trades needed to build his home. “I didn’t think the program would work for me and went to the homeownership workshop with my cousin”, he said. “This dream would not have been possible without Habitat Chesapeake and I recommend this program to everyone.” Andre completed 250 hours of ‘Sweat Equity’ by working alongside volunteers to build his home and others in the Woodbourne McCabe neighborhood. He’s the first to admit that he loves Habitat Chesapeake. Thank you to all of our sponsors for the fall of 2016 who are working in partnership with Habitat Chesapeake to help drive our efforts: Bank of America, M Luis Construction, Murthy Law, Zurich, Allegis, Aerotek, Euler Hermes, Leidos, Northrop Grummon, Morgan Stanley, Constellation, Travellers, Wells Fargo, T. Rowe Price, Vision Technology, MetLife, NewWave Telecom & Technologies, Inc., Campbell and Company and TransAmerica.
VOLUNTEER WITH THE STORE THAT HELPS US BUILD HOMES Are you looking to support positive work, learn new skills, have fun and keep busy? Consider partnering with Habitat Chesapeake. Habitat Red Hats and Green Aprons volunteers are individuals that regularly volunteer on the construction site or the Chesapeake ReStore. These volunteers visit the woodshop twice a week and assemble wall sections, help build framing panels, repair ReStore products or decorate and stock ReStore shelves and space. Check out www.habitatchesapeake.org/volunteer to learn about becoming part of the Red Hats.
Stronger Neighborhoods (Continued) This neighborhood was a targeted area of the City’s Vacants-to-Value program— Mayor Rawlings-Blake’s signature initiative to redevelop vacant properties to improve neighborhood life, raise property values, create community amenities, increase local tax revenue and attract new residents and businesses. Habitat Chesapeake has a strong relationship with the city; most of the homes we own here were acquired through this program. Habitat Chesapeake’s revitalization efforts are focused on three blocks on McCabe Avenue, where approximately 53 of 103 existing houses stood vacant. We have been working to rehabilitate a total of 20 houses, building one new home and converting three empty lots into an open green-space conducive to pedestrian (and possibly bicycle) traffic. We completed an initial group of four homes in 2013-2014. Another five homes were finished in 20152016. In the current year, we will complete yet another five rehabs. Longer term, our redevelopment plans include the rehabilitation of an abandoned corner store into a multi-purpose community center, ideally as a home for early-childhood education programs. We are working with key City officials who keenly support our efforts. In addition, area faith congregations and neighborhood associations, including the WoodbourneMcCabe Community Association and the York Road Partnership, are invested in the success of the neighborhood. We have also engaged students from the Baltimore Design School, a public middle school in Govans, in the design of the neighborhood plan. Other private business and voluntary partners have been welcomed as the project continues. Totaling approximately $3,377,321 in hard construction costs, this project is already transforming a troubled urban corridor into safe, affordable homes for 21 families. Their neighbors will also benefit from a strengthened community and active public parks. The adjacent neighborhood of Homeland and institutions such as Loyola University and the College of Notre Dame will enjoy the benefits of an improving neighborhood east of York Road. The York Road Corridor, from Cold Spring Lane to the Baltimore County line and beyond, will benefit from the transformation of a place of hopelessness to one of vitality and renewed hope. We invite you to be a partner in this progress. Please learn more by arranging for a staff led tour of the project. Consider lending your time and talents. Contribute as generously as possible to continue this dramatic progress. For more information, please contact Gregg Mitchell at email@example.com.
Giving Hope: Habitat Chesapeake Pilots Job Training Programs Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake is pioneering a set of workforce training programs that are tied directly to our goal of building affordable homes for deserving families. Our workforce training programs include an intensive new training program called HabiCorps to educate adult students in carpentry and masonry. Habitat is also working with LIUNA (the Laborers Internal Union of North America) to provide its trainees real world experience in home deconstruction and masonry. We continue a valuable training partnership with Civic Works for trainees enrolled in the organization’s programs, as well as high schools students at Carver High School. Together, these efforts are helping Habitat build affordable homes, while offering an inspirational blend of real world learning with service to others.
Hands-On Job Training Habitat Chesapeake offers free job training to people with different barriers to obtaining employment. Some are from low-income backgrounds, some are recovering from substance abuse and some returning to the workforce following incarceration. The one common thread is that they are all looking for a stable career in order to support themselves and their families. The Maryland Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism, in partnership with the Corporation for National and Community Service, recently awarded Habitat Chesapeake with an AmeriCorps grant of $137,300 for the creation of the HabiCorps Program. HabiCorps places income eligible Baltimore City residents who have successfully completed job training with a Baltimore City partner organization into intensive traineeships in the construction trades. HabiCorps Trainees will work under the supervision of skilled HabiCorps Instructors, in small teams of two to four, learning carpentry or plumbing through hands-on work on Habitat Chesapeake homes. At the conclusion of the term, partner organizations will place Trainees with employment or apprenticeships in their trade. Trainees who successfully complete the HabiCorps Program will be eligible to receive an award of $5,775 to further their education. The pilot class of HabiCorps launched on Monday, October 3rd.
