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Building in Brampton, Caledon, Toronto & York Region.


2 Inside:

Happy 1st Anniversary – a message from our CEO.


Welcome Home

Inspiring stories from our Partner Families.

5 Women Build

Join us for the our biggest Women Build yet!

Volunteers Wanted! Help us give a ʻhand upʼ to families living in need. Read more on page 6.




Happy First Anniversary! It is hard to believe that it has barely been a year since we came together as three separate affiliates to create Habitat GTA. We came together with one goal in mind — to pool our resources in order to build more homes for low-income families across the GTA. It has been a remarkable year propelled by a remarkable team of volunteers, donors, staff and community partners. Together, we have handed the keys over to 17 families since our amalgamation. In the year we have been together, we have broken ground on another 36 homes. We will soon break ground on new builds in Scarborough and have multiple other projects at various stages of development in our land pipeline. Earlier in May, we celebrated the grand opening of our Markham ReStore – our 10th and largest store. As we reach these landmark achievements, April's National Volunteer week offered a great opportunity to appreciate those who make these successes possible, like Howard Lee, who is celebrating his 1,000th salvage with the ReStore team. We recognize that at the heart of these accomplishments is a great deal of hard work, dedication, and the willingness to take risks. Our core philosophy – commitment to our families, volunteers and community partners – remains steadfast. As our needs continue to evolve, and we as an organization continue to see change, it is important to note what will never change: our pledge to always put families first.

Recently, our politicians have begun to recognize the magnitude and importance of affordable housing for our communities. They should. Every year, 100,000 to 150,000 new residents call the GTA home. One in three children in the GTA live in poverty – one of the highest child poverty rates in the country. Affordable homeownership is a proven and powerful strategy of breaking the cycle of poverty for families and strengthening our growing communities. There is much work to be done. We have laid a great foundation and now we must build on this, staying true to our core values, in order for us to realize our goal of giving a hand up to ever-increasing numbers of families across Brampton, Caledon, Toronto and York Region than ever before. We can do it… OYEE! Ene Underwood CEO, Habitat for Humanity Greater Toronto Area

Brimley Road

Walker Road


York Region

Volunteers are working on plumbing, HVAC, and electrical on the first block of homes. Interior walls and insulation then begin in preparation for the dedication of these six homes in June.

Excavation has started on the single-home site. Volunteers will continue work on the foundation and framing throughout the summer months.

Torbram Road

Andrew Street

Brampton Caledon

York Region

Volunteers continue to work on drywall, painting and trim on three homes and will begin exterior brick in the coming weeks. Insulation and drywall on the other five homes are under way.

Construction on this single-home site is scheduled to begin this summer. Stay tuned for volunteer opportunities for this site soon!

To build with us in Brampton, Caledon, Toronto, or York Region, visit 2






The Gabinete Family The Younus Family

The Smith Family

For the Gabinete family, homeownership has seemed like a distant dream. With five children, Joel and Babelyn continually struggled to provide a safe space for their large family.

Originally from Pakistan, Muhammad and his wife, Erum relocated to Canada in 2001. Since moving to Canada they have had three daughters Saba (13), Hiba (9), and Naba (7).

When Lisa Smith first learned about Habitat GTA, she thought that her lifelong dream of becoming a homeowner could really come true.

Originally from the Philippines, the Gabinete family came to Canada in 2005 with high hopes for their future. Since their arrival, they have been living in an overcrowded and unsafe two-bedroom apartment in Brampton. The stresses that came with inadequate housing space weighed heavily on Joel and Babelyn’s shoulders. They were overjoyed when they received news that they would soon be proud homeowners at Habitat GTA’s current townhome site at Torbram Road in Brampton. Joel and Babelyn can begin to look to their children’s bright futures. “My children will now have their own space to study, improving not only their cognitive and emotional development but allowing them to reach their full potential,” says Joel. After nearly a decade of challenges, the Gabinete family will finally have the safe, decent, and affordable home they have always hoped for. Babelyn and her family believe that “a home is a place where our family can laugh, share our thoughts together through thick and thin, and praise and honor God as we build our dreams.”

