Tag Archive for: Asheville Habitat

Habitat Welcomes Jill Franklin Home

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Originally from Asheville, NC, Jill Franklin is excited to return to her hometown and thrilled to have the opportunity to continuing working for Habitat for Humanity.

Recently hired as Family Selection Coordinator, Jill will be responsible for administering and documenting the family selection application process for our homeownership and home repair programs. This is familiar territory for Jill who has spent the past eight years in the same position at Habitat for Humanity of Charlotte (NC).

Prior to her career with Habitat Jill worked in banking and brings proficiency in mortgage loan origination and processing. She is also an NC Certified Housing Counselor, trained to provide advice on buying a home, renting, defaults, foreclosures, and credit issues.

Jill holds a B.A. from Appalachian State University and a B.S.B.A, Administration and Marketing from UNC-Charlotte. When not at work, Jill can be found hiking, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.

Welcome to the Asheville Habitat team, Jill — and welcome back to Asheville!

Help for the Helpers

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Marion and Thelma Scott are delightful. They’re the kind of folks who make good neighbors and enhance neighborhoods. They moved to Asheville in 1995 after having lived in Norwalk, Connecticut for thirty-six years. In Connecticut Thelma was an accountant and Marion’s last work was with a cable company (where one of their three sons now works). Born in North Carolina, it was Thelma’s hope to move back to the state to be near family, particularly her mother. Upon retirement Thelma’s hope became reality, and Thelma and Marion moved to Asheville, twelve years before her beloved mother’s death. And though her mother has passed, family remains nearby as Thelma’s sister currently lives across the street.

The Scotts live in a well-kept house on a quiet, but well-traveled street in south Asheville. They are always mindful and attentive to the maintenance and care needed for their house and their yard. To the pleasure of their neighbors, the Scotts immediately took an interest in the people who lived around them. They particularly began to give attention to their aging neighbors by driving them to appointments, helping them to maintain their yards and doing other things to make their lives easier.

At one time it got to the point where Marion did not have to announce himself when he was entering one neighbor’s yard, and then when he wanted to borrow a certain tool, the neighbor said that he no longer needed to ask even for it. The neighbor soon let it be known that the tool seemed to belong more to Marion than to him. Before long the neighbor outright gave Marion the tool. Being the upright, responsible man that he is, Marion used it for the upkeep of both yards, until the neighbor’s death.

As mentioned earlier, the Scotts are attentive to their home and its ongoing maintenance needs. After following the maintenance schedule prescribed by a heating and air company for their entire tenure in the house, the heating system was not working properly. They had called the service provider several times, and each time the company employee came out to repair the furnace. Finally, the company employee surmised that the entire system needed to be replaced because it could no longer be repaired. The Scotts proceeded to get estimates for a new heating system and the cheapest one that they could find was $7,900.  This was an impossible amount because of their fixed income. And while the furnace was the major problem, the Scotts also noticed some other needs. The insulation underneath the living room floor had fallen away. There were places in their living room that the Scotts could not reach to paint. A wall was cracked and it needed to be repaired and painted. And finally the crawl space needed to be covered to prevent dust and dirt from finding its way into the living room.

It was time for the helpers to seek help of their own. Marion and Thelma had heard about the Habitat home repair program on radio station WRES and as directed, they phoned for a home repair application. Upon completing the application, they met with Habitat’s Family Selection Coordinator and he forwarded the application to the Home Repair Supervisor (Joel Johnson) who visited the Scott home to do an assessment.

Joel determined that the requested work was doable and he proceeded to get another heating company to look at the furnace. That assessment showed that the furnace was still good and it could be repaired at a reasonable cost.

Mr. and Mrs. Scott breathed a sigh of relief after Joel’s visit. The furnace has been repaired. The other repairs have also been completed and the Scotts are look forward to having their three sons, six grandchildren and all the rest of their family in their home for Christmas. Thelma said “It just wouldn’t do for my grandbabies to be cold.”

When asked about their experience with Habitat, Thelma and Marion were very complimentary. “We are grateful for the positive interaction with Habitat staff. We appreciate the professionalism exhibited by the workers and we could not be happier about the cost and terms of repayment.”

If you’d like to learn more about our Home Repair program services and qualifications, please click here.

