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Office & Training Center (OTC) brochure

Office & Training Center (OTC) brochure

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Otc brochure Document Transcript

  • 1. Gearing Up For More Change
  • 2. Dear Supporters, Not many would disagree that the first decade of the 21st century can be described as one of abnormal turbulence. It has come in the form of natural disasters, economic crisis, wars, and political strife and has affected us all in one form or another. Coupled with advancing technology we have experienced an unprecedented rate of change. Every day we read or hear about “change” and how it has become a way of life in every organization that is striving to survive and grow. With all the “change” you have witnessed we wanted to share with you how it has impacted our homeowners, operations and facilities and how we are transforming our organization while remaining more faithful than ever to our mission. The Habitat you see today and will hopefully witness tomorrow will be different and the purpose of this brochure is to explain how and why. Todd Heckman Chairman“Whatever you did for one of the least brothers of mine, you did for me” (Matt 25:40)
  • 3. Gearing Up For More Change Globally A remarkable objective when you consider we have had a presence in Haiti for 26 years during which time we built only 1,000 homes. Habitat personnel and resources currently have a strong presence in northern China and Chile where earthquakes have made thousands homeless. Reacting to natural disasters is important, but fundamentally Habitat has also faced the realization that shelter, although the key element, is not sufficient to enable families to overcome the effect of natural disaster orT en years ago Habitat for Humanity (HFH) was gaining recognition domestically and had madeserious penetration overseas in our mission to obtain free them from the shackles of poverty. Our initiatives are now broader than providing a tent or affordable housing for the poor. HFH had completed building a simple house. They encompass emergency100,000 homes and our prospects for steady growth shelters, community planning, infrastructure, training,were certainly promising. Then a series of events scholastic assistance, sanitation, health programs andblistered our landscape: Hurricane “Mitch” laid sections of course homebuilding. No, we are not capable ofof Central America to waste, the Tsunami demolished the mounting such all-encompassing efforts by ourselves,Asian coastline, and Katrina hammered the gulf region. but we are using our brand, size and leverage to form partnerships with governments and other organizationsNot having a standard operating model that dealt that can bring more resources to bear in areas of need.with such catastrophes, our initial response was thatwe were not an emergency response organization Habitat for Humanity International has made(such as the Red Cross). Our supporters, the media, necessary course adjustments and at thisgovernment leaders and the general public, not moment we can proudly say we have servedunderstanding our mission, were expecting more 350,000 families throughout the world and ourfrom us. The inevitable end result was change. goal is to help 100,000 families annually by 2014.Habitat did not discard its core mission, but it wascertainly redefined. Every calamity increased Habitat’sdepth of knowledge and sense of purpose. Today wecan candidly say that we have a wider mission andcan be viewed as an organization that can be countedon in a natural disaster. We have proven this by aiding23,000 families along the “tsunami” impacted coastline.Today, Habitat is the largest homebuilder in Louisianaand Mississippi and has erected 2,000 houses sinceKatrina. We have shipped 26,000 emergency shelterkits into Haiti and we are committed to building shelterfor 50,000 families in Haiti over the next 5 years. 3
  • 4. Indian River Habitat for Humanity External forces have also forced Habitat’s hand locally. Going back on our relatively short history Indian River Habitat for Humanity (IRHFH) was initially created to bring awareness to the large population of sub-standard dwellings that existed in our community, where more than 800 families live in deplorable conditions and another estimated 1,430 families live in overcrowded dwellings. With only minimal resources we sought to create an example as to how we could assist poor working people obtain affordable houses. Gradually we grew from building one house a year, to four and then up to ten. As the understanding of Habitat’s mission grew volunteers, supporters, local government and the community’s expectations of our organization increased and fortunately so did our resources. Our growth took us from just being a good example to an implementing organization. In a relatively short time span we grew from an all volunteer organization with limited capabilities to one staffed with employees that could take us to a