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Archive for month: August, 2017

When Families in our Community Have a Better Life

When families in our community have a better life, it benefits all of us. Our schools, our workplaces, our neighborhoods and our lives improve. Housing may seem like only one piece in the puzzle, but it leads to a more complete, stable picture for West Virginians.

As much as we rely on volunteer service and donations, Habitat for Humanity of Kanawha & Putnam cannot function without your financial assistance.

Your gift will enable us to purchase construction materials for the houses we are building in our North Hills neighborhood. Additionally, the gift you make to Habitat for Humanity enables us to have the professional staff necessary to oversee projects, coordinate volunteers, and conduct homeowner education programs.

With the help of generous donors like you, Habitat for Humanity of Kanawha & Putnam is providing people in need with decent, affordable homes of their own. A donation to Habitat for Humanity of Kanawha & Putnam offers you a unique opportunity to:

  • Partner with people in need to build a safe, decent home
  • Strengthen the community’s tax base
  • Stimulate the economy by allowing partner homeowners to spend much less on housing, therefore increasing disposable income
  • Receive a tax deduction
  • Offer a hand up rather than a hand out
  • See your faith and generosity in action

Each gift you make helps a family move closer to their dream of homeownership, and all donations are tax-deductible.

Won’t you consider being our financial partner and help us help families reach their goals?

Join us now by giving to our first Home By Autumn campaign.

Click Here to Donate Now

Celebrating National Dog Day: August 26th

August 26th is National Dog Day

Many people that we partner with dream of one day owning a home where their children can have a pet, and there comes a time in most parent’s lives when they’re asked that one particular question by their kid: “Can we get a dog?” This weekend may be a good time to say yes. Saturday is a day to celebrate dogs — all breeds, pure and mixed. It also serves to help mobilize the public to recognize the number of dogs that need rescuing each year. National Dog Day also honors service dogs that work to save lives, keep us safe and bring comfort to people.

You may not know it, but dogs are more than just pets. Dogs put their lives on the line every day, and we put them to use in a multitude of ways. We adopt them for personal protection, for law enforcement and to help the disabled. Dogs even ensure our safety by detecting and finding bombs. Some work to keep the streets safe by sniffing out drugs and tracking criminals. Now, scientists are using dogs to detect cancer and oncoming seizures — things even humans cannot do. Dogs definitely deserve a day of recognition.

If you’re an exceptional dog mom or dad, chances are, you already have pictures picked out for your adorable posts to commemorate National Dog Day. Yes, those posts that will make us wannabe dog owners sit in a corner and pet our screens.

Celebrate the Dog in Your Life

If you want to celebrate National Dog Day, it can be as easy as giving your four-legged friend a big hug and kiss. Other ways to celebrate your soul-mutt include teaching your dog a new trick, getting your pooch a new collar or doing something special for Fido. You can’t go wrong with new treats or a day in a park. If you are looking for other ways to show your love for man’s best friend, but you’re not a dog owner, you can always donate food, bedding or toys to your local shelter.

Some people say part of the American Dream is having a home with space to let their children play. What better way to get a child active than to give them a pet partner to burn off some of that young energy. If you can provide a good home and the attention a dog needs, go a step further and adopt a dog from your local shelter.

In honor of the 2017 National Dog Day, we’ve put together a slide show (top of the article) featuring our staff’s furry friends. Not everyone in the building owns a dog, so we’re including man’s other best friend – cats – in our slideshow also.

We want to see your furry friends! Post your pet pictures to our Facebook page.

Learn more at NationalDogDay.com.

BrickStreet Insurance and Habitat for Humanity Partner to Build Homes in Charleston

More than a dozen volunteers spent their Friday working together to build a new home for a family in Charleston. BrickStreet Insurance teamed up with Habitat for Humanity of Kanawha and Putnam county for a third year to work on the project.

Work started at 8 a.m. Friday. Volunteers worked inside, avoiding the rain, to hang drywall throughout the house. By 4 p.m., the walls inside the home were all nailed in place. Some volunteer said they appreciate working for a company that gives back to the community.

“It means a lot because not only is this going to be my community, so I’m helping my neighbors. My neighbors are going to be living in this house soon. Just helping out. You know, people helped me get my home and of course I had to help build on my own home. It’s just a way to bring the community together.” – Michael, Habitat Homeowner & Volunteer

As well as donating time, the Brickstreet Foundation donated $3,500 to go toward supplies and future house builds.

“It is really important to have community partners like BrickStreet, but also to be blessed with additional funds to pay for construction materials – that’s a double blessing.” – Bill Andreas, Habitat for Humanity Development Director

You can click here to see our current volunteer opportunities – and register online – or call the Volunteer Hotline (304-720-4470) to learn more about how you can get involved with Habitat for Humanity. You can also e-mail our volunteer coordinator, Susan Keener, for more information – Susan@hfhkp.org.

