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Local Habitat Takes Financial Management Seriously

Local Habitat Takes Financial Management Seriously

The Habitat triplex on Park Avenue

October 19, 2018 (MONTROSE, CO) — Each year tens of thousands of dollars are donated by locals to Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans, 100 percent of those funds, according to the organization, go directly towards construction costs.

The board of directors at the local Habitat for Humanity affiliate incorporates non-profit financial management “best practices” to ensure the organization is as solid as the homes they build.

Since 1991, Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans have worked with the community to build over fifty houses. They’re currently constructing a triplex in Montrose, with another planned for Ridgway. Housing opportunities are also currently available in Norwood.

One of the most satisfying things you can do is drive by the Habitat for Humanity triplex currently under construction on Park Avenue, according to Habitat’s Director, Colleen Aller.

“Chances are good that you’ve either made a cash donation, donated household items to the ReStore or ROOMS by Habitat, shopped with us, attended an event, or volunteered — which means you’ve personally helped to build three homes.”

According to Aller, Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans models itself in the same image as Habitat for Humanity International, which Forbes magazine ranks as number 6 in its list of Top 100 Charities.

“I take comfort in knowing that we have a supportive board of directors who takes their job very seriously. I’m proud of the work we do to implement best practices, yearly audits, and ethics policies to protect donor dollars, the organization and the staff.”

Come early spring, three local families including five adults and six children will walk through those doors on Park Avenue, unpack their belongings, and perhaps breathe a little easier knowing they have a home, with a mortgage they can afford, and a place to raise their families for years to come.

According to Habitat, children of homeowners are 25 percent more likely to graduate high school and those who grow up in a Habitat home are twice as likely to go to college, compared to the local average for similar demographic and economic groups.

Future Habitat homeowners are selected locally, with the criteria centering on their need for decent housing, their ability to repay an affordable mortgage and their willingness to partner with Habitat to build or improve a place they can call home.

Those future homeowners perform hundreds of hours of sweat equity, which can take many forms: building their home or a home for another family, build-site clean-up, working in a Habitat ReStore, assisting in administrative duties, or countless other ways of helping out.

Starting this winter, children also can contribute by earning good grades in school. According to Aller, her organization intends roll out a new policy to award one hour of sweat equity for every “A” a Habitat child earns.

Aller hopes that more donations will come through the door. “We’re building seven homes by 2020. We need the community’s support to do this.”

Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans accepts one time donations and also offers a monthly giving program for automatic payments and perks for membership. For more information visit buildinglives.org.

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Annual Habitat Gala More Important Than Ever

HFHSJ-moonshiners-savethedate


 

JUNE 5, 2018 (MONTROSE, CO) — Habitat for Humanity of The San Juans will host their sixth annual Moonshiners Ball at the Montrose County Event Center. They say it’s the most important fundraiser they’ve ever held.

“We’re building seven homes in our community by 2020,” said Colleen Burke, Habitat’s executive director. “We’re rising to the needs of our community and we need everyone’s help to do it.”

This year’s theme is “Miners & Madams,” and the event will be held from 6 -11p.m. on August 18. Bank of Colorado and TEI Rock Drills are presenting sponsors.

“Expect an evening of chance, mining, panning for prizes, auctions and outrageous entertainment,” said Burke.

Like other years, guests are encouraged to dress up to match the theme. Attendees must be 21 or older. Tickets range from $65 for Early Birds and $150 for VIP admission.

A ticket to one of Montrose’s most anticipated Summer event includes catering by The Yellow Carrot, a moonshine drink and a souvenir glass. There will be a cash bar for general admission guests. VIP guests are invited early for a reception and have access to a full hosted bar.

“We fundraise locally and we spend locally,” said Burke. “Moonshiners Ball is both a celebration of everything we’ve accomplished in the past year and also our big chance to fund everything ahead.”

Money raised by the Moonshiners Ball will benefit the affordable housing triplex currently under construction on Park Avenue in Montrose; another triplex in Ridgway; and an additional single-family home in Montrose, all slated for construction in  the next two years.