higher level of house production. As the decade progressed we faced obstacles which impeded our progress. It came first in the form of a construction boom that put land prices out of reach for Habitat housing. Needing the economies of scale we concentrated all our resources in the construction of sub-divisions. Many questioned our experience in managing developments of such size. Then back to back hurricanes struck our community making hundreds of homes in our community uninhabitable. Fortunately for us, all Habitat built homes endured the elements with very little impact. But, the number of sub-standard homes in Indian River County increased. In seeming contradiction as affordable housingAll photos taken in July, 2010 languished, speculative home construction and developmentof substandard houses on one persisted. street in SE Gifford. 4
  • 5. Real estate values continued to escalate and in tandem so didproperty taxes. The financial impact of the hurricanes was also reflectedin soaring insurance premiums and stricter codes. Surcharges in electricalrates added to cost of living. Finally the housing bubble burst and our community wasamong the national leaders in the decline of real estate values. Withconstruction grinding to a halt the market eroded further and eventuallyresulted in a recession that took unemployment to 15% in our county. Aflood of foreclosures ensued, a large number resulting from excessivespeculation, but also many due to the recession and unemployment. Most concerning to us was the effect on our homeowners as theydealt with lost jobs, cutbacks in work hours, raising children with decliningdisposable income and dealing with the responsibility of maintaining ahome. The dramatic increase in gas prices a year ago for many becamethe straw that broke the camel’s back. Choices were being made daily between paying for food, transportation or electricity. In the past we completed a house, turned over the keys to the new homeowner and relied on our warranty to take care of any problems. In our training classes we had prepared the homeowners for a lot of eventualities, but not to this degree. Although we could documentmany success stories, we still faced an unacceptable number of families who could not meet the challenge ofhome ownership. The evidence came in abnormal resignations in the sweat equity phase where prospectivehomeowners put in jobsite hours to qualify for a house. But, we saw it also in mortgage delinquencies, deed-in-lieu’s and in a few cases, foreclosures. We too had to face the reality that our program was in need of revitalizationto meet today’s challenges and ensure that every homeowner became a success story. 5
  • 6. Indian River Habitat TodayA s we celebrate our 20th anniversary we can look back and see that our growing pains have made us a sound organization andthat is evidenced by our receiving “Habitat Affiliate of the Year” three times in the last five years. But, we know that there are things we can dobetter and will need to if we are to meet the expectations of our donors,volunteers and the community at large. O ur initiatives today are diverse, yet we do not stray from our fundamental role of helping to provide decent housing as a meansto fighting poverty. We have established an average running rate of30 homes a year which compares favorably to the production of largerHabitat affiliates in Florida that have larger populations. Our activitiescontinue to provide housing opportunities in every section of the countyto accommodate the needs of homeowners. Depending on the location and economics we build sub-divisions,small neighborhoods or stand-alone dwellings. Nor are we restricted by stick or block construction, as we willemploy the building methods that result in the most favorable insurance rates and economical maintenancescenarios for our homeowners. W ith an average of 30 homes annually we would make a substantial impact on the low income housing picture in our community. However, sensing that grants and contributions by themselves could not financially sustain our ambitions we speculated on the construction of a home center, whose revenue could supplement our financial resources. Today that business has reached $1,000,000 in annual sales, employs 12 people and funds the construction of eight homes annually. 6
