The Brick and Mortar
~Into the New Year~
Houston Habitat Kicks off January with a Winter Build
Habitat staff warming up for a day with KPRC staff
Family Partner Sandra Barrera and Family Services Manager Betty Barrientos-Molina
KPRC Local 2 Anchor Dominique Sachse puts a nail in it!
The New Year kicked off with KPRC-TV’s Habitat home build, constructing wall frames in the parking lot of their studio. The staff came out in full force to support the efforts of Partner Family Sandra Barrera, who is the recipient of the home. Sandra will work alongside volunteers and staff for over 300 hours as a part of her “sweat equity.” The build days continued the next day on site at Harrel Park in northeast Houston. For Texas, mid-30 degree weather was quite the winter chill! Several sponsoring partners braved the cold to make the first days of the build a heartwarming success! Many Thanks to KPRC, Star Furniture, Pappas Restaurant, Noble Energy, Coventry Homes and Shipley Do-Nuts for helping to build another community for hardworking Houstonians! Pappas Restaurant Day with KPRC
Sandra making sure the wall build is a success
Star Furniture Day with KPRC (l-r) Bill Ward - Ruben Galvan - Bill Kimbrell
~Looking Back… Moving Forward~ Dear Friends, We left 2014 behind with so many memories to cherish! Last year, 24 Homeowners paid off their mortgages in 2014, making a total of 132 homeowners that have paid off their mortgages. Just recently, Family Services began offering 50 hours of financial education as part of their required sweat equity hours; families in our program now learn about Pre-Closing 101 – including information about insurance companies, title companies and appraisal services. It was a blockbuster year for us, and we couldn’t have made it possible without the help of all our donors and partners and the wonderful teamwork of our staff and volunteers. A few things of mention that we were able to accomplish: in 2014 We started out the year with an innovative concept of a Media Partner Build in January with KPRC Local 2. It was so successful and so much fun that we agreed to do it again! The show special, “The Making of a Habitat Home” which chronicled the build of a home in Harrel Park for Kimberly Hudson and her four children, resulted in KPRC Local 2 receiving the prestigious Emmy Award for Community Service. For February, our Community Homeownership Application Fair invited families to come out and learn about our homeownership program, and we invited community partners offering social services to attend, providing applicants with important information relating to home ownership. In February we watched another Rice University/Architecture Design Build go up, and the chapter is looking to build another in 2016. In March, Sue Henderson, Habitat for Humanity International’s Vice President for US and Canada, paid us a visit as we partnered with Lowe’s National Wall Build Project. May came in with The Dow Chemical Company, building the first home in Houston to have the Dow POWERHOUSE™ solar roof shingles system installed. And just before Mother’s Day, we launched a Women Build campaign that allowed multiple sponsors and partners for a 6-day volunteer build. We were also selected as a 2014-2015 Run for a Reason Charity in May. In June, with the sale of the Hall Park subdivision, we were allowed continuous cash flow for us to stay on track with our 2014 building plans. We also integrated a new house plan to lower the price of homes for our family partners. July brought us much needed relief with the installation of new air conditioners at the ReStore. This was made possible by generous donations and support from our friends at Daikin North America. We also launched our 5-year Houston Habitat Strategic Plan, approved by the Board of Directors in July. In September, for the first time, we participated in a Univision Phone Bank, where we had the opportunity to tell their viewers about our homeownership program. October, the University of Houston established a chartered Campus Chapter of Habitat for Humanity. And we rounded out the month with our 1st Annual Building a Dream Breakfast, which was an inspiring success!
Looking Back… Moving Forward (cont’d.) Project Initiatives completed the Habitat for Humanity International and The Home Depot Foundation Veterans Repair Corps project in November, serving 8 United States Veterans with critical home repair needs. As all of the veterans were seniors, their repaired homes will allow them to age in place adding maximum value to their limited incomes and their futures. Last but not least, we introduced the “Wells Fargo Banking for Youth” program in November to children of families who are buying their homes for the first time. Finally, in December, we launched the re-design of our website, thanks to Team STAN – a U of H student team of IT rock stars! We are eternally grateful for their time and attention to the window of our world! We also repaired 30 homes for low-income families, many of them senior citizens. December also saw the completion of the Harrel Park Walking Trail, and once again, our friends at Daikin North America out-did themselves! We learned that Daikin is committed to donating HVAC for 25 homes in Harrel Park 2. We ended the year with our first stab at Giving Tuesday, and we got a large donation from Sierra Doors to the ReStore. All in all, a year of substantial accomplishments and highlights! Looking forward to 2015, Houston Habitat will celebrate the building of our 1,000th home, and we’ll have some surprises along the way, so look for us to share more information with you in the coming months. And coming up on February 7th, will be our Homeowner and Community Services here at the Houston Habitat warehouse. Stay tuned for more on our website, at houstonhabitat.org! Allison Hay, Executive Director
Houston Habitat Thanks Choose Energy Choose Energy gave back in a big way on Giving Tuesday! Choose Energy teamed up with Houston Habitat for Humanity, and agreed to donate $2 to our mission for every email newsletter sign up they received during the week of Giving Tuesday. Hundreds of people took action and signed up. With the help of their customers, Choose Energy was thrilled to be able to donate $1,000 to Houston Habitat! Choose Energy decided to partner with Houston Habitat after they heard countless stories from their customers how affordable energy options have improved their lives and their pocket books, and they wanted to pay it forward. And pay it forward they did! This donation will help build a sustainable, energy efficient home during Houston Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build in May. The home will be built in six days by teams of women from all around Houston. A big thanks to Choose Energy for supporting our mission and our 2015 Women Build! As an added bonus, Choose Energy has shared with us some useful tips for saving energy in the home that can lower your energy bills. (See page 4) 1/15/2015
ENERGY TIPS Switch to Smart Power Strips: Smart power strips are time-controlled power strips that can help cut energy consumption during hours of little use. Lowes, Amazon and the Home Depot all carry smart power strips that cost between $15 and $50, depending on size and features. Consider Smart Plugs: Smart plugs are Wi-Fi-enabled outlets that talk with your smartphone, thermostat or other connected device to automatically turn power on or off to a particular outlet. These are new, and slightly more expensive, but add substantial benefit and can pay for themselves in energy savings. Most discount retail stores such as Target and Wal-Mart carry smart plugs for just under $50. Upgrade to Energy Star Appliances: Upgrade to appliances that have been given the Energy Star seal of approval.” These appliances range from TVs to refrigerators to toasters. For more information visit energystar.gov.
Choose Energy helps people across the U.S., including Houston, reduce their energy bills by finding cheaper rates, and providing useful information on how to be more energy efficient to save money
3750 N. McCarty St. Houston, TX 77029
Houston Habitat for Humanity, with thousands of sponsors and volunteers, has built over 950 homes for hard-working, low-income Houstonians. Habitat Partner Families contribute 300 hours of “sweat equity” and complete training on home ownership to purchase homes at cost with zero-interest mortgages. For more information about Houston Habitat for Humanity, and the Houston Habitat ReStore – a nonprofit home improvement store and donation center open to the public, go to www.houstonhabitat.org, or call 713-6719993. Houston Habitat for Humanity is a tax-exempt 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.