As a a family of five, living in a one-bedroom apartment has become too crowded. The children have very little space to play and enjoy their childhood. In addition, their building’s noise has increasingly become more of an issue at night. Muhammad works extremely hard to provide for his family. He currently works six days-a-week, in order to cover living expenses and be able to keep his children involved in activities they love, such as swimming. “We can’t afford a bank mortgage that has very high interest. A Habitat GTA home will provide us with more room for our children. We will have a better quality of life.” Once in their new home on Brimley Rd. in Scarborough, the Younus family is looking forward to decorating, and spending quality time together. There is no other place they would rather be.

Over the years, Lisa’s biggest challenge had been finding safe, affordable housing for her children. The family was recently residing in an overcrowded living space, where insufficient heating and mold issues were common. Having a Habitat home will provide financial security and Lisa feels that it will set a positive example for her family members. With an expected move-in date at the end of April, the family is looking forward to planning game nights and family gatherings, where everyone can participate in and enjoy time together. The family has worked on site and spent every available hour they had in order to reach their goal of 500 sweat equity hours. Once settled into their home Lisa will spend time reflecting on all the memories of her journey towards homeownership. She says, “As I unlock the door to my new home, I will be able to say I have made it through... it's mine!”


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EVENTS Torbram CREW Build Brimley CREW Build Walker Rd Ribbon-cutting Women Build Launch Donor Reception Builder Baseball

May 13-14 May 20-21 May 26 June 4 June 10 June 11

June 13 Planet Palmerston June 16 Annual General Meeting June 19–20 Pride Build June 24 Brimley Rd Dedication July, 2015 Andrew St. Groundbreaking July 8 BILD Race for Humanity & BBQ

Stephenʼs Ride for Humanity Bryantʼs Cycling Habitat Golf Tournament Women Build World Habitat Day

July 13 July 24–26 Sept. 22 Sept., 2015 Oct. 5


AGM NOTICE: Notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of Habitat for Humanity Greater Toronto Area shall be held on Tuesday, June 16, 2015 at 6:00 p.m. at Toronto Real Estate Board offices, 1400 Don Mills Rd., Toronto. All are welcome! RSVPʼs are accepted at

Challenge yourself at Women Build 2015 Coming this fall to a build site near you!

Three Weeks | Three Build Sites | Brampton. Toronto. York.

HOST A FUNDRAISING EVENT THIS SUMMER! Every woman has the power to change lives for the better. Join thousands of women around the world in the fight against poverty housing! Habitat for Humanity Greater Toronto Area’s Women Build is part of a global campaign that brings women together in a shared mission to help families living in need.

TAKE PART IN WOMEN BUILD 2015: BUILD: No experience needed. Habitat will provide the necessary tools and construction gear. Build on your own, as a team, or with your friends, family, or colleagues. FUNDRAISE: Each participant is asked to raise a minimum of $500, and is encouraged to reach out to their social and professional networks. DONATE: Can’t join us for Women Build? Have a woman in your life you’d like to honour? Sponsor a participant or donate to show your support and bolster the impact of our campaign.

SPONSOR: Connect your company to this unique event focused on women and empowerment. Engage the women of your organization in a meaningful way, while aligning your company with a highly respected charity with a track record for media recognition. PARTNER: The success of Women Build depends on the generosity of community partners. Our pro-bono/volunteer wish list includes: donated lunches, videographer services, advertising support, incentive prizing, swag bag products, snacks, bottled water, coffee, pop-up tents and other event assistance.

Please contact us at to learn how you can be a part of the global campaign and change the lives of families in need of a “hand up”!

