FY21 found us, like so many others, operating under the strain and uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic. And yet our mission has never felt as relevant nor as urgent as it does now. As the prolonged economic effects of this pandemic continue to play out, we are reminded that too many people do not have a safe, affordable home in which to weather the storm.
Habitat Wake has continued to keep these people at the forefront of our minds as we find new, creative ways to keep serving our community. As new obstacles arise – limited volunteers on site, soaring lumber prices, a labor shortage – we continue to find new ways to innovate and grow so that we can not only serve more families, but serve them better.
This flexibility is granted to us by steadfast supporters. You helped us build better this year, even as our world continued to shift. Because of you, we are galvanized to seek new avenues for change. Thank you!
We are so very thankful for the tremendous support you have given us! Learn more about some of our supporters below.
Habitat Wake is fruitful for many reasons. Faithful and generous support from the faith community is one of them.
One such faithful partner, White Memorial Presbyterian Church, reached an epic milestone this year. Since 1995 (the beginning of Habitat Wake’s digital records), White Memorial has contributed over $1 million. They are the first congregation to reach this milestone! Adding in their estimated support from 1991-1994, they have contributed over $1.1 million!
Equally as impressive is how White Memorial has partnered. White Memorial has been the catalyst for three annual faith builds: Presbyterian Build, Interfaith Build, and most recently the Fiesta Build, and has sponsored more home preservation projects than any other congregation. Thank you, White Memorial!
ThreeShips was a new donor for Habitat Wake in FY21. As the company grew, they wanted to deepen their commitment to our community by working with Habitat Wake. They made a tremendous investment in our mission, using unrestricted funds, and asking not what we could provide them but what they could do to help us most. They came out to help first in our ReStores and then to the build site to finish homes in the heat of the summer. With more of their staff being remote, we are glad to give them opportunities to team build on our sites.
Thank you, Three Ships, for your investment in affordable homeownership opportunities with Habitat Wake!
111 congregations from 18 coalitions faithfully sent $436,625 and virtually supported Habitat Wake in the following ways:
They prayed for the construction staff and homebuyers to safely work on the homes (when they could not).
They created more than 500 baffles with the children in their congregations.
They attended virtual kick-off ceremonies and dedication ceremonies with video tours of the completed houses.
They hosted dialogues around our Forging Ahead project.
They collected coins in house banks, with the children from one church (Seven Marks Church) raising as much as $1,335.
Apostles Fall Build • Apostles Spring Build • Baptist Build • Cary Coalition • Catholic Coalition • Downtown Coalition • East Wake Coalition • Episcopal Coalition • Fiesta Build • Interfaith Build • Johnston County Coalitions • Lutheran Coalition • Methodist Coalition • Northern Wake Coalition • Orthodox Build • Presbyterian Coalition • South Wake Coalition • Southwest Wake Coalition
* This includes a small force of skilled volunteers, Force of Habitat, that continued to build on site with us even when construction sites were closed to volunteers. We re-opened build sites to volunteers in summer 2021.
July 1, 2020 - June 30, 2021 marked a fiscal year with almost no volunteers on site and rising material costs, compounding challenges to keep building and keep serving families. In order to be good stewards of our resources, we diverted some of our new building costs into our land bank instead, ensuring that more families going forward will have access to affordable Habitat-built homes.
Even as we pivoted to consider the long-term sustainability of our organization, we pushed through these challenges to build 39 new homes for homebuyers in our pipeline who were waiting to close on their homes.
For an organization like ours that relies heavily on the labor of thousands of volunteers on the construction site each year, it has been a colossal effort to keep building this year, even as we all acknowledge that having a safe, affordable place to live is more critical than ever.
But because of a small group of dedicated, skilled volunteers who elected to continue coming to the build sites this past year, we were able to keep building, and families were able to close on their homes.
The “Force of Habitat” is Habitat Wake’s specially trained group of skilled volunteers. From July 2020 to June 2021, 73 members of this group contributed more than 7,599 hours to Habitat Wake’s homebuilding efforts. They were limited to six or fewer per worksite, remained masked and socially distanced, and spent extra time sanitizing tools and cleaning work sites.
We have been slowly bringing volunteers back to site since summer 2021, but this core group of volunteers kept the organization moving forward in the most crucial time of its 36-year history.
Last year, Force of Habitat built more than 30 desks for the children of current homeowners who suddenly found themselves schooling virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our partnership with AmeriCorps is vital to our mission! AmeriCorps is a federal agency that connects individuals and organizations to tackle the nation’s most pressing challenges. AmeriCorps members apply and are placed with local Habitats via Habitat International, and serve in a variety of roles to increase organizational capacity.
In FY21, we leaned on that additional capacity more than ever. Our AmeriCorps members went the extra mile to ensure that we could continue to serve families even with limited volunteers on site and staffing shortages that threatened to slow down our build schedule.
Thank you, Habitat Wake AmeriCorps members!
Habitat Wake builds ADA homes.
Part of our mission to build homes, communities and hope is to encourage our network to learn more about the context for our housing affordability challenges. This year, we launched Forging Ahead on Affordable Housing, a compilation of research, maps and policy priorities intended to help our community rally around lasting solutions.
We hosted conversations with the Triangle Business Journal's 40 Under 40 class of 2021 and our faith community. We engaged the topic of redlining with empathy and determination, settling in for the long haul of addressing racial inequities in Wake in Johnston counties.
The $80 million bond will help us and other affordable housing organizations serve more families.
Our other policy wins include:
$175 million in funding for COVID-19 housing assistance through the Governor's office
Development fees waived by Town of Apex for 10 habitat homes
Apex Town Council approved rezoning for M/I Homes project to include 15 lots for Habitat Wake
$7 million funding added for bus stop improvements and connecting infrastructure in Wake County
Town of Apex unanimously adopted Affordable Housing Plan
City of Raleigh included funding for mortgage assistance in CDBG-CV3 usage
This year, the Habitat for Humanity ReStores implemented a register round-up initiative that took off! Customers had the option to round up to the nearest $1, $3 $5 or even more. Thanks to the support of our community, the ReStores raised an additional $107,371 to support all three local Habitat organizations (Habitat Wake, Habitat Orange and Habitat Durham).
Because it was so successful, our round-up initiative will continue this year! Your small change is a huge investment in the future of Triangle communities.
Even with global trips suspended, we still tithed to our sister Habitat organizations in Honduras, Malawi and Cambodia.