Industry Sponsored Training LIUNA, the Laborers International Union of North America, has teamed up with Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake to provide real life training in building demolition and masonry, as part of its premier adult training program of the organization. With over 70 affiliated training centers, servicing every state and province, LIUNA provides employers with their most important resource: a highly trained, safe and effective workforce. LIUNA’S partnership with Habitat Chesapeake enhances training by offering hands-on, real life experience in deconstruction of vacant and abandoned buildings, as well as in pouring concrete basements, stairs and parking slabs. Since starting our collaboration in June, LIUNA trainees have deconstructed and completed masonry work on five vacant shells in the Woodbourne McCabe neighborhood and Sandtown. Trainees enjoy the benefit of learning while serving. Habitat Chesapeake is able to reduce expenses on two activities that are critical to preparing a vacant home for reconstruction by volunteers. This training program is part of a growing effort to provide substantial workforce training, while enhancing the capacity of Habitat Chesapeake to build affordable homes and strengthen neighborhoods.
Carver Vocational-Technical High School Partnership Habitat Chesapeake recently expanded its collaboration with Carver School, one of Baltimore’s vocational schools known as Career and Technical Education (CTE) Schools. This year, the biggest development was the addition of a passenger van dedicated to the transport of our students, made possible with grant support from the Osprey Foundation. As a result, Carver students were able to attend no less than 11 individual Habitat build dates throughout the city during the 2015-16 school years. About the program, Greg McDevitt, a Carver instructor in carpentry and masonry, says, “A few other advantages for my students are improved graduation rates and test scores, tangible achievement on work sites, networking opportunities and improvement in physical skills.” In addition to critical problem solving, McDevitt suggests that students experience “the discovery of what it feels like to give and not take, an improvement in behavior, increased self-esteem (this only comes from actually doing, not simulating) and finally, the exposure to real world expectations.” McDevitt’s praise for Habitat is unequivocal stating, “Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake is, was, and continues to be the finest trade partner I have ever had in my 16 years as an educator and they get better every year.”
Giving Back Through Community Service Students from Johns Hopkins University and Morgan State University joined Habitat Chesapeake on Sunday 9/11 to build hope and friendships on a day remembered for tragic destruction. The students had thoughtful discussions about their memories of 9/11 and why it is important to serve on this of all days. Said Morgan student Lamonte Terry, “As a veteran, I feel like I owe it to my country to be out here, doing something for our community [as] opposed to being bitter over what [transpired] in 2001.” Morgan student, Benjamin McKnight, who was a very young child at the time, recalled his mother being deployed soon thereafter in the “war on terror,” which was a difficult chapter for the whole family. The students also discussed the different responses to 9/11, which precipitated both an increased sense of American unity in the face of the attack and a rise in Islamophobia that unfortunately lives on in 2016. The students worked together in two houses in our Woodbourne-McCabe neighborhood, getting the residences one step closer on their journey from vacant house to welcoming home. The students divided into two groups and experienced the “bookends” of home construction. One group filled a huge dumpster with old concrete and debris from a newly gutted house, and the other group learned the art of flooring in a house that is almost ready for ribbon cutting. Habitat Chesapeake is blessed to have the support of a number of local universities and high schools. Johns Hopkins has had an active Habitat Club for over 10 years, working in both our Sandtown and McCabe neighborhoods. They are also effective and generous fundraisers for our mission. Morgan State does not have a club yet, but we hope after the 9/11 build that they will move in that direction.
Donor Spotlight As Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake expands new endeavors, such as its Workforce Development program and new construction projects, it’s important that we continue to receive support from our individual and corporate donors. Two examples are Cindy and Dave Stevens, and the employers of Clark Machinery Sales, LLC.
CINDY & DAVE STEVENS “So many of us have been blessed to live and raise our families in stable communities. We feel Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake empowers people and gives them hope for a better future.” For more than ten years, Cindy and Dave Stevens have supported Habitat Chesapeake. After volunteering on a work site, they decided to financially contribute to help build homes and transform people and neighborhoods. Cindy, a former reading specialists in the public school system, witnessed how important it is for children to have a stable home environment in order to learn and progress in school. Together, she and her husband believe that Habitat Chesapeake promotes independence in their homeowners and admire the reality that Habitat Chesapeake homebuyers are not given a home…they earn it. “Habitat Chesapeake’s homeownership program helps to bring people and communities to a better place. Believe in yourself and get involved in helping others and yourself.”
CLARK MACHINERY SALES, LLC Troy Clark, owner of Clark Machinery Sales, had his first experience with Habitat in the neighborhood of Sandtown. He was fortunate to meet Allan Tibbels, former Executive Director of Sandtown Habitat and work with a welcoming and supportive groups of construction experts, volunteers and most importantly…the partner families. Clark Machinery Sales, LLC specializing in business to business sales in the computer operated machinery. A unique company that makes community giving part of its mission. For the past six years, employees at Clark Machinery Sales have proudly supported Habitat Chesapeake. After reading an article on Allan Tibbels and Sandtown Habitat, the organization was hooked on the mission of providing affordable homes to families in need. “God calls each of us to participate in His larger mission of healing, caring and showing His love to others...Supporting Habitat for Humanity seems to be a great way to participate in that calling,” said Troy Clark, owner.
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Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake
3741 Commerce Drive, Suite 309, Baltimore, MD 21227 410-366-1250 www.habitatchesapeake.org