Saints Peter and Paul High School Supports Habitat Choptank

Students from Saints Peter and Paul High School (SSPP) just completed a multi-faceted project to support Habitat for Humanity Choptank’s Saint Michaels Faith Build project.

The project was conceived by Nathan Lovell, a tenth grade student at SSPP, and Elizabeth Langston, SSPP parishioner. Nathan went to his class officers and Mrs. Vicki Cappa, the sophomore class advisor, to encourage the school to support it. The project included a prayer service to kick off the project, as well as two fundraisers – a fundraising night at Chipotle in Easton and the distribution of a Habitat bank to every student in the school to save their money for the project. These two efforts raised $1,600 for the Faith Build. A group of students also worked on the build site in St. Michaels, helping to make progress on the Faith Build house.

Students from Saints Peter and Paul High School, led by members of the sophomore class, raised $1,600 for Habitat Choptank’s Faith Build project. Pictured here are students and Habitat board and staff during the check presentation on May 10, 2019 (from left to right: Nathan Lovell, Gabe Pantusa, Vicki Cappa, Mary Nolan, Steve Clineburg, Evan Lapointe, Nora Skiver, JoAnn Hansen and Jenny Schmidt.

“We are so impressed with the dedication, drive and heart of these students,” said JoAnn Hansen, Habitat Choptank’s Executive Director. “The students initiated, organized and led the project from start to finish. It’s inspiring to know that students like these – students who care for those in need in their community – are our future.”

“The work that Habitat Choptank does for families in our community is amazing,” said Nathan Lovell, student project leader. “We really enjoyed working on the build site and it was inspiring to know that we are helping to make a difference.”

A group of Saints Peter and Paul High School students recently worked on Habitat Choptank’s build site in St. Michaels as part of a school-wide project to support the work of the nonprofit. Pictured here are: Evan Lapointe, Gabe Pantusa, Nathan Lovell, Sarah Rosa, Caleb Lovell, Fred Bradbury, and Erin Hopkins.

Habitat Choptank is currently working on a seven-home project for the Brooks Lane/Chester Park neighborhood in St. Michaels. The fourth of the homes to be built there will be “The House That Faith Built.” It is called a Faith Build home because the construction of it is supported by communities of faith in the area.

For more information, to make a donation that benefits our local community, or volunteer, call 410-476-3204 or visit www.HabitatChoptank.org.

St. Michaels Faith Build Gets Underway

Shavonte Greene and her boys, Shawn and Nakhi.

Habitat for Humanity Choptank (Habitat Choptank) has kicked off its fundraising campaign for “The House that Faith Built,” the fourth of seven quality, durable and energy-efficient homes being built by Habitat Choptank in the Brooks Lane/Chester Park area of St. Michaels, Maryland.

“We are thrilled with the momentum of this project,” said Stephen Clineburg, Chair of the Faith Build Committee for Habitat Choptank. “The homebuyer has been selected, churches and their congregations have agreed to support the effort, and almost half of the necessary funds to complete the house have been raised. We are bringing to reality the Habitat principle that everyone deserves a safe, affordable place to live.”

Infrastructure work in the Brooks Lane development began this past fall with contractors installing the storm water and waste water management systems along Brooks Lane. Currently, the county is working on widening the road. The Faith Build Committee has raised $54,000 of the $55,000 needed to begin house construction. Habitat Choptank hopes to begin work on the Faith Build house this month.

The Faith Build house is being supported by church congregations and people of faith in the Bay Hundred, Easton and Oxford areas, including: Christ Church in St. Michaels; St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in St. Michaels; Union United Methodist Church in St. Michaels; New St. John’s United Methodist Church in Wittman; the Royal Oak Community United Methodist Church; St Luke United Methodist Church in Royal Oak; Bozman United Methodist Church; Neavitt United Methodist Church; The Church of the Holy Trinity in Oxford; the Presbyterian Church of Easton; and Saints Peter and Paul Parish churches in Easton and St. Michaels. These churches and other individuals in the area will contribute prayers, construction volunteers, donations, and food for those working on the Faith Build house.