“We don’t receive government funding” said Burke. “Events, donations and support from shopping at our ReStore and ROOMS by Habitat are essential to our mission.”

The local Habitat affiliate serves Montrose, Ouray and San Miguel counties. When the seven new homes are completed, total new home construction for this organization will balloon to 59 homes since 1991.

“This is absolutely the most important fundraiser we’ve ever held. If you go big one night this summer, do it with us. You’ll have a good time and make a big impact in the community,” said Burke.

Sponsorships are still available for businesses or individuals. Visit buildinglives.org for more info or for ticket information. 

Two Affordable Homes Available in Norwood and Montrose

February 21, 2018 (MONTROSE, CO) — Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans has two homes available in Norwood and Montrose and is looking for qualified families to fill them.

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Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans is looking for qualified applicants for a affordable homes in Norwood & Montrose.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Norwood home is a single story, 1,092 sq.ft. residence located in the Pine Street Gardens, Habitat for Humanity neighborhood. It has three bedrooms and two baths.

The Montrose home is part of the Triplex currently under construction on Park Ave. This home is three stories and includes three bedrooms and two bathrooms and is 1500 sq.ft.

“Long-term housing is a serious issue for so many. These homes, with affordable mortgages, will be serious game changers for the right family,” said Habitat Assistant Director Deidre Becker.

The Norwood home represents a Habitat success story. According to Colleen Burke, executive director of the local Habitat affiliate, the previous owner helped build the house in 2010 and thanks to the affordability of the mortgage, she was able to save enough money in the intervening years to build her dream home.

“By selling her Habitat home back to us, she returned a home to the Habitat inventory for another family to make great use of,” she said.

Since 1991, Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans have worked with the community to build over fifty houses. By 2020 they will have built 59 homes. Housing opportunities are also currently available in Montrose and Ridgway.

“Our application process is straightforward. And with the Norwood house already built and the Montrose triplex already in construction, the new homeowners could be in their new homes quickly,” said Becker.

Through Habitat’s homeownership program, the nonprofit is able to sell homes to qualified families at a 0-3% interest rate, with only a $500 down payment, and a set monthly mortgage payment that does not exceed 30% of the family’s gross monthly income.

According to Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans, homeownership has a profound impact on families and communities. Children of homeowners are 25 percent more likely to graduate high school and 116 percent more likely to graduate from college.

There is a $25 application fee. For more information or to apply contact Deidre Becker at (970) 252.9303 ext 5.

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Habitat Recognizes Lisa VanAllsburg for Outstanding Service

February 2, 2018 (MONTROSE, CO) — Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans announced this week that Lisa VanAllsburg has been recognized by the organization with an Outstanding Service Award.

Lisa VanAllsburg and her son Alexander

Lisa VanAllsburg and her son Alexander

VanAllsburg is the office assistant at the local Habitat for Humanity affiliate and also assists in Donor Relations, a position she’s held since September, 2016.

Deidre Becker, director of finance and human resources at Habitat said, “Lisa is a valuable member of our team. She truly cares about people and brings a creative and thoughtful touch to her duties. Lisa has shown her dedication to Habitat for Humanity’s core purpose in a variety of ways, including volunteering at a variety of Habitat’s functions and Build Days.”

Colleen Burke, executive director at Habitat echoed the sentiment, “She’s a team player who dives in wherever she’s needed. She’s invaluable to our staff.”

VanAllburg was recognized by her fellow employees last week with a plaque and a gift certificate, as a token of their gratitude for her efforts.

“It’s our way of letting her know we appreciate her and everything she does,” said Burke.

VanAllsburg was touched by the award. “Working with such a wonderful group of people, our partner families and the community makes my job a pleasure every day,” she said.

After volunteering with several non-profits throughout Montrose, VanAllsburg was excited to join the Habitat staff. “The commitment to families and community make me proud to call Habitat a ‘second family’ for my son and I,” she said.

“Lisa plays a very important role in making sure we are running smoothly during this incredibly important time for our organization and community,” said Burke.