Written by Pat Bacon, Family Support Specialist

Enjoy a Special Evening at the Biltmore Estate to help Habitat

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Save the Date – Friday, October 10th

Asheville Area Habitat is thrilled to be the beneficiary of the 2014 Annual Biltmore Benefit, co-hosted by Colton Groome and Company. The event will take place on the evening of Friday, October 10th and funds raised will support our Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative Home Repair Program in the Shiloh Community in South Asheville.

Guests will begin the evening at the Statue of Diana at Biltmore for an outdoor reception overlooking Biltmore House and the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, an elegant four-course dinner prepared by Estate chefs, dancing… and an exciting surprise at the close of the event.

Tickets are on sale now. Purchase or pledge your Sponsorship soon before this year’s event sells out. If you would like to receive information, please call 828-225-1218 and leave your name, and mailing or email address and event information will be sent to you soon.

 

 

 

Warren Haynes Donates $500,000 to Asheville Area Habitat  

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Christmas came early in Asheville this year when Warren Haynes presented Asheville Area Habitat with the proceeds check from the 2013 Warren Haynes Presents: The Christmas Jam — a record-breaking $500,000! Haynes who played in Charlotte, NC the night before and was enroute to Alpharetta, GA for another show, chose to stop in Asheville to make the special presentation in person. Xmas Jam proceeds now exceed $1.8 million!

“Stef and I were overwhelmed. We knew it was a good year, but we were surprised by how good,” said Haynes of the final number. The significant increase over past years was due to a number of different things he said, most notable the fact that it was a 2-night, 25th anniversary show. “Merch also sold incredibly well, we were able to keep expenses down, there was Pay-Per-View and new partners like Sierra Nevada…it were a lot of different factors.”

Executive Director, Lew Kraus notes that donations of this size are few and far between and this will go a long way to helping Habitat with the most capital intensive part of our work – acquiring and developing land. Speaking of land…

The short event was held at Habitat’s newest subdivision, Hudson Hills. Habitat offered Warren and his wife Stefani Scamardo the naming rights to recognize their long-standing commitment to and the couple chose the name to honor their young son, Hudson. Recently just a plot of land, Hudson Hills is now an active construction site and the future home of 25 single family homes, thanks in part to the generosity of Haynes and Scamardo and their successful benefit concert.

The street into the subdivision – Soulshine Court – also honors Haynes. About the name, Haynes remarked, “Soulshine is a song that resonates with many people and it’s particularly meaningful to me because it was inspired by my father. He worked hard as a single dad to raise me and my brothers in Asheville, so it’s fitting that a street named Soulshine Court will be in my hometown and that it will be a place that 25 families will call home.”

We presented Haynes with a Soulshine Court street sign. One event attendee suggested he put in his tour bus, an idea Warren seemed to like.

Read the Asheville Citizen Times article here, or view our online photo album.

Farewell to our longtime ReStore Manager

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In 14 years of managing Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore, Jay Sloan led the store to be the 3rd in the nation for sales – out of nearly 800 ReStores! Jay served as ReStore General Manager for 12 years and stepped into a position as ReStore Donations Manager in the recent two years to “ease into retirement” while Scott Stetson (formerly Assistant Manager) took the helm as ReStore General Manager. Asheville Area Habitat sincerely thanks Jay, who retired on June 30th, for his years of service and dedication to Habitat’s mission.

Recently, Habitat staffers and volunteers gathered at the store for a celebration to wish Jay well in his retirement. Many people spoke to his accomplishments and leadership style, sharing funny stories and sincere compliments. View the photos and watch the videos.

Scott said, “Over the years, Jay has armed me with the knowledge and the skills to run one of the best performing and most respected ReStores in the country, and I’m really proud to be a part of that. Jay taught me the value of our precious volunteers. He definitely taught me valuable lessons that will stick with me for many years to come here at the ReStore.”

Lew Kraus noted that from the year Jaystarted as General Manager in 1988 to the year he stepped down, sales increased by 1,170%. “Many of you have heard me say that 30 years ago it took us 18 months to build our first [Habitat] house, and now, we are starting a new house every three and a half weeks. Much of that is due to the success of the ReStore and the money it puts into this organization—and Jay, you’ve brought us there, so thank you for that.” Proceeds from ReStore sales are a valuable source of sustainable income to the affiliate, helping to cover AAHH’s administrative and fundraising expenses and provide funding for building programs.