Are you enthusiastic about spreading awareness of Habitat for Humanity GTAʼs work? Do you want to fundraise for more homes to help families break the cycle of poverty? Hosting a fundraiser is a fun and easy way to engage others from your workplaces, schools, religious groups, sports teams, families and social circles! 100% of the funds you raise will go directly to our builds, giving Partner Families a hand up, not a hand out. No fundraiser is too small or too big! From car washes to birthday parties, golf tournaments to yard sales, fundraising events provide great ways to educate and inspire others while having a good time with your networks. Habitat GTA will play an important role in ensuring you run the event successfully. Start your planning by exploring the many tips and tools our Community Fundraising Hub offers, and set up your personalized fundraising page today at


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VOLUNTEERS! “For a community to be whole and healthy, it must be based on people’s love and concern for each other.”‒ Habitat Founder, Millard Fuller

Habitat GTA is growing and in order for us to achieve our goals, we need you! Volunteers are at the core of our mission and we are grateful to the many community members who selflessly give their time to help bring us one step closer to our vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live.

Habitat Crew Leader Newman Seto says, “In a practical sense, I get to learn so much about construction and building techniques. More importantly I get to meet and share time with countless like-minded people with a strong sense of community, from Adopta-Day and regular volunteers, to the dedicated Habitat staff.”

Join our volunteer team— weʼre in this together.

Volunteer at the ReStore!

There are many ways to help. Whether you’re an individual, corporate team, community group, a small group of friends, with or without experience, there are many different ways for you to volunteer. We have a variety of rewarding opportunities to suit your interests that will fit your schedule.

We need you to join our CREW! If building and leading is your strength, our build sites are looking for talented people like you to join our CREW program. As CREW, you will be part of our core build team who train others on the site.



ReStore is looking for volunteers to join the team! If you have an interest in retail, you can be a ReStore volunteer. It’s a fun way to meet like-mined individuals while giving back to your community. ReStore volunteer Doug Hoff says,“It helps me stay connected to the local community, while being able to give a little something back, now that I have more time. I would also say how warm and friendly everyone is.” To sign up for an information session or a Tool Training workshop visit To sign up for a ReStore orientation, visit For more information about these and additional volunteer opportunities, please visit




Howard Lee has been volunteering with Habitat’s Salvage Crew for over 12 years and is regarded as one of our most valuable assets. In October of 2014, Howard completed his 1,000th salvage! During his time with us, Howard has organized and managed weekly scheduling for all Salvage Crew volunteers. These salvage volunteers are responsible for travelling to homes all across the GTA to rescue gently used appliances, building materials, furniture and more to be sold at Habitat ReStores. Without volunteers like Howard, Habitat ReStores would simply not have the inventory to operate. Apart from his own hard work, Howard also acts as a mentor to many of the

Habitat GTA Salvage Coordinators. “I have been working alongside Howard for three years. He has taught me a number of technical skills,” says Salvage Coordinator Blair Sargeant. “Howard is a humanitarian and a dedicated volunteer with vast technical knowledge but above all, a good friend.” Howard also demonstrates his leadership in engagement by coordinating the Salvage Crew holiday lunches every year. “Howard makes it a priority to find a very special prize for one outstanding volunteer in appreciation of their hard work,” says ReStore Donations Coordinator Alyson Caseley. On behalf of all the staff at Habitat for Humanity GTA, we would like to extend a special thank you to Howard for being an outstanding volunteer and for helping Habitat GTA change the lives of families living in need.

RECOGNIZING OUR VOLUNTEERS Volunteer Awards: During National Volunteer Week, Habitat GTA recognized the achievements of the following outstanding volunteers. Milestone Award Winners | ReStore:

Milestone Award Winners | Build:

5 Years: Alene M, Alfredo M, Clyde N, Denis L, Edna B, Emil P, Jennifer K, Katie G, Keith J, Pierre C, Rosanna F, Sarah L, Sergey G, Shirley S, Terry H, Tom G. 10 Years: Dave P & Garnet C.

5 Years: Dianna A, Farouk F, Hershel H, Heather B, Jean-Dominique P, John S, Mark M , Michael W, Rolf H, Roland S, Roger L, Vince S. 10 Years: Andy F, Bruce L, Caroline T, Garry G, Gerald B, Michael B, Nikki M.

