Staff and volunteers at Habitat for Humanity of Kanawha & Putnam are excited to put some new funds to use building homes in Charleston. On March 26th, The First Presbyterian Church of Charleston awarded Habitat a community grant for $7000. The grant money will be directly used to purchase construction materials for Habitat’s growing North Charleston neighborhood.
Kanawha and Putnam counties are home to nearly 250,000 residents. Unfortunately, nearly one of five are suffering with the burden of substandard housing such as leaky roofs, faulty plumbing, electrical failures, inadequate heat or overcrowding. Even more are struggling with an unmanageable cost or living and raising families in fear of unsafe neighborhoods. Habitat for Humanity of Kanawha & Putnam is working to change that.
Habitat helps people build homes and provides homeowner education, financial literacy training and construction training. By partnering with families, Habitat empowers communities. The non-profit mobilizes volunteers and supporters, engages corporations, foundations, churches and faith groups to get involved – whether through donations of time or money.
An Ongoing Partnership
The First Presbyterian Church of Charleston has a long-standing relationship with Habitat for Humanity of Kanawha & Putnam. It has been making annual donations since 2006, and for the last few years the church has been sending out groups of 8 to 15 parishioners to spend a day on Habitat’s construction site helping Habitat partners build their homes.
This most recent grant check was presented to Habitat for Humanity’s executive director, Shawn Means. Means says that without help from the faith-based community, Habitat could not build the communities it strives to create. “We rely on partnerships to build homes. We cannot do it alone,” Means said.
After the check presentation, the church giving committee was treated to a private tour of Habitat’s administrative offices and its Charleston ReStore operation. The group of four then took a trip outside to tour Habitat’s expanding neighborhood in Charleston.
During the tour, William Andreas, development director for Habitat for Humanity of Kanawha & Putnam, explained to representatives from the church how Habitat is able to build homes and sell them to Habitat partners at a zero-interest mortgage. “Habitat mortgages are affordable because we use mostly volunteer labor and some construction materials are donated,” Andreas said. He added, “Each payment is then reinvested into our construction fund to build more homes.”
Habitat is expecting The First Presbyterian Church of Charleston to continue their partnership this build season. Right now, Habitat is in the process of working to organize a large group build day made up of church congregations, Habitat homebuyers and other community members. A date has not been set.