News

Habitat Announces Four Families to Join Affordable Homeownership Program

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 homeownership program.

Three of the families will occupy the triplex currently under construction on Park Avenue in Montrose. The fourth, 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.”

Ed Fry and his daughter Taylor, age 9, likewise are looking forward to the stability and affordability owning Habitat home will provide. “Homeownership has a powerful effect on families, even generationally,” he said.

Fry too sees the benefit in living in a stable community with children. “I think Taylor may have some babysitting in her future.”  

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 58 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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Moonshiner’s Ball Tickets On Sale

June 30 2017 (MONTROSE, CO) – MuuMuu’s, loud prints, sailor uniforms, and the sweet summer chords of the ukulele, just another summer night in Montrose, right?

Not quite, but Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans does intend to make August 19, their 5th Annual Moonshiner’s Ball, one of the most memorable nights of the year with their theme Vintage Aloha!

Each year the organization hosts a new spin on their Moonshiner theme and invite the entire community to eat, drink, dance and support their mission to build and repair homes in the region.

The Moonshiner’s Ball, sponsored by Bank of Colorado, will feature gourmet cuisine by Yellow Carrot, a silent auction, music and authentic Polynesian dancing and music by Denver based Kalama Polynesian Dancers, a live auction variety show, and a full bar!

“Think 1920’s Hawaiian Luau and prepare to have your coconuts shaking and grass skirts swinging, because this will be the bee’s knees gathering of the season,” said Habitat Executive Director, Colleen Burke.

The Moonshiner’s Ball is Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans biggest fundraiser of the year. Proceeds benefit the locally owned and operated affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International. The organization 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.

Tickets are available for purchase at the ReStore or here. This event will sell out.

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New store supports home construction in three counties

Montrose, CO  (May 31, 2017) — Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans will host a grand opening for their new store, ROOMS by Habitat, on June 7.The grand opening festivities begin at 10 a.m. Wednesday with a ribbon cutting ceremony at the new store located at 432 E. Main St., in Montrose.

Everything in the store—which showcases a curated selection of antiques, original oil paintings, jewelry and household décor as well as unique new merchandise—will be marked at least 20% off, with opportunities to save more when shoppers join the monthly giving DreamBuilder’s Club.

Habitat Kids Care volunteers will sell lemonade and refreshments. The first 15 guests to the new store will receive a gift bag.

Proceeds from the store will support Habitat’s mission to build affordable homes in Montrose, Ouray and San Miguel Counties.

“We are excited and proud to launch this new way to shop and support Habitat’s mission with an experience that’s both different and complementary to our beloved ReStore,” said Brandon Costello, Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans Retail Director.

Habitat’s flagship ReStore is located at 1601 N. Townsend, in Montrose.

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Take a virtual tour:  

To schedule a donation pick up or to volunteer at ROOMS by habitat, contact Amber Mason at 970-252-9303 ext. 2 or visit buildinglives.org.

HOURS & LOCATION:
432 E. Main St. in Montrose, CO
Mon-Sat, 10-6pm

Habitat for Humanity Seeks Three Families for Ridgway River Park Triplex

Habitat for Humanity Seeks Three Families for Ridgway River Park Triplex

May 17, 2017 — (MONTROSE, CO) When Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans breaks ground on their next housing project, they’ll do something never done before: build affordable housing in Ouray County.

They won’t just be building one home, they’ll build three; a triplex on North Laura Street in Ridgway.

“We’ve built over 50 homes since 1991, and we’ve done so one home at a time, but we have this great opportunity in Ridgway to partner with three families in our community,” said Habitat Executive Director, Colleen Burke.

In 2015 the Montrose based Habitat for Humanity affiliate expanded their service area to include Ouray and San Miguel Counties.

Each townhome slated for construction within the Ridgway River Park Triplex, will be 1500 sq. ft., three stories, with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a garage.

A Citizen Engagement Committee, helmed by Ouray County residents Karen Dubroff and Dan Kigar, have organized and are working on a campaign to raise money and awareness for the triplex. Their first order of business is to help amplify Habitat’s call for applicants for these affordable mortgages and homes in downtown Ridgway.

