Mission Vision A world where everyone has a decent place to live.
Seeking to put God's Love into action, Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build, homes, communities and hope.
Ultimate Goal The ultimate goal of Habitat for Humanity is to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness from the face of the earth by building adequate and basic housing. Furthermore, all of our words and actions are for the ultimate purpose of putting shelter on the hearts and minds of people in such a powerful way that poverty housing and homelessness become socially, politically and religiously unacceptable in our nations and world.
During the last fiscal year, Habitat for Humanity of Seminole Apopka served 14 families in our community; more than double that of the prior year. A focus on rehabs removed blighted properties from neighborhoods, putting them back on the tax rolls and increasing local property values.
The affiliate’s ReStores have been established in the community for several years. Last year, the income produced by the ReStores contributed to 6 of the homes completed. They also kept 923 tons of debris from landfills by offering local residents the opportunity to donate unwanted household items.
Habitat for Humanity of Seminole Apopka annually reviews its economic impact on the community. This economic contribution includes funds spent on construction, support services, job creation and the value of volunteer investment. Also included is the contribution of the new tax base from the homes built and their assessed value, which increases the value of the surrounding properties. Habitat for Humanity of Seminole County and Greater Apopka conservatively estimates that each new homeownership opportunity also provides an average of $800k in funds going back into the local economy for the first year. More importantly is the ongoing impact of each new home created as they continue to generate tax revenue and continues to move families and future generations away from poverty and social dependency.
Habitat is only granted the opportunity to continue its mission when we receive generous gifts of time, talent and treasure from donors and volunteers. We are grateful to all who have helped us throughout the years. No donation is too small to make a difference. While volunteers are a critical component of our program, funding is still required to purchase properties, materials and tools.
Donations of vacant land, existing dwellings, construction materials and tools are welcome. A staff member will work with the donor to ensure the best use of their donation.
Specialty contract work such as electrical and mechanical, cannot be done by volunteers. Donations of such work is a welcome cost savings on any project.
Anyone can support our mission by making a donation to our ReStores. Donations of unwanted household or office items or unused construction materials are accepted and sold in our ReStores. The income produced by the ReStores helps to build more homes in the community.
In November, 1990, in an attempt to assist an elderly woman living in sub-standard conditions, a group of volunteers faced the reality that significant deterioration of Ella Mae’s home rendered it beyond repair. Some suggested tearing down the shack and constructing a new home for Ella Mae, one that she could be proud of and safe in. And so began Habitat for Humanity in Seminole county. Upon contacting Habitat for Humanity International and signing the official Affiliate Agreement, the group of volunteers established themselves as a private, nonprofit 501(c)3 corporation. Articles of Incorporation were filed with the State of Florida on June 4, 1991.
On August 19, 2011, the Seminole County Affiliate merged with Apopka, creating Habitat for Humanity of Seminole County and Greater Apopka.
Today, the organization builds and renovates safe, decent affordable homes in partnership with hardworking, moderate to low-income families in the community. 136 homes have been built or renovated and an average of one new home is completed monthly. 149 adults and 193 children are now living in a safe, affordable home environment. But with more than 45,000 families living in substandard conditions in our community, there is still much work to be done.
The dream of homeownership for these families becomes a reality for working families willing to partner and work with Habitat. We take pride in a program that is a hand up, not a hand out. In addition to monthly mortgage payments, homeowners invest hundreds of hours of their own labor - “sweat equity” - into building their home along with the houses of others. They are also required to attend a series of classes on finance, budgeting, and home maintenance.
Relying on donations from corporations, foundations, churches, community organizations and individuals to build and rehab homes; they are sold to each new homeowner at cost and financed with an interest-free mortgage. These mortgage payments are added to our “Fund for Humanity” and used to build more homes.
Present and future Habitat homeowners can be found working in hospitals, doctor’s offices and assisted living facilities. They are police officers, teachers, child care workers and school bus drivers. They work in customer service in local retail stores and service industries. You will also find them pursuing a degree at one of the local universities, actively involved with their church and coaching community sports teams.
Last year, Habitat Seminole & Greater Apopka dedicated nine homes. Nine families now have a safe and stable home environment. Nine families attained the dream of homeownership. This year, that number will jump to fourteen. Our future is bright, and we look forward to serving more Seminole County & Greater Apopka families in need.
I believe in what our organization is doing. Aside from the obvious emotional benefits of dedicating a family’s first home, I know that homeownership poses other, more concrete benefits. Homeowners are more responsible, active members of society. Children who have a stable home environment are less likely to get involved with crime and more likely to do well in school and achieve their full potential. At Habitat Seminole Apopka, not only do we build homes, but we build lives, and we build communities.
I also know that when we can focus our efforts on targeted neighborhoods, our impact is far greater and entire communities are transformed. Overall school performance increases, neighborhoods are safer, social dependency decreases and economic investment increases.
Habitat for Humanity in Seminole County & Greater Apopka successfully delivered 14 homes to our partners over the last year. We succeeded in helping these families realize their dreams and better their quality of life through partnerships established throughout the community. The generosity of our corporate partners and donors along with the incredible determination, strength and passion of our executive director and staff made this possible.
