What does it mean to be a Habitat Partner Family?

The homeownership program with Habitat for Humanity is unique. For starters, there are many misconceptions and misnomers when it comes to the partnership that we have with our homeowners. They are just that, homeowners. The process looks remarkably like a traditional home buying scenario. The same regulations that your typical mortgage lender follow are the same ones that we follow throughout the process. We are certified, loan originators, within the confines of the organization. All of the notices and red tape still exists and our homeowner partners sign a promissory note and security deed at the completion of the build, just like every other homeowner.

While the differences between our program and traditional home buying are minimal, they tend to make the process more difficult, not easier. Things our homeowners must do:

The Beginning:

-Apply, qualify, submit to a site visit, complete an in-person interview, be selected, sign homeowner agreement

The Middle:

-Complete 300 sweat equity hours, attend six financial classes, one on one coaching with our Family Services Manager, help build their house

The End (or more realistically, the start):

-Enter a 6 month lease period to ensure a smooth transition, close on the home and begin paying an affordable mortgage

This message is important, our families are HOMEOWNERS. Our program is truly a partnership. It cannot be one-sided. As an organization, we require a strong level of buy-in because that is where change happens. When our goal is to end generational poverty the program cannot be lax. Accountability matters and our homeowners rise to that challenge.

*GET READY FOR HOUSE 17 COMING SOON IN COMMERCE, GEORGIA*

ReStore: How it works?

How does the Habitat ReStore store play into the mission of our organization? 

Our ReStore is first and foremost a fundraising tool. The purpose of opening and maintaining a store of that size is to generate revenue. Those revenues go directly into our annual budget. Currently, we use those funds to cover as much overhead and general operations as possible and we are able to cover 90% of all general operating with ReStore proceeds. We consider this a tremendous blessing to the overall mission of JC Habitat for Humanity. The Store allows us to fundraise directly for programs and services, including our new construction, home maintenance, large repairs, and homeowner education. 

The Model-

Our Store has one full-time manager and four part-time team members. These individuals are the glue that holds the store together. We love and encourage volunteerism at the Store as well as offer a safe space for people to complete community service hours. With the store occupying more than 15,000 square feet and being open six days a week its operations are no accident. It requires considerable intentionality to make that thing tick. The ReStore carries everything from basic household accessories and clothes, to large furniture and building supplies. It truly is a place to find everything.

Why should you donate to our Store?

Because we value your gift. It means so much to us that you would choose our mission to support with your donations. In addition, you’ll get a donation receipt AND we do free pickups!

Why should you buy from our Store?

First, the money you spend in our store has many different paths. You could be supporting the staff serving you. You could be purchasing building materials for a much-needed project. You could even be supporting vulnerable mothers and children in developing countries. That’s right, because we are Christian housing ministry and believe in the power of tithing, we give a portion of our revenues every year to orphans and vulnerable groups in other countries. These funds are used to provide food, water, and shelter for those in desperate need worldwide. We want to be as transparent as possible with the use of our funds and our board and staff collectively do a wonderful job of stewarding the dollars that are raised at the ReStore.

Why we don’t negotiate prices-

We are serious when we say that we are fundraising for a mission and purpose. Our Store is not a junk store nor is it a place for you to get your bargaining fix. We take our product seriously and let’s be honest the prices are already ridiculously low, often 75% or more off market value. We will not devalue our mission to provide safe, decent housing on the basis of price negotiation. The prices will drop in accordance with the length of time on the sales floor. While this may come across as stern please understand that our top priority is to carry out the mission of Habitat for Humanity in Jackson County. 

——————

Hopefully, you made it this far. Can you tell we are passionate about our ReStore and its purpose in our organization? We hope that through this post you have learned about and gained an appreciation for our ReStore. Come see us!

 

ReStore location and hours:

661 S. Elm Street

Commerce, GA 30529

Monday – Saturday, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

 

Ante Up for Habitat

Welcome to a Night in Vegas featuring poker, blackjack, craps, and roulette. The red carpet will welcome you inside to a night of gaming and fellowship. We will have sensational food and beverages for you to partake of throughout the evening. With the sounds of Sinatra and the feel of Vegas, this night is sure to be one for the books. Break out the gowns and button ups because you’ll want to grab a photo of you and your friends in our on-site photo booth. Attendees are encouraged to eat, drink, and be philanthropic!

Our fundraising will go directly to supporting our housing and education programs here in Jackson County. With a goal of raising $10,000 from guests alone, we will have our work cut out for us. Be bold like Sinatra and let’s raise some money!!

Tickets are on sale now, $50 per adult. Register here

Please contact us at 706-387-0242 or kmoates@jacksoncountyhfh.org with any questions.

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 424

Jefferson, GA 30549

Meet the folks we serve

Meet the Cofer family. They have been married for almost thirty-nine years and seventeen years ago they became Jackson County Residents. We received their application as a referral from Jackson EMC as they were in need of a handicap ramp. This particular project was tough to complete due to nasty weather conditions. It seemed like every week brought rain or frigid temperatures, things our volunteers and staff are awesome for enduring. This family was phenomenal to partner with.