BrickStreet Foundation

Take a Tour of Habitat for Humanity in Charleston

Habitat for Humanity HabiTour

Habitat for Humanity is working to end substandard housing throughout Kanawha and Putnam counties. By empowering you and working with future homeowners, together we’re changing lives. We have built 169 homes with the help of people just like you.

We want to share our story, so come take a tour.
A HabiTour is our way of sharing our mission, vision and facts about the programs we offer with you.

It will be held at Habitat for Humanity’s community center at 815 Court Street in Charleston.

To register for our free August 23rd lunch tour – CLICK HERE!

Each person that registers will get a free lunch, and anyone is welcome to attend. It’s only an hour. The program starts at noon SHARP and ends at 1:00 pm. on Wednesday, August 23, 2017.

We’re just .01 miles from downtown Charleston – so join us for lunch and take a tour.

Eliminating Debt for Financial Peace

Habitat for Humanity empowers future homeowners to successfully own and maintain a home. One such way we achieve this is by teaching our Habitat partners about financial responsibility. We use a proven course that started out as a small class taught in a church. From that, Financial Peace University was born. Twenty years after the course was developed, its creator, Dave Ramsey, continues to teach people God’s way of handling money. Lisa, a recent course graduate says, “Dave explains so much about money and how to handle it the way God intended. You will learn a lot about money.”

Ramsey is a personal money-management expert and popular national radio personality. His seven best-selling books – Financial Peace, More Than Enough, The Total Money Makeover, EntreLeadership, The Complete Guide to Money, Legacy Journey and Smart Money Smart Kids – have sold more than 10 million copies combined.Debt Free Course Graduates

Through video teaching, class discussions and interactive small-group activities, the Financial Peace University course presents practical, biblical steps to win with money. You’ll learn how to walk out of debt, build significant savings, and leave a lasting legacy for your family, church and community. You will also learn the truth about credit cards and credit bureaus, how marketing can sway your spending decisions, what insurance you actually need, and how to plan for college and retirement.

The cost of the nine-week course is $75 dollars. Habitat homebuyers get a rebate once they complete all nine classes. Kelli, a current Habitat homebuyer says, “The great thing is you pay for the class, but get back so much more.”

The course is structured around a seven-step plan.

  • Step 1: Save $1000 in a beginner emergency fund
  • Step 2: Pay off all debt, except mortgage
  • Step 3: Put three to six months of expenses in savings
  • Step 4: Invest 15% of your household income into retirement
  • Step 5: Save for your children’s college
  • Step 6: Pay off your mortgage early
  • Step 7: Build Wealth and Give

Course instructor, Janie Hamilton, says that each step is achievable, but moving from step one to step seven takes time. “It can takes three to four years before you make it past step three, but it can be done,” Hamilton explains.

The Financial Peace University course is offered twice a year on Monday nights. If you miss a class, you can make it up during the next course offering. Right now, we are in the process of scheduling our winter 2018 Financial Peace University course.

“Tough it out through the foggy moments. The payoff is larger than you could imaging. When you are diligent and listen to God’s command, not only will you change your life, but the lives of people around you. Stay the course.” – Jennifer, 2017 Financial Peace University Graduate

Habitat for Humanity also teaches homeowners other practical skills needed to maintain a home for years to come. Our Master Homeowner Program is the only one of its kind in the country. It was developed right here in West Virginia with the needs of Habitat for Humanity homebuyers in mind, but it’s open to anyone.

For more information on our Master Homeowner Program and how you can learn to maintain your home, CLICK HERE.

Learn How to be a Successful, Lifelong Homeowner

master homeowner classes

Fall 2017 Master Homeowner Program

Do you have a few free hours in the evening? Are you looking to learn something new and useful? If so, Habitat for Humanity has something for you!

Home maintenance costs can add up fast. However, you could save money doing the upkeep yourself, and the sense of pride you’ll get from taking matters into your own hands will last a lifetime. If you don’t want to do the work yourself, knowing how it should be done is just as important for getting the results you expect from a contractor.

Habitat for Humanity has put together a series of classes that will teach you how to be a successful, lifelong homeowner. Our program is the only one of its kind in the country. It was developed right here in West Virginia with the needs of Habitat for Humanity homebuyers in mind, but it’s open to anyone.

“If you know how a job is done, but you don’t want to do it yourself, you can still make sure the job is done right. Our classes teach you what you need to know.” – Janie Hamilton, Master Homeowner Program Coordinator

Electrical Demonstration

What You Get

There are 9 classes in the course covering all possible issues of home ownership, and also a nine-week financial course that teaches you budgeting and money management. You have the option of taking single classes that interest you. Individual Master Homeowner classes cost $10 each. Our financial course price varies.