We have faced and continue to face a number of challenges in our efforts to provide housing opportunities to our partners. Chief among those challenges are securing the funding necessary to build the homes and the availability of land. While our ReStore operations provide significant funding, generous contributions actually build the homes. As governmental support for organizations such as Habitat continues to decline, the importance of community support becomes more and more critical to our success. Habitat continues to work with local government officials as well as the individual cities within the county. We continue to seek out opportunities for redevelopment of troubled areas; search for foreclosed or problem properties that we can renovate for our partners; and leave no stone unturned in our mission.
Anyone that is willing to spend a few moments learning about Habitat, what we do and who we are, will easily find themselves as amazed at the depth and breadth of this organization as I was and may even find themselves "getting their hands dirty" and loving every minute of it. One of the biggest, and to me the most distinguishable, differences between Habitat and the countless other nonprofits is that our partners are not here for hand outs -- they are here for a hand up, and they work for it. There is a misconception that Habitat provides free housing; the truth is our partners work for their home -- not just on their home but on the homes of other partners as well. When the work is complete, they become homeowners with a mortgage, just like you and I.
Habitat partners truly want to succeed, better themselves and provide a home for their families. There are countless organizations that provide great services to individuals and communities, but I have yet to find one that serves both and does so with such tangible and dramatic results. No words can describe the feeling of seeing a family on the day they get the keys to their new home, a family that has paid their dues and done their time. Such joy is the result of their hard work and commitment as well as yours. In most instances, a donor or supporter of an organization cannot see what their contribution did; with Habitat, it is real. You can see it, touch it and feel it. It will stand for years, and it impacts not only those who live there but the community as a whole.
Habitat Seminole-Apopka has the ultimate goal of every citizen having the opportunity to be decently housed where the housing supports sustainable and transformational development for every individual in that home. In the next three years we expect to house 30 families in decent, affordable housing, perform 60 critical repairs to maintain affordable housing and begin to make positive impacts of the financial wellness of three main communities - Apopka, Casselberry and Sanford.
Funding our mission through our ReStores, individual gifts, government grants, collaborations, and increased volunteer support will enable us to serve more families and create more affordable housing. We have a team of diverse backgrounds and skills which are included on our Board of Directors, staff and key volunteers. Currently we are a collaborative partner with Pathways to Home and Seminole County’s Community Conversation on Homelessness. We have a strong and successful relationship with AmeriCorp which is enabling us to build capacity.
The overarching goal of Habitat for Humanity of Seminole-Apopka is to serve more families. Last year we more than doubled our capacity and this year we will complete a minimum of 14 homes. This is a significant accomplishment for an organization just a few years after a merger.
A talented, core staff is in place and is complimented by a dedicated Board of Directors. While increasing our construction capacity, we have also been focusing on internal capacity, making sure the tools and talent are in place to not only to increase or capacity but to sustain the affiliate long-term.
An annual economic impact study is being done which allows is to place solid financial numbers on the impact our work has in the community we serve. Over the next year, we will add feedback from the Habitat homeowners as we develop an annual survey on their progress. This feedback is an important component in determining future direction in our Strategic Plan.
While our capacity has increased substantially and funding for the projects has been addressed, ongoing funding must remain at the forefront of our strategic and development plans.
Habitat seeks to partner with very low- to moderate income residents of Seminole County & Greater Apopka to build and renovate safe, decent, affordable housing. We fulfill our mission through two avenues: home construction and home rehabilitation. A recent focus on rehab projects has allowed us to take blighted and foreclosed and place them back on the tax rolls. This not only eases the burden of maintenance by the community but improves surrounding property values
Habitat represents a hand up – NOT a handout – for partner families. Potential partners must have a housing need, the ability to pay and the willingness to partner in order to qualify for the program. As part of their 300-hour sweat equity requirement, partners complete courses in budgeting as well as home maintenance to gain the “tools for success” once they become homeowners.
The DeConstruction Program is operated as part of our ReStores and is a service provided for both residential and commercial remodeling or tear down projects. Our team will carefully remove any items which can be salvaged and removed for resale in our ReStores. The property owner saves on contractor costs for demolition and dumpster fees and is provided with a tax receipt for their donation. The donated items are kept out of landfills and given a second chance. The funds from the sale of these items in our ReStores helps us to build more homes in the community.
Partnering with schools, families and organizations, Youth United is a youth-led home build sponsorship program that mobilizes volunteers aged 5-25 in Habitat’s mission of eliminating poverty housing. Youth United volunteers raise money, advocate for affordable housing, learn leadership skills, educate themselves and others about Habitat’s mission and help build a home in our community. The members meet monthly to get involved as leaders, planners, press agents and fundraisers. Those age 16 and older can work on the construction site to help build the homes.
The Women Build program helps boost Habitat’s volunteer ranks. Through training clinics and on-site building, Women Build volunteers gain the confidence and skills needed to effectively contribute to Habitat’s mission. It is not about excluding men, but about including women and serving more families. The program creates a comfortable environment for women to gain the skills that empower them to pound nails, frame walls, raise roofs and create hope.