By 2020, Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans will have built seven new homes, including two new triplexes in Montrose and Ridgway, bringing their total new home construction to 59 homes since 1991.

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Alpine Bank Sponsors Doors for Habitat Triplex

First Presbyterian Church and Alpine Bank volunteer to help build Habitat for Humanity triplex

January 19, 2018 (MONTROSE, CO) –  An open door is an oft-used analogy for opportunity, a metaphor likely not lost on Alpine Bank of Montrose as they pledge $10,000 to cover the cost of every door for Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans’ new triplex housing project.

“These aren’t just any doors,” said Weesa Hild, event and volunteer coordinator at Habitat. “These doors will literally open up to a better life for three local families, including four children!”

Alpine Bank’s donation is only the latest demonstration of broad community support for the triplex project, according to Colleen Burke, executive director of the local Habitat affiliate.

This month alone hundreds of volunteer hours will be spent during Build Days, including one sponsored by Alpine Bank and another by the First Presbyterian Church in Montrose. 

On Saturday, January 20, volunteers from the First Presbyterian Church in Montrose will gather at the triplex on 333 Park Avenue South, Montrose. The following Saturday, January 27, Alpine Bank’s employees will continue the work of raising the triplex’s second story walls.

Build Days, as events like these are called, are crucial to Habitat’s process. “It’s community outpouring like this that make our mission possible,” said Burke.

Other sponsors of this triplex housing project include DMEA—who also have committed cash towards construction costs; Academy Mortgage; Corks Fine Wines and Spirits; Motley Architecture Design; Dynamic Integration; D&S Underground; City of Montrose; Montrose Women’s Club; and Mesa Engineering and Surveying.

Build Days have also been scheduled for other regional groups including Target; Bank of Colorado; Coldwell Banker; Rotary Club of Montrose; Wells Fargo; Crossfit Agoge; and United Church of the San Juans. Coffee Trader generously provides free coffee at every Build Day while Jimmy John’s sponsors lunch. 

Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans serves Montrose, Ouray and San Miguel counties and is currently planning and building new triplexes in both Montrose and Ridgway; bringing their total new home construction to 59 homes since 1991.

For more information about this event contact Weesa Hild, 970-252-9303 ext. 7.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Local Organizations Spend Day Building Homes

WHO: Volunteers from the First Presbyterian Church and Alpine Bank in Montrose.

WHAT: Habitat for Humanity  of the San Juans Build Day at the Montrose Triplex.

WHEN: First Presbyterian Church: Saturday, January 20, 2018 8AM – 3PM
Alpine Bank of Montrose: Saturday, January 27, 2018 8AM – 3PM

WHERE: 333 Park Avenue South, Montrose.

CONTACT: Weesa Hild, 970-252-9303 ext. 7.

Habitat Announces Four Families to Join Affordable Home Ownership Program

UPDATED: January 22, 2018

November 22, 2017 (MONTROSE, CO) — Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans announced this week four families—including seven children—chosen to join their affordable mortgage home ownership program.

Two of the families will occupy the triplex currently under construction on Park Avenue in Montrose. The third, a family with multi-generational members, will work with the organization to build a home on Bluegrass Court in Montrose.

Montana Pizzarusso and her two children, Easton, age 2 and Jax, age 4 are already looking forward to spending more time together as a family.

“This opportunity means so much to us, the affordability will allow me to spend more time with my children,” said Pizzarusso.

Currently Pizzarusso works two jobs to pay her rent and bills. They’ve moved almost every year since Jax was born, most often due to affordability issues with the shifting and increasingly costly rental market. With a mortgage she can afford, Pizzarusso expects she’ll be able to work less and spend more time taking advantage of the “fresh mountain air, starry nights and loving people who make Southwest Colorado the best place to call home.”

Sarah Riley and her eight year old son Ezra have had similar experiences. The home they currently rent in is often cold and has exposed insulation. “You can feel the wind blow through the house,” said Riley. Her rent has also gone up over $200 since they began renting. “The biggest change for us will be living in a great neighborhood, downtown and for Ezra specifically, “he’s really looking forward to painting his room his favorite color -orange.”