  • 7. ForeclosuresWe have been taking advantage of the availability of foreclosedhomes that can be obtained on favorable terms. This year alonewe purchased, refurbished and sold ten such houses. Some haveneeded little work (such as the one pictured on the right), butothers were true rehabs that needed to be completely gutted.Neighborhood Revitalization InitiativeSome of the housing in our community is for the better partstructurally sound, but needs serious attention. IRHFH hasbeen selected by Habitat International to participate in the“Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative,” a pilot program wherebywe will assist 20 additional families this year in re-habilitating theirhomes to bring them up to community standard. The familiesselected are usually low income homeowners who for the mostpart are poor, elderly or disabled. We use donated materials anddifferent volunteer groups from the community for this effort.TithingDespite our numerous commitments locally we have beenable to fulfill our tithe obligation to support the Habitat missionin underdeveloped countries. Our donations have helpedbuild houses in Romania, Dominican Republic, Cote d’Ivoire,Madagascar, Chile and Haiti. Today we are funneling donationsfrom non traditional sources in the county to our parent’s Haitiinitiative.The core of the Habitat program The Habitat Process “sweat equity” in the house.is to provide a decent affordable Habitat increases the level ofhome to a working family. The support to the families until theyprocess today is defined as are in a position to sustain theengaging homeowner families ownership of their home. Wethat not only qualify, but have a train our staff to be a conduit forsincere desire to improve their homeowner opportunities, besituation in life. It’s more than they career, day-today living orthe house! We build houses that scholastic. Our staff managesare economical to maintain to homeowner associations until homeowner leadership andease their financial burden. We experience is evident. And,sell the house with a no-interest most of all we are pro-activemortgage to the homeowner who in providing support wheneveralready has invested hours of adversity strikes. 7
  • 8. Habitat Home Ownership The Typical Prospective Homeowner ◊ Most are single parents, primarily women. ◊ They have limited education and work for low wages. ◊ They have no financial expertise; some have never written a check. ◊ They are renters; typically their families have never owned a home. ◊ Budgeting or saving for a rainy day is completely foreign to virtually all. ◊ Planning for their children’s future is usually unheard of. ◊ They have no knowledge of basic home maintenance. ◊ Many do not know how to avail themselves of all the assistance that is available to them in the community. ◊ Most feel they have no choice but to let their children fend for themselves when they are not in school. ◊ Deep down, they have no hope for a better life for themselves or their children. ◊ They are hardworking people who have jobs and are not looking for a handout. ◊ But, as the “working poor” they have a fragile existence and limitations that impede their success as homeowners. Our experience over the years has clearly demonstrated that we need to accept the above realities and be prepared to address them; otherwise, we can anticipate failed homeowner relationships, foreclosures and turmoil in our communities. 8
  • 9. Homeowner Sustainability - What does it entail? It means investing in the time and the necessary It sustains that effort with scholarshipresources to train and counsel homeowners until we applications and to some extent with scholarshipreach the point where they are self-sustaining and support.we can cut the cord. By necessity it means renderingassistance when unprovoked misfortune occurs. More training in the various aspects ofIf they are temporarily struck with adversity, be it homeownership is critical. From financial planningunemployment, cutbacks in working hours, food, to home maintenance to perils of solicitations byelectric bills, etc. we are prepared to render temporary predatory lenders, they need to be better equippedassistance to keep them whole and/or direct them to to face the challenges of homeownership.community resources that can help them. It also involves the development of their In the case of unemployment it means getting homeowner associations and providing guidanceinvolved and providing assistance by posting to these organizations so that the appearance andjob listings, helping with resume preparation and security of their communities can be maintainedinterview coaching. It may mean drawing on our and enhanced. This not only helps create a healthyfood pantry which we created last year to meet this environment to raise a family, but has a favorablecrisis. impact on property values for themselves and their neighbors. It means providing educational opportunitiesfor their children in order to break the cycle of Last, but certainly not least, is communicatinggenerational Habitat homeownership. This can only and giving moral support. Be it providing vitalbe accomplished by giving their children a vision of information via the “Homeowners News,” giving joba better life through education. site support to applicants or being a “Family Support Partner.” Nothing is more important than knowing It begins with facilitating and underwriting you have a friend in your corner who wants you toafter-school and summer care. It progresses by succeed.providing a vision of a college education. 9