The Habitat Choptank homebuyer, Shavonte Greene has completed the requirements for home ownership with Habitat Choptank – “sweat equity” hours, savings and education courses – and will be able to call “The House that Faith Built” her home. Shavonte is a single mom to two active boys and works full time at Londonderry in Easton. She is looking forward to owning her first home in the town where she grew up.

For more information on the St. Michaels Faith Build, to volunteer, or to make a donation, call 410-476-3204 or visit www.habitatchoptank.org.

About Habitat Choptank

Since 1992, Habitat Choptank has made home ownership possible for 78 families and currently partners with 18 local home buyers. At present, 12 more homes are under construction in Dorchester and Talbot Counties, with plans to begin construction on three additional homes in St. Michaels in the coming weeks. Income qualifying home buyers are offered access to affordable mortgage financing in order to purchase a new construction or rehabbed home from the nonprofit’s project inventory. After completing “sweat equity” hours, attending pre-homeownership classes, and meeting debt reduction and savings goals, these individuals and families will purchase homes that they helped construct and assume the full responsibilities of home ownership including maintaining their home, paying property taxes and repaying their mortgage over 30 to 33 years. Habitat accepts applications for its home ownership program throughout the year. For more information, to make a donation that benefits our local community, or volunteer, call 410-476-3204 or visit www.HabitatChoptank.org.

Habitat Choptank ReStore Celebrates Eighth Anniversary

Habitat for Humanity Choptank volunteers, staff and board members came together in celebration of a milestone event at their ReStore’s eighth anniversary celebration.  All in attendance enjoyed refreshments, special discounts on a wide array of in-store merchandise including Christmas retail goods, and other family-oriented activities such as face painting and a silent auction. A ceremonial check in the amount of $819,200.68 was presented to the Habitat Choptank affiliate represented by current board president George Fox. The check signifies the cumulative net income the discount home improvement center has generated since it opened in October 2010.  Funds raised by the ReStore are subsequently invested into Habitat Choptank’s mission of implementing affordable home ownership programs in Dorchester and Talbot counties, and effectively, the contribution funds the building of one Habitat Choptank home each year.

“We couldn’t have done this without such a supportive community,” said ReStore manager Chris Smith.  It starts with the donors – businesses and organizations, contractors and individuals – who provide an inventory of donated goods that changes daily.  Then there are the customers – collectors, crafters and artists, do-it-yourself types, and landlords – looking to improve their properties.

And equally as important is team ReStore, which includes a similarly diverse volunteer corps of men and women of all different ages who help with every aspect of the store operation. Smith adds, “our volunteers support the Habitat Choptank mission, by helping to keep new or gently used items out of the landfill, and have fun in the process. I encourage others who want to make a difference in their community to consider volunteering here.”

Photo: Habitat for Humanity Choptank supporters recently celebrated their ReStore’s eighth anniversary with a big check presentation including store manager Chris Smith (bottom right) with George Fox, president on the Habitat Choptank board of directors, holding the check.  

ReStores are resale outlets run by local Habitat affiliates.  Habitat Choptank’s ReStore accepts donated construction materials, home improvement items and furniture.  These goods are sold to the general public at a fraction of the retail price, effectively providing funding to the affiliate to support the mission of building affordable homes for hardworking families in Talbot and Dorchester Counties.

The Habitat Choptank ReStore, located at 8610 Commerce Drive in Easton, is open Tuesdays– Saturdays for shoppers and donations.  The store also operates two box trucks which are available to pick up larger donations with advance scheduling from around the Mid-Shore region. Hundreds of items are generously brought into the ReStore each month, coming from individuals, families, retailers, and builders from the surrounding area.