There is one triplex home still available and Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans is currently accepting applications.

For Les and Kaitlyn Mascarenas, their growing brood includes Les’s elderly father, Isabella, age 10, her nine year old brother, Emilio and a new sibling on the way. For them, it’s all about having room to grow.

“Currently we rent a two bedroom house and are always caught up in trying to make ends meet,” said Mrs. Mascarenas.

Each family will volunteer at least 250 hours to help construct their home; upon completion of the triplex and the single family home, each of these families will purchase their home at a zero percent interest mortgage.

According to Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans, Executive Director Colleen Burke, the community is also leaning in with extraordinary support for these projects and families.

Corporate sponsors include DMEA, Alpine Bank, Academy Mortgage, Motley Architecture Design, Dynamic Integration, D&S Underground, City of Montrose, Montrose Forest Products, Montrose Women’s Club and Mesa Engineering and Surveying.

Build Days have also been sponsored by regional groups including Target, Bank of Colorado, Coldwell Banker, Wells Fargo, Crossfit Agoge, Alpine Bank and United Church of the San Juans who send their employees to the construction site for the day to help install floors and raise walls.

Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans serves Montrose, Ouray and San Miguel counties and is currently planning and building new construction on homes in both Montrose and Ridgway, which will bring their total new home construction to 59 homes since 1991.

Naturally, more volunteers are always needed and the entire community is encouraged to make an impact with these four families. “When you support Habitat, you’re helping neighbors achieve a simple, healthier and better life,” said Pizzarusso. 

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Rotary Club to Volunteer for Habitat for Humanity Build Day

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

WHO: Volunteers from the Rotary Club of Montrose

WHAT: Habitat for Humanity  of the San Juans Build Day at the Montrose Triplex.

WHEN: Saturday, November 11, 2017, 8a.m. – 3p.m

WHERE: 333 Park Avenue South, Montrose.

CONTACT: Weesa Hild, 970-252-9303 ext. 7.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Rotary Club to Volunteer for Habitat for Humanity Build Day

November 9, 2017 (MONTROSE, CO) — Fueled by coffee donated from Coffee Trader, this Saturday, volunteers from the Rotary Club of Montrose will gather at Habitat of Humanity of the San Juans’ new triplex build site in Montrose to help build three homes for local families.

From 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Saturday, November 11, volunteers will take the day to construct the first floor walls of the triplex.

“Build Days are crucial to our whole process. It’s committed volunteers like these, along with the families who will live in these homes, that make our mission possible,” said Weesa Hild, event and volunteer coordinator at Habitat.

The Rotary Club, among many other organizations has committed to Build Days as part of broad community support for the triplex project on 333 Park Avenue South, Montrose. The Rotary Club also made a cash donation towards construction costs.

Other sponsors of this particular project include DMEA, Alpine Bank, Academy Mortgage, Motley Architecture Design, Dynamic Integration, D&S Underground, City of Montrose, Montrose Women’s Club and Mesa Engineering and Surveying.

Build Days have also been scheduled for other regional groups including Target, Bank of Colorado, Coldwell Banker, Wells Fargo, Crossfit Agoge, Alpine Bank and United Church of the San Juans.

Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans serves Montrose, Ouray and San Miguel counties and is currently planning and building new construction on triplexes in both Montrose and Ridgway, which will bring their total new home construction to 58 homes since 1991.

For more information about this event contact Weesa Hild, 970-252-9303 ext. 7.

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Family is first to pay off Habitat mortgage

October 24, 2017 (MONTROSE, CO) —  In January of 2000, Glenn and Michelle “Shelby” Ratliff, along with their five children, moved into their new Habitat for Humanity home. In 2004, Shelby passed away of a rare cancer. Nevertheless, Mr. Ratliff, sometimes with help from his children, paid off his twenty year mortgage in 17 years—and in doing so the Ratliff’s become the first Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans family to fully own their home.

Glenn Ratliff, photographed here, third adult from the right, with his family.

Glenn Ratliff, photographed here, third adult from the right, with his family.