  • 10. What will we need to do to accomplish our goals? Implementing a defined program of “Sustainable Current Office FacilityHomeownership” cannot be accomplished withoutinvesting in additional resources. We already haveadded a position to coordinate homeowner needsafter they take possession of their home. Beyondthat addition we are adequately staffed at the presenttime with a combination of full time employees, part-timers and AmeriCorps volunteers. The volunteersthat staff our “Family Selection” and “Family Support”committees are also key players in this initiative. Our major weakness lies in our facilities whichare no longer adequate for carrying out our mission.Currently administrative, homeowner assistance andtraining are operating in the five trailers located on ourUS Hwy 1 property. These refurbished modular unitswhich we leased six years ago have since survivedthree hurricanes, but have served us well. Unfortunately,despite the efforts of our construction supervisorsthey are reaching the end of their life cycle. Theirdeficiencies are evidenced in sagging floors, patchedroofs, poor ventilation and insufficient insulation. Further repairs would not address the issueof additional space needed for training. Nor would itimprove the poor energy efficiency of these trailers.To meet the needs of our program for the next decadeand beyond we need to build a dual purpose facility:An Office and a Training Center. The office part isself explanatory as it will house the existing staff,consolidating those employees that are presently housedin the trailer that is adjoining the four that are interlocked. The second part is the “Training Center” that is key to our program for the future. Habitat families are now given 11 classes to help them become homeowners. Not so long ago only six classes were given. In hindsight even 11 is not adequate to prepare these families for such a big responsibility as being a homeowner. Handing over the keys, “cutting the cake,”offering congratulations and fielding phone callsduring the one-year warranty period is far removed Training Class Fall 2009from the support these families really need. 10
  • 11. We have learned that they cannot break We need a facility that maximizes utilizationthe cycle of poverty by just getting a house. The by providing meeting rooms during the day andmajority have been brought up in dire circumstances serving as classroom, Home Owner’s Associationand unless their life patterns are altered, that will meeting space and counseling offices in the evening.continue to be their destiny. And, it is not likelytheir offspring will be different. Greater depth Another major consideration is security. In ourof training and support is what is required as present trailers our receptionist cannot restrict accessare accommodations to house such activities. to offices by visitors and their children. Our auxiliary trailer must be kept locked for safety reasons. Beyond the needs for an expanded We are ever cognizant of the fact that we only have 10%classroom schedule, space is needed for of our visiting applicants that qualify for our programprivate conferences on job searches, resume and the balance are strangers that we know little about.writing, computer access, writing wills (a servicewhich our volunteer attorneys provide) etc. Additionally nearly all our homeowners come and pay their mortgage at the office. It’s not required, but it’s their practice which generates a lot of traffic. The last issue is not having secure record storage capability, which is of major concern as we presently manage almost 250 mortgages and that number increases by approximately 30 every year. By law we are required to keep sensitive records on our homeowners in addition to the hundreds who have applied and been rejected or resigned for one reason or another.Top: Receptionist Viola Field withHome Owner, Bottom: Happy New Current Record Storage in HallwaysHome Buyer 11
  • 12. Indian River Habitat for Humanity Our aim is to build a facility using as much of our human resources as possible and making sure that it canbe accomplished without adversely impacting our construction program. That means using the time and talent ofour supervisors and volunteers to do as much of the work as we can and minimizing the utilization of outside laboras much as possible. The biggest challenge will be funding for professional services (architects, infrastructure,HVAC etc.) and for materials which we will purchase from local suppliers. We are planning a most functional layout that will provide for offices, meeting space and storage in asecure environment. The adjoining rendering provides a good overview of our intentions in space utilization. Weare fortunate that several years ago our board of directors had the foresight to acquire more land then neededwhen they purchased our US Hwy #1 property. So, we are planning to locate this new building immediately tothe east of our present offices. Eventually when the facility is completed the trailers would be returned and theavailable space landscaped or possibly turned into a community garden.What can we do