“We’re not just looking for applicants,” said Dubroff, “we’re looking for families to partner with us to become homeowners.”

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 Burke, from the time a family applies to the day they move into their home, the process takes anywhere from nine months to one year and includes hundreds of volunteer hours.

“We know that homeownership has a profound impact on families and communities. In fact, children of homeowners are 25 percent more likely to graduate high school and 116 percent more likely to graduate from college,” she said.

Looking ahead to the construction phase, which could begin later this year, Kigar said, “It’ll be a great day when we get to celebrate with three local families who we can count on to grow with our community for years.”

Applications for the Ridgway River Park Triplex are available at the ReStore in Montrose or online at buildinglives.org.

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Habitat for Humanity Dedicates Home to Johnson Family, Community Invited

Habitat for Humanity Home Dedication: February 28, 2017 1:30p.m. 222 Bluegrass Ct., Montrose. Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans invites the community to welcome the Johnson family to their new home with light refreshments, a commemoration and a ribbon cutting. More info at buildinglives.org.

Johnson Family

February 21, 2017 (Montrose, CO) — Fabiola and Craig Johnson will receive the keys to their new home this week and Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans is inviting the community to help celebrate.

Construction of the two-bedroom family home began last March; the dedication is scheduled for February 28 at 1:30p.m., and the community is invited for light refreshments, a commemoration and a ribbon cutting to welcome the Johnsons, and their two young children, to their home.

The house is located at 222 Bluegrass Ct., in Montrose.

The Johnson home is the 52nd built by the Habitat affiliate which serves locals by building and renovating basic, affordable homes.

Like all Habitat for Humanity homeowners, the Johnsons poured more than 500 hours of sweat equity working to build their home alongside volunteers and community partners.

On a video on Habitat’s website, Mr. Johnson says, “I can’t believe this is ours.”

“We just feel so very blessed,” said Mrs. Johnson holding her young son in her arms.

Earlier this month Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans announced two new housing triplexes set for construction in both Montrose and Ridgway. Applications are available at their website, buildinglives.org.

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Local Child Inspires Habitat for Humanity Project with Tattoos and Apricots

February 7, 2017 (Montrose, CO) — Last summer a local seven year old took it upon herself to do something profound for her community, and now Habitat for Humanity of San Juans is honoring her commitment with a new Habitat Kids Care program modeled after her efforts.

Like a lot of kids, Addison Harmsen of Montrose, loves her bedroom. It’s her very own haven where she not only rests, but also spends countless hours playing. Last summer, when her parents—who are active volunteers and board members of Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans—explained to her what Habitat does for the community, Addison had a lot of questions about the bedrooms of the children who move into those homes.

“She wanted to know ‘Do they have toys? Beds? Dressers?’” said Amy Harmsen, Addison’s mom.

I explained sometimes families do, and other times they may notoutfitting a child’s bedroom is expensive.”

Addison made a plan.

For two days last summer Addison, with the help of her parents and little sister Bella, set about selling tattoos and apricots—two things she had an abundance of—outside of Coffee Trader and Cornerstone Home Lending in Montrose. Addison raised just over $200 that went directly towards making a bedroom for a local child truly special when they moved into their new home.

In the spirit of Addison’s efforts Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans announced this week the launch of a new program, Habitat Kids Care, which will dedicate 100 percent of donations specifically for children’s furniture, toys and decorations. Habitat also hopes to attract corporate sponsors to donate items like toys and bedroom furniture. 

In addition to specific donations made through Habitat’s website, Habitat Kids Care will also be the beneficiary of concessions stands throughout Montrose’s Summer Concert Series.

“We want to honor Addison’s example and make sure that when a child moves into their new home they have the bedroom of their dreams,” said Executive Director Colleen Burke.

Currently Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans is working to break ground on two residential triplexes in Montrose and Ridgway. Last year, a record year for the local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity, the organization completed five homes including families containing nine children.

“This is why we build,” said Burke. “Every child deserves a bedroom to dream in.”

 

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