Food, clothing and shelter. This is the most basic set of needs that must be met in order for a human being to continue life. However, in order to thrive – to live and grow vigorously and healthily – one must attain stability, and a stable home environment allows for such growth and prosperity. But for many Seminole County & Greater Apopka residents, the idea of home is fragile, abstract and unattainable. At Habitat Seminole & Greater Apopka, we seek to solve this problem by partnering with deserving families and individuals to help them attain the dream of homeownership.
While we have become accustomed to thinking of the poor as economically idle, nearly half of people in this category are working. But, according to Habitat International, there is no county in the U.S. in which a full-time minimum wage worker can afford a one-bedroom apartment. According to the Florida Housing Data Clearinghouse, 25% of Seminole County’s households are cost-burdened – they spend 30 percent or more of their income on their housing. Of these 25%, 10% spends 50% or more of their income on housing.
In a report by the National Association of Realtors, research has consistently correlated homeownership with long-term financial as well as substantial social benefits. At Habitat Seminole & Greater Apopka, we form partnerships with hardworking individuals and families, so they may realize these benefits.
We view our work as successful when it transforms lives and promotes positive and lasting social and economic change within a community; when it is based on mutual trust and fully shared accomplishment; and when it demonstrates responsible stewardship of all resources entrusted to us.
Merging the operations of two separate affiliates just a few years ago has been a challenging task. It goes beyond merging internal operations, but is in reality merging the needs, ideals and commitments of the communities we serve. Solid relationships are being built as is evidenced by our growth since the merger. While that continues, our focus is turning inward once again by creating and documenting the process and procedures needed to create a sustainable organization.
A Capacity Building Grant from Habitat for Humanity International provides us access to a consultant who is assisting us with our Strategic and accompanying Fundraising Plans. It has been an exciting journey and the groundwork is already being laid for an equally exciting future for this ambitious affiliate. A talented, core staff is in place that will lead the way.
We appreciate the support of our donors as we continue on that path.
D2AmeriCorp, Annunciation Catholic Church, Bank of America, Central Florida Commission Homelessness, CHASE Bank, Citizens Bank of Florida, City of Casselberry, City of Sanford, Fifth Third Bank, Habitat for Humanity Florida, Habitat for Humanity International, Pathways to HOME, Recovery House, Seminole County, Seminole County Housing Authority, St. Mary Magdalen, Wells Fargo N.A
The growth of our affiliate has been a challenging process and we are excited about the future. Just two years ago, we celebrated with four families as they achieved the dream of homeownership. This year, the same will happen with 14. Over the next three years, we expect to serve 30 families and an additional 60 by adding a critical repair program to our construction program.
To do so, many components must be in place. We will need to work with the cities and other agencies to identify specific neighborhoods for improvement. In doing so, entire neighborhoods can be transformed and the impact of our work increased exponentially. Accomplishing this can only happen by expanding and solidifying relationships within those communities and addressing their needs.
Nothing can happen without sufficient funding. Currently, our two ReStores contribute significant revenue to our construction projects. A third store is being considered and a location investigated. We are approaching with caution, wanting to ensure the success of another operation. In order to continue a steady stream of donations, a staff member is dedicated for that purpose. But we must also look for more diversification in our funding, especially in the area of individual donors.
Lastly, we will continue to focus on the internal process, procedures and resources needed to help us meet the needs of the communities we serve.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
The official mission of Habitat for Humanity is to build and sell safe, decent affordable housing with families in need. The social impact is well known and anyone can see the legacy this organization has on affordable housing stock and the lives of program participants. However, in addition to the physical and emotional effects, there is also a substantial economic impact that reaches across the entire community. The more extensive menu of economic benefits is not as easily grasped. Each hand, nail, and two-by-four that is put to work by Habitat creates ripple effects throughout the local economies. Habitat represents not only a worthy charitable endeavor; it is also a multi-million dollar enterprise with real impacts on our economy.
The impact of this spending is far reaching and results in a much larger impact on the local economy once ripple or multiplier effects of money circulating in the economy are taken into account. Organizations pay their employees, purchase supplies, contract for services, and acquire assets within their communities. These actions, in turn, support local jobs, create household income, and generate revenues.
Habitat for Humanity of Seminole County and Greater Apopka conservatively estimates that each new homeownership opportunity provides an average of $800k in funds going back into the local economy for the first year. That’s $4.58 for every dollar spent.
This economic contribution includes funds spent on construction, support services, job creation and the value of volunteer investment. It then adds the contribution of the new tax base from the homes built and their assessed value, which also increases the value of the surrounding properties. Lastly, the average Habitat homeowner in our community saves $487/month when moving from a rental to a mortgage, freeing up income to spend in the community for critical needs like better food, healthcare and clothing. More importantly is the ongoing impact of each new home created as they continue to generate tax revenue and move families and future generations away from poverty and social dependency.
This number is significant and important for the community’s economy, but pales in comparison to the vast array of less quantifiable economic impacts from Habitat operations. The tangible benefits from home equity, no-cost financing, and financial literacy provided to homeowners create positive spillovers throughout the community.
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