As a reminder, each family signs a partnership agreement prior to the work being done to ensure they understand the scope of the project and the costs associated. No project is free. Our partner families contribute a down payment of $50 and then agree to make affordable, interest-free, payments on materials costs. The payback is determined by their income and often times families only pay a portion of the costs back to JCHFH. It requires faithful donors to help with the upfront costs to make these projects sustainable.

Back to the Cofer’s, while they were not able to assist, physically in the building of their ramp they did take their sweat equity seriously. On several occasions, they have provided coffee, lunch, and brownies to our worker bees as an additional thank you/payment. It is not every day that we see this level of generosity from our partner families. The Cofer’s were just SO thankful for each person that came to give time to make their home more accessible. Unfortunately, Mr. Cofer has had to make a few hospital visits lately but it goes to show the effectiveness and need of our program. They truly needed this ramp and again, our donors made it possible for us to act quickly.

These stories are not fiction. Mrs. Cofer is beyond sweet and forever grateful as is her husband and they really needed our help. Jackson County Habitat for Humanity exists for this very reason. And our leadership is working diligently to grow this organization in a way that ensures more families like the Cofer’s can get the help they so desperately need.

If you have not given to support this cause now is the time. We would love for you to join us in this effort. Jump over to our Hope Builders Club page to find out how.

Did you know?

Did you know that we make an annual contribution to the Orphans & Vulnerable groups fund at Habitat International? Yes, we give a percentage of our sales from the ReStore every year to help those in other countries battling more than unstable housing. Our goal is to not only make a difference locally, in Jackson County but to have a global impact too. 

Find out more about the Orphans & Vulnerable groups that we help HERE.  

At Jackson County Habitat for Humanity our goal is to maximize our resources to create the largest impact that we can. It is foundational to our organization that we practice what we believe in, and that is giving back. Because we are a Christian organization we believe that tithing is an essential component of our stewardship. In doing so, we allocate a percentage of our ReStore sales to be given to those facing challenges all over the world. This is an intentional gift that our leadership wants you to be aware of. Our goal is to always be transparent in our service efforts. 

Do you have a heart for those in other nations? So do we. We would love to know what you think about this giving practice. Please share your thoughts on our Facebook Page, shoot us an email (kmoates@jacksoncountyhfh.org), or give us a call (706-387-0242). 

Hope Builders Club

Monthly giving is a great way to be philanthropic. We launched our Hope Builders Club for several reasons: 

  1. Consistent donations mean consistent service projects (new homes, ramps, repairs, financial education, homeowner counseling, etc.)
  2. Monthly giving helps our organization budget more effectively
  3. Allows you, the donor, to budget your giving and keep up with our work throughout the year

Start small if monthly giving is new to you. Just twenty-five dollars a month will amount to $300 by the end of the year. That is substantial giving. Take some time as the new year approaches to review your finances and see where a monthly gift to Jackson County Habitat for Humanity can fit in your budget. Help JCHFH help this community. 

Jackson County Habitat needs more Hope Builders. Join the club today and be a part of projects like this one. Your dollars make our projects possible. Follow this LINK to be a part of a club that makes a difference in Jackson County.  

#GivingStory

Meet Mrs. Sarah and Mr. Seaborn.

They purchased their home over twenty years ago in an effort to be closer to their children. As they have gotten older, keeping up with their property has become more difficult. Mr. Seaborn reached out to us asking for help building a ramp. You see, the landscaping was kept in order, the inside of the home was neat and clean, but when it came to building a handicap ramp for him and his wife, Mr. Seaborn was physically unable to do it. Imagine being a war veteran and not being able to provide a safe entryway for your wife. He just needed a little help.

That’s where Jackson County Habitat for Humanity comes in. After meeting with Mrs. Sarah and Mr. Seaborn it became clear that this was a worthy project. With the help of many volunteers, the Rotary Club of Jefferson, and Mr. Seaborn himself, we were able to build a handicap ramp that will accommodate the needs of him and his wife. Because we are a hand-up, not a hand-out organization, Mr. Seaborn and Mrs. Sarah were asked to pay a portion of the materials cost back to JCHFH. And guess what? They were glad to. Mr. Seaborn was proud to write a small check monthly for the work that was done. The payments are used to help continue building ramps like this one.

 

Why does #GivingTuesday matter? It matters because Mr. Seaborn and Mrs. Sarah are not the only ones in need of a hand-up. There is a huge need among our aging population. By joining our Hope Builders Club, making small monthly donations to JCHFH will afford us the ability to buy materials and build more ramps for people like this. Your giving can change lives. Think of someone you know that resembles Mr. Seaborn and Mrs. Sarah, give for them.