“The greatest thing about this house is that we did it all together,” said Ratliff.

Ratliff said the home, in honoring his late wife’s wishes, has always been a place open to anyone who needed a hand up. “More than once our home has been somewhere my children’s friends could stay if they were in hard times, or needed to sort out family issues.”  

Like all Habitat families, the Ratliff’s contributed hundreds of volunteer hours into building their home.

 

As for paying off the mortgage, Ratliff said, “This hasn’t sunk in all the way, this is our house.”

Meanwhile, in Norwood, another Habitat success story with news that a family is selling their Habitat home, which they helped build in 2010, back to Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans. Thanks to the opportunity Habitat provided them, they’ve been able to save enough money to build a new home, thus returning their Habitat home back to the pool for another family to make great use of.

Colleen Burke, executive director of the local Habitat affiliate said, “These are two wonderful examples of how this model works. They were truly the right people for these mortgages, and their successes mirror what our organization is all about.”

Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans serves Montrose, Ouray and San Miguel counties and is currently planning new construction on triplexes in both Montrose and Ridgway, which will bring their total new home construction to 58 homes since 1991.

DMEA and Elevate Fiber Employees to Volunteer at Two Upcoming Habitat for Humanity Build Days

October 18, 2017 (MONTROSE, CO) — As many as twenty employees from DMEA and Elevate Fiber will gather at Habitat of Humanity of the San Juans’ new triplex build site in Montrose twice next week to help build three homes for local families.

Local employees take the day off to build Habitat's latest home project

Local employees take the day off to build Habitat’s latest home project

From 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. on both October 25 and 27, volunteers from both organizations will take the day off from work to spend their time and energy framing the first level floors of the three story homes; part of DMEA and Elevate Fiber’s partnership and commitment to helping Habitat build affordable homes.

“Build Days are a very important part of our whole process. What these committed volunteers will contribute is nothing short of amazing,” said Weesa Hild, event and volunteer coordinator at Habitat.

DMEA has committed to these Build Days as part of their broader sponsorship of the triplex project on 333 Park Avenue South, Montrose, in addition to a generous donation of $15,000 dedicated to construction costs.

“Concern for community is a founding principle for all cooperative businesses. That’s why our employees and board members are always focused on improving the lives of members. It’s also why over the past year, we’ve renewed our efforts to find meaningful ways to live out this principle. By partnering with Habitat for Build Days, we’re able to serve the community in a different way—DMEA is so much more than poles and wires,” said Becky Mashburn, DMEA Marketing Supervisor.

Other sponsors of this particular project include Alpine Bank, Academy Mortgage, Motley Architecture Design, Dynamic Integration, D&S Underground, City of Montrose, Montrose Women’s Club and Mesa Engineering and Surveying.

Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans serves Montrose, Ouray and San Miguel counties and is currently planning new construction on triplexes in both Montrose and Ridgway, which will bring their total new home construction to 58 homes since 1991.

For more information about this event contact Weesa Hild, 970-252-9303 ext. 7.

 

Customer Appreciation Day: Discounts, Prizes and Harley-Davidson Raffle

July 6, 2017 (MONTROSE, CO) — Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans will host a Customer Appreciation Day at their ReStore on July 15, from 9 – 4p.m.

HFHSJ_CAD_FlierShoppers can expect up to 75% off items in the store and games and other attractions, including a Dunk Tank; horse carriage rides and a raffle for a Harley Davidson.

Food and drink will be provided by Off the Leash Gourmet Hot Dogs and A Taste of New Orleans Sno-Balls. Volunteers will also sell lemonade to benefit Habitat Kids Care, a program that outfits kids’ rooms within Habitat for Humanity homes.

Habitat staff will also host a class on how to repurpose chairs.

“This annual event goes a long way to help fund construction costs for new projects,” said Brandon Costello, Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans Retail Director.

Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans serves Montrose, Ouray and San Miguel counties and is currently planning new construction on triplexes in both Montrose and Ridgway, which will bring their total new home construction to 58 homes since 1991.

For more information about this event or to apply for a housing opportunity, visit buildinglives.org.

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