15 Future Homeowners Graduate

By | Homeowner | No Comments

Congratulations to the most recent graduates of our homeownership education class! These 15 future homeowners completed a semester of classes to prepare them for the challenges and joys of Habitat homeownership.

Each participant completed Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University to better prepare them for the financial planning involved with owning a home. Budgeting skills were refined and healthy spending habits were shared. Future homeowners also learned about homeowners insurance, taxes, appraisals, and legal issues related to owning a home.

The class completed maintenance courses to prepare them for building or rehabbing their Habitat house and taking care of it after they purchase it with a 0% interest mortgage. Habitat construction staff and community partners offered wisdom on potential challenges with plumbing, electrical, HVAC, and other areas. Homeowners were hands-on for demonstrations of painting, drywall, and hammering.

Next up: building/rehabbing their home alongside volunteers and partners, then purchasing their FIRST home! 

We are seeking qualified applicants to our homeownership program and spots are still open for class this fall. Join us the first Thursday of every month for an info session to learn more or call Martha at 317.777.6086!

Remembering Al Clark

By | From the CEO, Tiger Team | No Comments

From the Desk of Jim Morris, President & CEO

Habitat has provided me more in the last 23 years than I provided as a Tiger volunteer.” Al Clark, long-time Tiger Team volunteer. Pictured below with his first volunteer T-shirt, which is also the first Tiger Team T-shirt from 1995.

Al Clark volunteered with Habitat for 23+ years and in late April at the age of 85, he passed away. Many people cross your path in your professional and personal life. Tall and lean with a white beard and handlebar mustache, Al was one of those individuals that no matter how busy my day may be, I simply loved to stop and listen to his stories of his involvement with our mission.

He was more reflective than usual on the day he shared his statement with me about his time volunteering after retirement. He said his weekly Habitat volunteering gave him purpose and created in him a quality of life that he saw disappear in many of his peers who did not have that after retirement. It was a simple, seemingly paradoxical but profound statement. Al had personally affected hundreds of families during his volunteer time. He was a pillar in our work for 23 of the 30 years in existence. Yet, he felt that Habitat gave more to him than he did to it.

I often comment that when you strip away the complexity of our work, our role of facilitating neighbor helping neighbor is a simple privilege to witness. Every week, I see firsthand the display of Jesus’s second greatest commandment to love your neighbor as yourself in the work of thousands of individuals. Our Tiger Team of 60+ mostly retired men and women that Al was a part of volunteering weekly routinely inspire me, but Al’s words had a particular impact on me during that lunch.

Jesus also said in Mathew 10:39 (MSG translation) that “if your first concern is to look after yourself, you’ll never find yourself. But if you forget about yourself and look to me, you’ll find both yourself and me.” This is what struck me the most. I won’t judge those that pursue a life of retirement where rest and relaxation and material possession are the predominant aspirations, but Al and the rest of the Tiger Team are the model I want to pursue both now and in retirement.

If you want to act on Al’s wisdom and Jesus’s teaching, we welcome you to become a part of our Tiger volunteer family or engage in a myriad of other missional work out there that inspires you. Contact our volunteer team to learn more.

Perseverance to Provide Stability for Generations

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Perseverance is a theme we see in many of our homeowners’ stories, and Ebony Duffy’s journey exemplifies this theme. Ebony first applied to Habitat’s program in 2009 and didn’t initially meet the qualifications. However, she did not give up visualizing the impact of homeownership and worked hard to see that happen.

Ebony remembers: “I was determined to improve my credit history and increase my income. The last seven years, I had tough obstacles cross my path. However, I overcame them with my strong beliefs and guidance. There was a time when I worked two jobs, working 14 days straight with one weekend off a month, attending classes and raising my daughter. I was extremely motivated to get my finances in order and provide a stable home for my daughter. I am extremely proud to say that my hard work has paid off. Our new home will bring more memories and a brighter future.”