A Message from our Executive Director

Jackson County Habitat for Humanity Stakeholders:

 

History-

In 1998, Jackson County Habitat for Humanity built its first home for a deserving family. It took a year and a half to complete the first home. Dedicated volunteers gave countless hours of their time to make the dream of homeownership a reality for the Garrett Family. Our organization is where it is today because of those faithful volunteers that cared deeply for Jackson County. Since that time we have completed sixteen homes in Jackson County and more than twenty Home Preservation projects. For twenty years we have been working with sponsors, volunteers, and donors to make the dream of homeownership reality for many Jackson County residents. 

Impact-

Our mission is simple, to bring people together to build homes, communities, and hope. We firmly believe that homeownership and community support can be a catalyst for breaking the cycle of poverty. Each homeowner is required to pay an affordable mortgage, complete financial and life skills classes and their sweat equity hours (working with volunteers to build their own home). This model ensures that our family partners are engaged and taking ownership of their situation. The home or repair is not inherently going to break generational poverty, but it is a vehicle to help create a new and different mindset. One that can change a family and ultimately a community. Please see our post on the difference a stable home makes in the family dynamic HERE

Next Three-

Planning is important. Our board and staff have been planning for the better part of a year. Jackson County is changing and growing and we feel it necessary to grow and change with it. Housing is a huge concern for our population. The ability to obtain and afford decent housing, whether it be rental or purchase. The options are virtually non-existent for low to moderate income individuals. Our goal is to shed light on that but more importantly, offer solutions. We are planning to double our new house production by the end of 2020 as well as incorporate a Home Preservation program to ensure that existing homeowners can live safer in their homes. We have big goals for this organization and this county. These goals will not be possible without the support of our community. It will take a village. It will require time, talent, and treasures. I am confident that Jackson County is ready. Ready to take ownership of our neighbors and build a community that loves each other well.

In Partnership,

Kelly Moates

Now Hiring!

We have an opening at JCHFH! This is an exciting position with a growing organization. If you are interested in working with people and have strong construction knowledge we would love to meet you. This is a unique job because you are actively serving Jackson County residents who need a hand up to secure a brighter future. Please review the job description below and submit a resume and cover letter to admin@jacksoncountyhfh.org. Feel free to submit any questions you may have to the same email address. You may also mail your resume and cover letter to P.O. Box 424, Jefferson, GA 30549.

 

 

Job Description: Construction Manager

Reports to: Executive Director

FSLA Status:  Nonexempt (Part-time 20-32hrs/wk.)

Function:  To manage Jackson County Habitat for Humanity (JCHFH)’s new house construction and repair programs that utilize volunteer labor and produces quality homes for low-income families in a safe, affordable manner.

Qualifications:

  1. Education/Formal Training: A general contractor’s license preferred but not required.
  2. Work Experience:  3 years of experience in single-family construction management, or equivalent experience.
  3. Aptitudes: Ability to coordinate the construction of single-family dwellings with volunteers and contractors; ability to supervise and manage staff/volunteers/contractors; ability to lift 80 lbs. or more; ability to operate company vehicles, construction tools, and equipment; interest in working with disadvantaged families.
  4. Essential Responsibilities:
  1. Coordinate activities of new house construction, including but not limited to:

1) Purchase construction materials, tools, and equipment, 2) hire subcontractors where needed, 3) pull appropriate permits and call for inspections, and 4) oversee new house construction.

  1. Serve as staff liaison for Construction Committee, attends board and executive committee meetings when necessary.
  2. Ability to work Saturday’s
  3. Prepare sites for construction.
  4. Assist homeowners in the following activities, including but not limited to:

1) monitor sweat equity hours when on site, 2) educating homeowners in routine house maintenance, 3) conducting punch list for closing, 4) conducting warranty work.

  1. Coordinate volunteers ranging from beginner to skilled in construction tasks.
  2. Organize experienced volunteers to lead work groups.
  3. Responsible for quality control, including a review of contractor and volunteer work.
  4. Responsible for safety at the construction site, including but not limited to:

1) Implementation of an emergency plan, 2) ensure that equipment and tools are in good working condition, 3) train volunteers in safety practices and 4) monitor volunteers, including minors, to ensure the safe use of tools and equipment according to age, skill and OSHA and HFHI regulations.

  1. Work with ED to set project budgets for houses and make adjustments accordingly.
  2. Review billing statements and authorize payment accordingly.
  3. Executes pertinent responsibilities of fiscal policies, i.e. credit card.
  4. Work with ED to obtain in-kind donations of material and services.
  5. Maintain order and upkeep of construction storage.
  6. Represent JCHFH at events, and attend conferences/ training as needed with associated travel.
  7. Supports the mission and programs of JCHFH.
  8. Other duties as assigned by the Executive Director
  1. Physical Demands: Strenuous activity requiring the ability to sit, walk, carry, push, pull, lift 80 lbs., climb, and bend.

Working Conditions: Exposure to extreme temperatures, loud noises, and other various adverse working conditions associated with outdoor work.