Milestone Award Winners | Office:

Outstanding Volunteer of the Year Award Winners:

5 Years: Elvira F, Jean P, Julie C, Judith B, Maryane T. 10 Years: Norma G, Particia E, Ray A, Phil W.

ReStore: Don K, Gary H, Jane M Build: Mike B, Bob R Office & Events: Melissa K



of volunteers said that they had been personally affected by the cause the organization supported.


Ontario Service Award: Habitat GTA congratulates the recipients of the Ontario Volunteer Service Awards which recognize individual volunteers for continuous years of commitment and dedicated service to an organization. 5 Years: Alene McNeill, Alfredo Maione, Farouk Fyzul. 10 Years: Bruce Lowther, Dave Pressley, Garnet Crossman, Jerry Beckerle, Nikki McKenzie, Norma Greenfield, Patricia Elfer, Phil Washburn, Pierre Champagne.

of volunteers stated that volunteering improved their interpersonal skills.


of volunteers are motivated by their desire to contribute to their community.

This study is based on data from the Canada Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating (CSGVP)


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faith Foundations of

Resilience. Empowerment. Faith in Action.

Perhaps no words better evoke the character of the Armenian diaspora over the past 100 years. At the onset of World War I, the people of Western Armenia found themselves under the rule of the Ottoman Empire, now present-day Turkey. Waves of nationalism in the empire subjected the Armenian community to harsh cultural and religious subjugation, and when the spread of war across Europe threatened the ancient, but faltering, empire, its ruling Young Turk party moved to rid the region of all communities deemed to be a potential internal threat. On April 24, 1915, the Ottoman government began its campaign to eliminate the Armenian presence from within its borders, executing some 250 key community leaders in the capital city of Constantinople. Within 10 years, upwards of 1.5 million Armenians in the region had lost their lives, according to some estimates, with thousands more having been deported. This year, Toronto’s Armenian Family Support Services and Holy Trinity Armenian Church have joined forces with the Armenian Genocide Centennial Committee of Canada to help showcase the resilience of their ethnic community and forge hope for local families in need. Through their

Armenian Memorial Faith Build campaign, these organizers raised $20,000 and recruited nearly 100 volunteers to take part in two dedicated build days on March 28 and April 11 at Habitat GTA’s Brimley Road construction site in Toronto. The motivations for these efforts were numerous. “One intent in this initiative was to create a venue for the local Armenian community – and particularly our youth – to honour those who lost their homes and lives by helping to build the homes and lives of others,” said Maida Icliates of AFSS. The project is also a gesture of appreciation, suggested Rev. Archpriest Zareh Zargarian of Holy Trinity. “By helping to build a better place for us all to live, we not only pay respect to the martyrs of the genocide,” he explained. “We also are saying ‘thank you’ to Canada, which accepted hundreds of Armenian newcomers during this time of trouble. We are grateful to give back.”

To find out how your faith group can volunteer with Habitat GTA, contact Enloe Wilson (416) 755 7353 x 242 or 8



Two mothers live worlds apart, but they share similar concerns and dreams for their family.



age ast garb e ear a v g. Th in lived n rn y il u b m fa ntly nd her e for consta Davy a n wors ily ash is but eve you, the fam here tr , w s lt p u m d a . du ers like t home bad for rt a o it is p b e p a k u H s smo anks to and safe new our help. h T . n d childre simple er nee es in a t like h now liv ers jus th o m ore But, m

With Spring, comes Mother’s Day – a time to celebrate that special woman who does so much. A mother, stepmother or grandmother – we all have an influential woman in our lives. For many of us, she is central to the feeling of “home”. Whether from Toronto or Cambodia, Honduras or Newmarket, mothers share common dreams and concerns. Providing a safe and decent home for their family is key among them. Habitat’s Spring 2015 campaign celebrates mothers everywhere. Your contribution will help make the dream of homeownership a reality for 30 mothers right here in the Greater Toronto Area, as well as for families in more than 80 countries through our international tithe program.

Help make the hope of home a reality for hardworking mothers – here and around the world – through a generous gift today.