To register for the complete nine-class Master Homeowner course, CLICK HERE.

Classes Include:

Homeowner’s Toolbox: You will learn what basic tools are needed in and around the house. This class teaches you how to buy, store and use your tools properly.  Hands-on experience is part of this class.
Monday, September 11, 2017
5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Legal and Insurance Issues of Homeownership: You will learn the legal rights and responsibilities of homeownership. This class covers estate planning. It also teaches you the insurance coverage you should have from a legal standpoint.
Monday, September 18, 2017
5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Home Fire Safety & Prevention: You will learn the most common causes of house fires and how to protect your family and home. Charleston firefighters will work with you during the class — teaching you how to use fire extinguishers and properly store them. Hands-on experience is part of this class.
Monday, September 25, 2017
5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Home & Neighborhood Safety: This class will teach you to identify potential threats to the security of yourself and your property, and learn the best practices for reporting and deterring security risks. Taught by our local law enforcement, this class puts the most experienced instructors at the helm — teaching you the “how-to” of home and neighborhood safety including personal, property and Internet safety.
Monday, October 2, 2017
5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Home Electrical Basics: You will learn to identify the type of service panel in your home, and how to best practice electrical safety in your home. This class will teach you what you really need to know about your home electrical system for the safety and protection of your family and home. You’ll learn from Master Electrician Mike Abernethy if and when an electrician needs to be called, and how to hire one. Hands-on experience is part of this class.
Monday, October 9, 2017
5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Basic Household Plumbing: You will learn the details of a basic household plumbing system and learn where to check for leaks. This class will teach you the what, why, and how-to’s of household plumbing from second generation contractor John Thompson of E. J. Thompson & Son LLC. Hands-on experience is part of this class.
Monday, October 16, 2017
5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Home Maintenance: Join us and learn how doable and economical home maintenance can be.  This class will teach you if and when it is time to call a professional, and what you need to look for to avoid the natural deterioration of your home.  Cade Vogelsong of Viking Construction will lead this informative class. Hands-on experience is part of this class.
Monday, October 23, 2017
5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Neighborhood Relations: You will gain a better understanding of the importance of forming positive relationships with your closest neighbors and the wider community, thus being empowered to improve your neighborhood. This class is a very “in your face” kind of class — taking a look at just how to rethink the kind of neighbor you really are and how to tolerate neighbors that are bit difficult.
Monday, November 6, 2017
5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Home Energy Efficiency: Learn from a professional, certified efficiency expert, Dale Oxley, how to save on your home energy costs by learning why and how it works in the most simple, cost efficient ways and do much of it yourself. Take control by learning the facts. This class will help you identify areas of energy loss in your home, and show you how to remedy them.  Hands-on experience is part of this class.
Monday, November 13, 2017
5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Classes are offered in two cycles per year. If you miss a class during the current fall 2017 session — and that’s okay — then you will automatically be registered for the next cycle in spring 2018.

For more information on our classes, contact Janie Hamilton at 304-720-0141 ext. 18 or janie@hfhkp.org.

Help Us Help a Local Family

We’re working with a couple right now to give them a hand up and get them Home By Autumn.

The couple and their children live in an unsafe part of town in an overcrowded apartment. The building is not a safe haven for kids. There is consistent foot and car traffic outside the main entrance. The family was beginning to lose hope of finding an affordable home after years of bouncing around in small, expensive and problem-ridden apartments.

“I was tired of renting things that would never be mine. It’s difficult and tiring to have to move all of the time.”

Then, one conversation changed the family’s life. They were told about Habitat for Humanity from friends that had attended our regular open-house events. The couple researched the requirements, put in an application and are now approved to earn and own a home of their own.

Both parents tell us that they are proud to be able to provide their family with a more stable environment. “The entire family is excited! My kids don’t have to worry about moving every year or six months when the lease on our apartment ends.”

All of the family members have been working hard to earn their 500 hours of “sweat equity.” As with all of our future homeowners, the family must work towards owning their home before we offer them a zero-interest mortgage. They do this by volunteering on construction crews, working in our ReStores in Charleston and Teays Valley, and volunteering in our administrative office. The kids even get involved by making artwork for our construction volunteers.

Now, it’s almost time for them to have a home to call their own, but construction isn’t done yet.

This is where you come in! As they embark on their final steps toward a move in date, we invite you to help them by donating to the completion of their home.

Join us now by giving to our first Home By Autumn campaign.

Click Here to Donate Now

Your Future Home

Decent, Affordable & Yours!

