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Luke Ferris

Seeking to put God's love into action, Habitat for Humanity of Kent County brings people together to build homes, communities, and hope.

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How Do We Build Hope?

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     There are a little over 1.5 million nonprofit charities in the United States with unique missions and ideals*. But remaining sustainable over time can be crucial to the success of a nonprofit's vision. Habitat Kent is thankful to have over 30 years of building hope in Kent County through a sustainable model.

     Habitat Kent cannot build a home without volunteers and donors. The past two years Habitat Kent has engaged over 19,000 volunteers that helped make the building and repairing of homes possible. By volunteering free labor, the construction team can build a home for a sliver of the cost of a commercial build because of the overwhelming volunteerism on sites.

     A home’s physical attributes are made possible by the gift-in-kind donations of building materials. From lumber to laundry machines, corporations sacrificially give materials to the building of our homes, saving cost in the production of each build. Habitat Kent also has a material recovery team that will professionally disassemble and move materials within a home or building. These materials are then recycled and repurposed for the ReStores and construction.

     A Habitat home needs a group of donors to rally around a family by giving financial support. Both individual donors and corporations from the community freely give their funds to help provide a safe and stable place for a family to establish a new life.

     Each home needs $100,000 raised before construction begins. This is a lofty on taking, but through financial gifts, volunteers labor, and gift-in-kinds, within 4-6 months an empty lot can turn into an established home for a family in need.

     Every gift from donors goes to 100% of Habitat Kent’s mission. In order to do this and support the capacity of a working staff, Habitat Kent has three ReStores that sell donated home improvement goods to the community. These retail outlets allow people to give back to Habitat Kent in a unique way as well as provide quality and affordable home improvement goods to customers. Habitat Kent has three ReStore locations: ReStore South in Wyoming, ReStore North off of Alpine, and a Hudsonville ReStore. The three locations allow the ReStore to serve more of the Kent County population and have greater opportunities to receive donations.

     The other way the organization remains sustainable is that the 0% interest mortgages paid by the Habitat homebuyers go back to Habitat Kent. By paying mortgages back to Habitat Kent, the home buyers have the security and trust of an established partnership and Habitat Kent has a stream of monetary intake.

     Because of Habitat Kent’s unique work in developing homeownership and neighborhood revitalization, grants from the government and other organizations allows for homes to be built and new revitalization strategies to take place.

     All of these foundations create a sustainable system of work for Habitat Kent. Without volunteers, donors, donations, the ReStores, mortgages, and grants Habitat Kent would not be able to complete its mission. Without committed individuals and organizations joining hands together, Habitat Kent would not be able to build hope.

*NCCS May 2015 

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Stories change the world and change lives. As the Habitat for Humanity of Kent County Communications Specialist I desire to share these powerful stories with you. 


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Guest Friday, 24 November 2017


425 Pleasant Street SW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503