Jay was quick to reply: “To hear everyone speak you’d think I did this all single-handedly. Well, it doesn’t happen that way. The reason this store has performed the way it has is because of staff and volunteers. They all wanted this store to be successful and to perform well… I want to thank all of you—you’re the reason the store is where it’s at today.”

Jay is now enjoying retirement with his wife, Dorothy, in South Carolina.

Building in Honor of Pope Francis

This May, we began construction on The Pope Francis House, the first Habitat house in the nation built in honor of the beloved leader. This house is fully (financially) sponsored by an anonymous donor; local Catholic churches will take the lead in volunteer recruitment. Catholic and non-Catholic volunteers, local and non-local groups, will be invited to participate in the build. This house will become home to the Meadows family.

The Pope Francis House broke ground on May 13th and we raised the first wall on May 21.

To see photos from the wall raising, click here. To see the news coverage on WLOS, click here.

The purpose of this house is threefold:

• To honor Pope Francis for his commitment to social justice and reinvigorating the Catholic Church;
• To provide a unifying, celebratory opportunity for both Catholic and non-Catholic volunteers to work together towards a common goal (as Pope Francis says, “Work confers dignity.”); and
• To further Habitat’s mission of building and preserving homes.

Being built on an infill lot on Jeffress Avenue in Shiloh, the Pope Francis House is just around the corner from the Shiloh Community Garden, where Habitat helped build a garden shed and raised beds in 2013. Habitat also completed a number of Home Repair projects in the Shiloh community in the last few years and starting in 2016, ten new Habitat houses will be built just up the road off Taft Avenue.

“It is our hope, and that of the donor, that this project will serve as a model for other Habitat affiliates to partner with local Catholic churches and build in honor of Pope Francis,” said Lew Kraus, Executive Director of Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity.

Interested in bringing a group to volunteer on this house? Please contact Stephanie.

Habitat Welcomes New Home Repair Manager

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We are pleased to welcome Hugh Lipham as Home Repair Manager. In this new position, Lipham will coordinate the day-to-day Construction Services operations of the Home Repair program including: inspection, scope of work, pricing, scheduling, project planning, subcontractor coordination and acceptance.

Lipham comes to Habitat from The Housing Assistance Corporation in Hendersonville, where he worked as Director of Residential Development for more than seven years. Having managed affordable single-family and multi-family housing development activities for that agency, he brings a wealth of experience in affordable housing. Prior, Hugh served as a field coordinator of the very highly regarded emergency home repair program at The Appalachia Service Project. Hugh is also a licensed general contractor in North Carolina and has spent time in management with a family-owned business.

Asheville Area Habitat was one of the first Habitat affiliates to introduce Neighborhood Revitalization (Home Repair) as an extension of its new house construction program in 2009. This expansion of housing services was part of Asheville Habitat’s Building a Way Home campaign to triple the number of families served by 2015. Since 2010, the affiliate has completed more than 70 home repair projects in Buncombe County, ranging in scope from repairing walkways and improving accessibility, to replacing roofs and upgrading heating systems.

Bringing significant knowledge and experience, Lipham is a welcome addition to AAHH as the affiliate works to expand its home repair program in the coming years.

Asheville Area Habitat Seeks to Acquire Land

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Building a Way Home is a $5 million capacity building campaign that enables Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity to triple the number of families served by 2015. The $4.2M raised to-date through this campaign has allowed us to grow our ReStore, expand our services to include a Home Repair program, and build houses with families in need of safe, decent, and affordable homes.

With the cost of land critical to the affordability of a Habitat home, we are focusing on the acquisition of buildable land – while prices are still relatively low.

How to help us acquire land:
1. Adopt-A-Lot
Help offset the cost of land on a specific home in a Habitat neighborhood with a sponsorship. An Adopt-A-Lot sponsorship is $10,000 and donors receive sponsorship benefits including a listing on the lot and neighborhood sign during construction, updates on the family as they progress towards homeownership, and invitations to special events.

2. Land Challenge Grant
Designate your gift for the purchase of land, and it will be matched dollar for dollar by a local foundation (up to $100,000).

3. Land Donations
A gift of residential property helps to ensure the affordability of a Habitat home. Learn more about what we’re seeking here.

To learn more or to make a donation please contact Kit Rains, Development Director, at 828.210.9365 or email her here.