ourselves? We have already obtained design input from a local architect. Site clearance, engineering and concretework would be done with existing suppliers to Habitat. Once the walls are erected our staff and volunteers can do agreat deal to finish off the building. Areas that we do not usually address such as HVAC would again be handled bycurrent vendors. All contracted work would be done by local labor as is our practice with our home construction. We feel the present time is appropriate as the organization and its program are stable. IRHFH is currentin all its obligations and our immediate infrastructure costs for development are reserved. We have approximately370 building lots in our “Land Bank” which can cover our needs for the next 10-12 years. Most importantly, we arefree of long term debt. We will have some restrictions on scheduling due to the participation of staff and volunteers in theproject while keeping home construction on schedule. However, we feel that occupancy in late 2011 is a realistictimetable. Obviously the funding for this project will have some bearing on the completion date. 12
  • 13. Office and Training Center Rendered Floor Plan 13
  • 14. How will we finance the Office and Training Center?This project is currently estimated at $1,000,000, whichtakes into consideration Habitat labor. We thereforepropose to fund the OTC through five means: The first is “Deconstruction.” After experimentingfor a year our home center team has formally identifiedhome deconstruction as an opportunity to generaterevenue. Major renovation and remodeling is takingplace continuously in our community. The opportunitylies in getting the attention of the homeowner and/orcontractor and volunteering to be involved in the removalof building components (doors, windows, cabinets, sinks,commodes etc.). The process translates into less workfor the contractor, fewer dumping fees and a charitabletax deduction for the homeowner. Habitat then can sellthese items to the public at the home center. We estimatethat this can generate $100,000 in revenue in the firstyear. The second part will be funded through a bequest.We have been blessed that IRHFH has received aninheritance of which $250,000 can be earmarked forthe improvement of our facilities. Besides the immediatebenefit that we will realize from this generous donationfrom the Cary estate, hopefully it will also serve as anexample to others to remember Habitat in their estateplanning. Indian River Habitat for Humanity Our research indicates that we have reasonable Office & Training Centerchance to secure grant money for this purpose and Construction Fundingaccordingly have made several applications. The fourth is the estimated value of our in-houselabor that was described on the previous page. Finally we must resort to donations, and do sowithout adversely impacting our major endeavors. Werealize that raising capital funds at this time is less thanan ideal situation. However we view this project to beof paramount importance to the success of our mission.While $250,000 in donations is a substantial amount ofmoney it represents 25% of the total cost if you quantifythe value of our volunteer labor. 14
  • 15. Dear Friends,We hope that this brochure presented you with agood perspective of the role Habitat Internationalplays globally and likewise, provided visibilityinto the direction IRHFH has taken to address sub-standard housing locally. If we have been successfulin the past, it is only as a result of your generouscontributions as donors and volunteers.Hopefully our past performance merits your continuedconfidence in supporting our future initiatives. The“Office & Training Center” is essential and will makea major difference in our ability to help build the livesof those in need.To complete this project, we are appealing to individuals who have a strong interest inseeing IRHFH broaden its mission to assist additional families. Naming opportunitiesfor this project are available for contributors who wish to be remembered or as alasting memorial for a loved one. Please contact Peggy Gibbs at 772-562-9860 ext.209 for a full listing of available opportunities.Donations of all sizes are welcome and may be made in the form of a pledge,cash, or a gift of stock. Please make checks payable to “Indian River Habitat forHumanity OTC.” To arrange a gift of stock or to make a gift using your credit card,please contact Peggy Gibbs at the number above. IRHFH is a 501(c)(3) non-profitorganization. Your contribution is tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law.Should you have further questions regarding this project, please contact me at 772-562-9860 ext. 208 or ask any member of our Board of Directors or Board Advisors.Any of us will be more than happy to fully answer your questions.As always, we value your friendship and know that the success of our mission is inyour hands. Thank you for your thoughtful consideration of this request.Sincerely yours,Andrew R. Bowler 15
  • 16. Thank You