Habitat for Humanity Family Partnering with Habitat for Humanity for a decent, affordable home does not mean compromising on quality. All of the houses that we work with homebuyers to build meet all current building codes, and some of the construction materials exceed those standards. Habitat for Humanity saves you money by offering a zero-interest mortgage. Our mortgages are affordable because we use mostly volunteer labor and some construction materials are donated. In the end, you get the final say in the look of your future home. Our homebuyer partners choose the exterior siding, kitchen countertops, flooring and deck stain on all new construction.

Habitat for Humanity houses save you money.

Our homes are energy efficient. The walls are insulated with R-13, three and a half inch fiberglass. We use a high-quality fiber cement siding on the exterior. It comes with a 15 year warranty and is far more durable than vinyl siding. Habitat houses also offer 30 year architectural shingles. When it comes to the walls inside your future home, we don’t cut corners – we reinforce them. We always build using 2×4 walls and then hang half-inch drywall. All of the quality materials we use in construction give our house walls a total R Value of 22.

Other energy-efficient features of Habitat for Humanity houses include:

  • R-38 Blow-in attic insulation
  • 3” closed-cell high performance spray insulation under subfloor preventing outside air infiltration – sealing floors completely from moisture
  • High-efficiency central heating and cooling system designed for minimal outside air filtration
  • Argon filled, Low E Insulated Vinyl Windows

Habitat for Humanity works with homebuyers to make homeownership manageable.

Our houses use arc-fault circuit breakers and outdoor GFCI outlets. Each house is pre-wired for future updates and customization. The water lines throughout our houses use an innovative PEX water system. PEX water lines are single pipes without joints – eliminating places where leaks can occur. All of the PEX piping we use in our houses are connected to a single manifold that is the hub of the plumbing system. The central water manifold distributes the house’s hot and cold water supply in the same way that an electrical panel distributes electricity. Each house has a minimum of a 40-gallon hot water tank.

The houses that Habitat for Humanity works with homebuyers to build are built for convenience and long term durability.

Each house is built with a covered porch. Each house has a washer and dryer hookup. The inside of our houses feature spacious, 40-inch wide closets in each bedroom. We work to put in as much storage as possible – with added storage space in the bathrooms. Each bathroom is outfitted with a seamless shower and bathtub combination that minimizes places for mildew – reducing cleaning time. For added convenience we use Panasonic Whisper Quiet® bathroom exhaust fans. For added security we use steel front and rear entry doors that are all keyed the same and include deadbolts for added reinforcement.

Habitat for Humanity HouseDuring construction, the land that the house is being built on is graded to drain water away from the house’s foundation. Proper drainage reduces the likelihood of foundation problems, mold and odors. After construction, we landscape and seed the lawn. Proper landscaping can prevent sewer issues and provides the added bonus of blocking wind and sun – adding to the overall energy efficiency of the house. We also make sure each of our houses have ample parking space. Habitat houses all have off-street parking for two vehicles.

Habitat homeowners say they feel like they are getting a quality home that is built to last. That’s because Habitat for Humanity builds homes that are decent and affordable without cutting corners. We’re proud to stand by the homes we work with our partners to build.
To date, we have built more than 150 homes in the Kanawha Valley, and we’re building more right now.

If you would like to apply for partnership with Habitat for Humanity, CLICK HERE to take our short pre-qualification quiz — or call Anne Plott, Homeownership Program Director, at 304-720-0141 ext. 12.

Tips to Save Money During Peak Summer Heat

As the temperature continues to rise this summer, your power bill doesn’t need to increase by extreme degrees too. Saving money is easy.

save money on bills with energy efficiency tips

Here are some strategies from Appalachian Power to conserve energy and save money on your electric bill.

• Close the drapes on the sunny side of your home while you are there, or close all window coverings if you are leaving for the day.

• Turn off unnecessary lights and use energy-efficient fluorescent light bulbs, which use less energy and give off less heat.

• Seal air leaks with caulking and weather stripping, and minimize door traffic to keep the cool air inside.

• Use heat-producing appliances such as your dryer, dishwasher and range during the cooler nighttime hours.

• Turn air conditioners to the highest comfortable setting to save money. Energy experts recommend 76 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit when you’re home and 80 degrees while you are away. Adjusting your thermostat up a few degrees will have a significant impact on your cooling bill, saving approximately 30 percent on your summer cooling costs.

• Clean or replace your air conditioning filter monthly, or as needed.

• Keep coils on the exterior air conditioning unit free of dirt, grass clippings and leaves.
Save Money

For more information about how you can save money and maintain your home for years to come — check out our Master Homeowner Program — designed to teach you the basic skills necessary to be a successful, lifelong homeowner.

Click HERE to make a secure, online financial contribution.