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The Brick and Mortar 3rd Quarter

July 2015


Homeowner Geneva Crump “Mitchell” from the Woodglen subdivision just paid off her mortgage after overcoming many obstacles including surviving cancer, and having a child dropped at her doorstep; not knowing how she would care for the child. It was a very emotional day for her to come into the office and present her final mortgage check to Sandi Gaston, Mortgage Servicing and Collections Manager. Congratulations Geneva!

Homeowner Laura Marroquin Torres – also living in the Woodglen subdivision, presented her final check last month. Congratulations Laura for persevering and paying off your mortgage!

For more information about how you can become a Habitat Homeowner, go to:



~#HHFHPopeFrancis~ Houston Habitat is excited to break ground on the Pope Francis House in August in the historic Settegast neighborhood in Houston. Follow our adventure from ground-breaking to dedication on social media with the hashtag, #HHFHPopeFrancis! Click here to learn more about how you can get involved on the Pope Francis House!

~Houston Habitat is a Four Star Charity~

Houston Habitat for Humanity is proud to receive Charity Navigator’s highest rating: more than three consecutive 4-Star evaluations. Only 12 percent of the charities that they have rated receive this prestigious honor, indicating that Houston Habitat out performs its peers and demonstrates to their donors that HHFH is worthy of their trust. As the nonprofit sector continues to grow, corporate and individual donors are asking for more transparency in the charities they choose to give their hard-earned dollars. As America’s premier charity evaluator, Charity Navigator’s mission is to provide potential donors with essential information so that they can make an informed decision when it comes time to give to the charity of their choice.



~Thank you AmeriCorps Vista~ Houston Habitat for Humanity is a proud partner of the AmeriCorps Vista program. Through the years Houston Habitat has had many memorable AmeriCorps interns, and Jean LaFontaine is one of those individuals that stands out from the crowd. Before Jean leaves later this month to begin his college career at Carleton College in Minnesota, we sat down with him to see what he will remember most about his time at HHFH. 1. What led you to AmeriCorps Vista and Houston Habitat?

I can’t quite say with certainty that there was any one particular reason which led me to the AmeriCorps VISTA program and Houston Habitat for Humanity. It could have been the fact that last May I was forced to postpone the pursuit of Jean LaFontaine (left) taking the Pledge with fellow my college education for a year as a result of a paperwork mishap. It might have AmeriCorps AmeriCorps intern Tim Hudson been that I’d known –deep down– for a very long time that I’d always wanted to engage in a long term service opportunity; having a year off to actually do so was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity. Maybe working for non-profit such as Houston Habitat had always been a sort of ‘childhood dream’ of mine. Or, you know, it may have been that I was turned away the very first time I genuinely wanted to be altruistic–to-effect change. I was rejected by my high school’s National Honor Society chapter--during the first half of senior year--despite having, in the words of the club sponsor: “the best application in the group” and that truly compelled me to reevaluate a lot of things. It might have been one of these reasons, but then again it could have been all of these reasons. Who’s to say? I’m honestly just happy I ended up here. 2. What is your fondest memory of Houston Habitat?

Looking back, I would say that my fondest memory was actually one that happened at the very beginning of my service term. I was riding with Stephen, in his truck, to the University of Houston in order to be formally introduced to and meet with the leadership of the UH Habitat for Humanity Campus Chapter. Anyways, on our way there (as we’re nearing the ship channel) Stephen turns to me and starts telling about the campus chapter (i.e. how it’s in its nascent stages, how they’re planning on sponsoring a house for 2016, etc.) and then he begins to communicate his vision (i.e. how they’re an fairly untapped resource full of potential, and how he expects me to help him help them realize their potential by connecting the engineering school with the architecture school). At this point (me being greener than a freshly mowed Texas lawn) I’m freaking out: I’m thinking “Man I’m just a kid. I just graduated high school. How the heck am I supposed to help him accomplish these goals?” but I don’t show that (at least I try really hard not to). I just nod my head in agreement. So, flash forward: about a week or two ago I found myself sitting inside the O’Quinn conference room with Stephen (having a conversation about the UH Architecture school’s proposed home designs) and in that moment I could not help but think: “Man, what a difference a year makes.” 3. What new skills will you take with you to college?

There are too many to list, but among some of the most important are: the ability to adapt to and succeed in a completely different environment, the ability to prioritize and effectively manage tasks, and the ability to envisage challenges on the path to success not as insurmountable and unavoidable obstacles, but rather, as bumps on the road indicating that I have to “chiggity check myself” (and my speed) before I “wreck myself”.



The Brick and Mortar

~The House That Ching Built~ “Statistically speaking I’m not supposed to be standing in front of you. I went through a lifetime of a lot of no’s… a lot of no’s… so I came to this program, and Habitat for Humanity said yes… and Brian Ching said yes! And I really appreciate all the people working with him to make this dream possible. I have never lived in a home, and therefore my children have never lived in a home. But more than the thank you’ s that I can give any of you I feel in my heart that God is pleased with every single one of you today. All the people that came out – that got out of their beds and help me build… and it was the most beautiful experience seeing my home come from nothing to what is standing behind me. so I appreciate every single one of you.” -Shakoan Jenkins, Houston Habitat Partner Family Houston Habitat is so proud of Partner Family member, the Jenkins family for all their hard-work and determination. Houston Habitat, along with all of the House That Ching Built sponsors, had the honor of dedicating this special family and welcoming them to their new Habitat home. A big thank you to Brian Ching, Houston Dynamo, Houston Dash, & Dynamo Charities for partnering with Houston Habitat‬ for the third year in a row!

~Houston Habitat Wins Prestigious Award~ Houston Habitat for Humanity is honored to announce that for the second year in a row, they have been awarded the U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Star for Homes “Partner of the Year, Sustained Excellence 2015” Award. Lynette Lawyer, Houston Habitat Planning & Designer, explains the importance of this award, “This award is partly due to HHFH’s commitment to make certain 100% of our homes meet the current Energy Star requirements, and are Energy Star Certified. This is a huge commitment, and we should be proud of our dedication to providing the best possible house to our homeowners.” Houston Habitat continues to lead the affordable housing demographic in sustainable building practices. Due to their green building initiatives, Houston Habitat has been given an Energy Star rating for eight years in a row!



~Weekend DYI~ Looking for a great DYI project?! RePurpose an old window into a new, one of a kind table! 1. Attach table legs from old table to the four corners of window 2. Add trim to each side 3. Paint any color of your choosing! Find all the materials you need for this project, and much more at the Houston Habitat ReStore! Window RePurposed as gardening table by Ruff by Margo



~Gift a HERO~ Need the perfect gift for a runner? Give them the gift of a marathon entry with a HERO registration for the 2016 Houston Marathon! With the Gift a HERO program, you can purchase a race entry for your friend or family member by donating $350 to HHFH (plus the race entry fee), and your tax-deductible contribution will go towards helping Houston Habitat build more homes for deserving hard-working, low-income Houstonians! For more information on the Gift a HERO program contact Melissa Fox, Communications and Events Coordinator at

Brick and Mortar Contributors: Denise Bates, Communications Director Melissa Fox, Communications & Events Coordinator

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, 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.



The brick and mortar 2015 07-July  

HHFHCommunications Houston Habitat for Humanity Newsletter July 2015

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