Since 1992, Habitat Choptank has made home ownership possible for 78 families and currently partners with 16 local home buyers. Currently, 9 more homes are under construction in Dorchester and Talbot Counties, with plans to begin construction on 4 homes in St. Michaels in the coming weeks. Income qualifying home buyers are offered access to affordable mortgage financing in order to purchase a new construction or rehabbed home from the nonprofit’s project inventory.  After completing “sweat equity” hours, attending pre-homeownership classes, and meeting debt reduction and savings goals, these individuals and families will purchase homes that they helped construct and assume the full responsibilities of home ownership including maintaining their home, paying property taxes and repaying their mortgage over 30 to 33 years. Habitat accepts applications for its home ownership program throughout the year.

For more information about the Habitat Choptank ReStore, to volunteer with the store or to inquire about making a donation, call 410-820-6186, email restore@habitatchoptank.org or visit www.HabitatChoptank.org.

Habitat Choptank ReStore Celebrating Eight Anniversary

The Habitat for Humanity Choptank ReStore, located at 8610 Commerce Drive in Easton, just off the bypass near Target, is preparing to celebrate its eighth anniversary with an open house on Saturday, November 3 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.  Shoppers and donors will enjoy food, special discounts on a wide variety of merchandise, and other family friendly activities such as face painting and a silent auction.  At 10:00 am, store volunteers and staff will gather to reveal the total proceeds that have been generated to date to support Habitat’s affordable homeownership program.

The resale shop opened its doors in 2010 based on a business plan put together by a group of volunteers who saw the ReStore as an additional way to serve the community and raise funds to support Habitat Choptank’s homeownership program. “ReStore donors and shoppers are incredibly important to Habitat for Humanity Choptank and our mission to provide safe and affordable housing in Dorchester and Talbot Counties,” says ReStore Manager Chris Smith.

The ReStore accepts donations of quality used or new home improvement items, appliances, and furniture and provides an environmentally and socially responsible way to keep good, reusable materials out of the waste stream. These donated items are then sold to the general public at a fraction of the retail price.

Store inventory changes daily. The now-familiar ReStore trucks make a couple dozen pick-ups per week, collecting donated goods from individuals, retailers and builders all over the Mid-Shore.  Hundreds more items are brought right to the ReStore by donors every month. Drive-up donors are greeted by a crew of dedicated volunteers who prepare a receipt that can be used for tax purposes.

The net proceeds from the ReStore are invested into Habitat Choptank’s self-help home purchasing program.  Since its founding in 1992, the nonprofit home builder has made homeownership possible for 78 qualifying home buyers in Dorchester and Talbot Counties.  That effort continues as nine more Habitat homes are in progress in Easton, Cambridge, and Hurlock, and four more are scheduled to begin in St. Michaels in the coming weeks.  Currently 17 homes buyers are working through the home ownership program.  Income qualifying home buyers are offered access to affordable mortgage financing in order to buy a new construction or rehabbed home from the nonprofit’s project inventory.  After completing “sweat equity” hours, attending pre-homeownership classes, eliminating debt and meeting savings goals, these individuals and families will purchase homes that they helped construct and assume the full responsibilities of home ownership including maintaining their home, paying property taxes and repaying their mortgage over 30 to 33 years.

For more information, to donate or volunteer at Habitat Choptank’s ReStore, call 410-820-6186 or visit www.habitatchoptank.org.

Habitat Choptank Welcomes New Board Members

Habitat for Choptank has welcomed three highly respected civic leaders onto its volunteer-based Board of Directors.  Reverend Daniel K. Dunlap, Vaughn Evans, and Kevin Moran have been ushered in and will serve together with eleven other board members in an effort to further the Habitat mission by offering their hard-working dedication and time-honored talents in the service of both the Talbot and Dorchester County housing communities.