Yes! I want to help mothers here and around the world! Name: ___________________________________________________ Address: _________________________________________________ City: ________________Prov.: ______ Postal Code: _____________

 List me as Anonymous

 Send my tax receipt by email

Enclosed is my:  one-time or  monthly Gift of: $________

 Please tithe 10% to Habitat’s International programs

I would like to donate through:  Cheque (payable to Habitat for Humanity GTA)  Visa  MasterCard  AMEX Card No. _____________________________ Expiry _____________ Name on Card ____________________________________________ Tel. No. ___________________Email __________________________

Habitat for Humanity GTA does not sell, trade, rent or distribute your personal information. We contact you periodically to keep you informed on our activities, including programs, special events and opportunities to volunteer or to give. You can change or cancel your monthly giving plan at any time by notifying Habitat for Humanity GTA. For more information, contact our Privacy Officer at


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Did you know that you can donate your entire kitchen or household items to the ReStore?

For your next renovation project visit to see how you can donate your cabinetry, appliances, and other household items free of charge, plus receive a tax receipt.* Your donation will: help a family open the door to a new home, and a new life; provide a new start for your quality household items; and help divert thousands of pounds of reusable material from landfills. For more information call (416) 755 7353 x 230 and ask for Blair Sargeant. *Some conditions may apply

To learn more visit



The Ultimate Team-Building Experience Build a strong team, while building homes and hope for families living in need.

Book your Adopt-a-Day today! Habitat for Humanity Greater Toronto Areaʼs Corporate Adopt-a-Day Program is an employee engagement experience with a 28-year history of building stronger teams. While providing employees with a unique way to give back to their community. Companies of all sizes can engage their employees and encourage stronger relationships, while learning new skills. To learn more about how you can participate visit or call (416) 755 7353 x 246. We look forward to hosting your team on site this year!

Corporate Donor Profile - P&G In 2014, P&G made an incredible three-year $900,000 commitment to partner with Habitat for Humanity to invest in healthy, happy homes across Canada, including right here in the GTA. As the Title Sponsor of Habitat GTAʼs Women Build campaign, P&G has provided a significant donation of funds, volunteer labour, and an assortment of gift-in-kind donations from brands like Tide, Swiffer and Mr. Clean. As the official Paper Towel Sponsor of our 12th annual Gingerbread Build, Bounty, another P&G brand, helped ring in

the holiday season by keeping children and families happy and clean while building their gingerbread kits. In addition to the companyʼs contributions to our events, 14 different P&G employee teams have strapped on their hard hats and steel toe boots since the partnership began to help construct homes and hope for hardworking families right here in our community.

Thank you P&G. We couldn’t do it without you!


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Safety Program Sponsors

Gifts in kind Access Storage Accuflo Plumbing Solutions Aecon Barrymore Furniture Centura Tile CSA Group

Dave’s Duct Cleaning Dewalt Dillion Bros. Roofing Dulux Elte Eurofase Lighting

Graziani & Corazza Graydor Flooring Limited Hanson Brick Henry Co. Canada Inscape Solutions Masonite

Messy Maid Moen Nexans Canada Inc. Oasis Home Products Orion Hardware Ram Forest Products Inc. Scafom

Stone Marketing & Design Services Inc. Suretorq Inc. TCP Lighting TD3 Associates Inc. UMBRA LTD Zilli Home Interiors

OFFICE LOCATIONS Brampton Caledon Office 268 Rutherford Road South, Unit 5 Brampton, ON L6W 3N3 Phone: (905) 455 0883 Fax: (905) 455 2622 Building in Brampton, Caledon, Toronto & York Region.

Toronto Office 155 Bermondsey Road Toronto, ON M4A 1X9 Phone: (416) 755 7353 Fax: (416) 916 2333

For more information email us at:

York Region Office 449 Eagle Street Newmarket, ON L3Y 1K7 Phone: (905) 868 8722 Fax: (905) 868 8724

Habitat GTA's 2015 Spring/Summer Newsletter  
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