Tag Archive for: Habitat House

Safe home in a tight-knit community is a dream come-true for the Trantham-Roper family

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By Kristen Keefer

This past June, Vicki Trantham and her two sons Geoffrey (Roper), 25, and Rowan, 10, moved into their Hudson Hills home, made possible by proceeds from Warren Haynes Presents: The Christmas Jam. The family harnesses a special dynamic, with oldest son Geoffrey (who is also on the deed) helping his mom Vicki raise her youngest son Rowan. The path that led this family to their forever home was filled with hard work and dedication. And today, the family is deeply rooted in the Habitat community.

Though their plates were already full when they began the journey to become homeowners, Vicki and Geoffrey enthusiastically embraced putting in sweat equity. Geoffrey shared, “It never felt like extra work. Volunteering on the weekends never felt overwhelming after the full 40 hour work week.” For him, being on the construction site was a valuable time to work with his neighbors, develop carpentry skills, and share the company of great people.

Geoffrey viewed sweat equity as an opportunity not an obligation. Geoffrey recalled, “The overall experience has been full of hope and very eye-opening.” He shared memories from his first meeting with Habitat homeowner selection committee members. Saying, “We felt so welcomed into the Habitat family. The committee members genuinely wanted to work with us.”

Currently Geoffrey is quite busy, working as a full-time pastry chef at Filo and actively playing guitar in local band The Spiral. And, though he has already completed his sweat equity, in the future he plans to return to the construction site to continue to volunteer his time to Habitat.

Geoffrey also lends his time to his younger brother Rowan. Vicki, who is a breast cancer survivor, expressed how helpful this has been to her, allowing her the opportunity to engage in activities away from home, including continuing her service with Habitat. Vicki is now a “core volunteer”, volunteering her time weekly in the administrative office, as well as at the ReStore. Being able to continue her service has filled her with happiness. She shared, “It’s wonderful to be able to give back and help other families. It’s what we wanted to do!”

The family is incredibly grateful for the opportunities they’ve been able to pursue since joining the Habitat community. Vicki shared that prior to purchasing a Habitat home they had been staying in a rural setting, in dangerous and nearly unlivable conditions. Relocating to Hudson Hills has not only given them a safe place to call home, but integrated them into a tight-knit community. Geoffrey explained, “We’ve never lived in a neighborhood before. It’s cool to see Rowan have so many friends in the neighborhood. I’m secondhand-excited for him!”

Vicki, Geoffrey, and Rowan are an inspirational family. When you meet them, you instantly feel at ease. Together they embrace a unique dynamic, sticking together through thick and thin. Their commitment to each other and the hard work they’ve put in to reach their dream of homeownership represents everything Habitat strives to support in building homes and building communities.

Students Leading the Charge to House Sponsorship

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Students from Asheville Christian Academy, Carolina Day School, and Christ School are already well on their way to making the second Habitat Student Build House in Buncombe County a reality. These schools have committed to jointly raise the $55,000 it takes to fully sponsor an Asheville Area Habitat house and provide student volunteers (ages 16 and up) and adult chaperones to help build the house. Each school will raise $18,333. Construction on the house is slated to begin March 24th, with the first wall to be raised three days later.

Reaching such a lofty goal takes leadership. The schools have formed a Student Advisory Committee with students from each school who stepped forward to take on the task of leading the charge. The group met last fall in a preliminary Student Build Workshop, and recently met again for their second workshop at the Habitat office this past Saturday, January 24th.

13 high school student-leaders and a faculty member from each school spent Saturday morning with Habitat core volunteers and staff preparing and learning. They toured the ReStore, learned how to effectively recruit and schedule volunteers for the Student Build House, and were trained on how to use an online crowdsourcing campaign to raise money. They reported on what they had already done to raise money (as a total, they are already 63% to their goal!), and discussed what worked and what didn’t. Plans were also made to prepare for the 2016 Student Build House!

The icing on the cake that day was the presentation of a $4,000 check from State Farm. Proof that they had already come far since the first workshop, this check was the result of a grant proposal the students penned and submitted together. It’s amazing what a group of motivated young people can accomplish with a little bit of guidance and a whole lot of heart!

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.

Tag Archive for: Habitat House

Presbyterian/Methodist House & Interfaith House Kick-Off Event

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Join us as we celebrate the start of Presbyterian-United Methodist House #25 and Interfaith House #18!

Habitat staff and volunteers will be joined on the jobsite by representatives from various faith communities as well as the Hensley and Torres families who will come to call these houses their homes.

Lunch will be provided by Habitat for attendees and jobsite volunteers. Lunch will begin at 12:00; program will follow at 12:30.

After the speaking program, guests will be invited to help raise the first wall of the Presbyterian/United Methodist House and sign the rim board of the Interfaith House. All are welcome to attend – please join us!

Information Session for Homeownership

Do you want to apply for a Habitat house? Come to an information session about our homeownership program! No pre-registration required, but please note, you must attend an information session before you can apply for homeownership. If this date doesn’t work for you, see our calendar for additional dates.

Information Session for Homeownership

Do you want to apply for a Habitat house? Come to an information session about our homeownership program! No pre-registration required, but please note, you must attend an information session before you can apply for homeownership. If this date doesn’t work for you, see our calendar for additional dates.