This summer Ebony will become the first homeowner in her family. She acknowledges the longevity of her commitment to this goal: “It will be a start of a new tradition that will be passed down to my daughter and other generations,” wrote Ebony. “One of my objectives [through Habitat’s program] is to show Kaliyah to never give up on your dreams in life.

Ebony already knows what she’ll do first as a homeowner: “I am looking forward to hanging up a picture of Kaliyah cutting the ribbon for our new home.”

Watch the first stage of construction on Ebony’s home completed during the 2017 Statehouse with Habitat for Humanity Indiana and get a tour of her future home. View photos from Ebony’s build with Eli Lilly & Company volunteers on our Flickr page.

Know someone who might be interested in our homeownership program? Invite them to join us for an info session the first Thursday of every month!

Volunteers, By the Numbers

By | Tiger Team, Volunteer | No Comments

Volunteers are the lifeblood of Habitat’s work here in Greater Indy and across the country. Our volunteers may spend a day with us once a year or come back every week. Regardless of the amount of time spent on a build site or in the ReStore, our volunteers bring the Habitat mission to life.

Though we haven’t hit the halfway mark of the year yet, our volunteers are hitting some impressive numbers! Thus far in 2017 we’ve seen:

  • 2260 volunteer shifts completed in rain, snow or sunshine
  • 104 volunteer shifts completed by future Habitat homeowners
  • 14,312 hours of work completed by volunteers (4,094 hours by Tigers!)
  • 139 days where volunteers built/rehabbed homes or worked in the ReStore
  • 1,832 new accounts created since January, meaning 1,832 new individuals have or will join Habitat’s work in Greater Indy
  • 3 new homeowners now living in their first home and 7 homes under construction with volunteer support

And we have more to accomplish in 2017! Help us reach our goal of serving 27 first-time homeowners by signing up today. With questions, please contact volunteer@indyhabitat.org.

A ReStore “Pinterest Unicorn”: Andy

By | ReStore | No Comments

Written by Andy Duncan, ReStore Development Coordinator

At this year’s Habitat for Humanity Global Conference, I was able to speak with several other ReStore folks from affiliates across the country, and one of the topics that came up several times was the illusive “Pinterest Unicorn.”

For those who don’t know, Pinterest is a social media platform wherein crafty folk from all over can post and assemble pictures demonstrating the results of their hobbies. So the idea of donors and shoppers repurposing materials from the ReStore – turning vents into light fixtures, doors into garden benches, and lamp globes into planters – is an enticing and exciting one for us! At the conference we all mused and dreamed of such donors/customers bringing in picture after picture of their deft feats of re-use.

But in reality, we call them unicorns because, well, they are rare – perhaps even mythical. Not anymore! After myriad discussions with my peers and colleagues, I set off to not only find a Pinterest Unicorn, but to actually become one! I give you my new hobby: turning old light fixtures into terrariums.

It’s rather simple and inexpensive. First, you find the light you want to use – about $10 at one of our three ReStore locations. Next, remove the lighting parts; this is usually just a couple of screws undone with a wrench or two.

Then you needs some rocks (these are free, outside). Put a layer one to two inches deep at the bottom of your light fixtures for drainage. You will need some activated charcoal – this is pretty cheap in the aquarium aisle of your local pet store. Sprinkle a layer of this over your rocks for moisture filtration. Next place some moss – the kind that comes with hanging plant pots these days ($2 at a hardware store) – over this mixture. Then you need some dirt and sand, these can also be free but it’s recommended you get them free of earth-bound creatures who may not appreciate finding themselves trapped in a new glass house. Mix these together and fill a layer two inches on top of the rocks, charcoal, and moss!

Finally, you need some small moisture-loving plants. I’ve done well with ferns and certain types of succulents; ask your local garden center about these. You may need to cover and uncover the terrarium periodically to get the moisture level stabilized, letting water evaporate to lessen moisture level or misting to up the moisture level. And Voila! Do I have a rainbow horn coming out of my forehead yet?

Do you have a DIY project that can be created from ReStore products? Share a photo with us on our ReStore Facebook pages for Indy, Greenfield or Avon!