Local Reverend Dan Dunlap, PhD serves two parishes in the Episcopal Diocese of Easton (Old Trinity Church and St. John’s Chapel). He has also served parishes in Philadelphia and Exeter, England. Reverend Dunlap has a strong background in both the administration and pursuance of education. He earned his doctorate at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford in 2001 and served for 10 years as Professor of Historical Theology & Worship at the Houston Graduate School of Theology, where he also took on the role of Dean of the Faculty for five years. Currently, Rev. Dunlap teaches Science & Religion and History at the Institute of Adult learning at Chesapeake College.

Like Rev. Dunlap, Vaughn Evans also has a firm foundation in education. He is in the process of completing coursework towards his Doctor of Education degree in Educational Leadership, and has been a public educator for the past 34 years.  Evans has served as the principal at Warwick Elementary, Maces Lane Middle, North Dorchester High, and North Dorchester Middle, and has proven his ability to turn challenging situations into positive outcomes by building relationships and providing both discipline and instructional leadership.

From left to right, Kevin Moran, Vaughn Evans, and Rev. Daniel Dunlap.

Local 1880 Bank Executive Kevin Moran comes to Habitat Choptank with a solid background in both the financial sector and theservice arena.  Moran serves as the Executive VP of 1880 Bank and is responsible for credit policy administration and oversight of the credit underwriting and approval process. He also works as the Coordinator for St. Luke’s UMC group’s service with the Interfaith Shelter, as Treasurer for the Bay 100 Youth Task Force, and on the Board of the Londonderry Retirement Community.

As Habitat Choptank moves towards the final stages of its current strategic five year plan, the insights and aptitudes of Rev. Dunlap, Evans, and Moran will become all the more critical in the furtherance and development of the Habitat mission, though the objectives of the current plan remain central. These goals and objectives include the expansion of the board, staff and volunteers, the advancement of Habitat Choptank’s traditional self-help home ownership program, and the addition of other housing services in relevant housing communities.

To actualize the current five-year plan, Habitat Choptank will continue to work concurrently in four communities within its two county service area – Easton, St. Michaels, Cambridge and Hurlock; operate at a level to complete at least eight home sales per year; build stronger neighborhoods through quality, sustainable new construction homes and rehabs; and through Neighborhood Revitalization efforts to enhance the quality of life in local neighborhoods; and develop well-prepared home owners using right-sized financing combined with education, support and relationships pre- and post-settlement.

For information, to volunteer, or to make a donation, call 410-476-3204 or visit www.habitatchoptank.org.

Habitat Choptank Sells Home 77 and 78

September was an exciting month for two local families who partnered with Habitat for Humanity Choptank to buy homes in Dorchester and Talbot Counties.  Friends, family, public officials, Habitat home buyers, and volunteers gathered for the home dedications of home buyers Nishika Palmore and Tykeshia Jenkins.  Both homes on Oakley Street in Cambridge and Port Street in Easton were new construction houses built using durable, energy efficient materials by dedicated volunteers who poured their love into these homes so that two new families can have a place to call their very own.

Palmore and Jenkins made a commitment to partner with Habitat Choptank to own a home which involved dedicating hundreds of “sweat equity” hours, attending pre-homeownership classes, and meeting debt reduction and savings goals.

Homeowner, Tykeshia Jenkins was joined for her home dedication, Habitat Choptank’s 78th, by supporters of the organization’s mission of building homes, community, and hope. (Photo by Tim Poly).

In keeping with Habitat tradition, after each home buyer purchases a Habitat home, a home dedication celebration is hosted at each home.  After being presented with the keys to their new homes both families expressed appreciation to Habitat Choptank volunteers, staff and donors for their support.  Palmore and Jenkins now assume the full responsibilities of home ownership including repaying a mortgage over the next 30-33 years, maintaining the home, and paying home owner’s insurance and property taxes.   However, coming with these responsibilities is also the joy and sense of accomplishment that comes from owning a home.

With the sale of these homes, Habitat Choptank has built and sold a total of 78 homes to local, hardworking families in Talbot and Dorchester Counties since its inception in 1992.  That effort continues as nine more Habitat homes are in progress in Easton, Cambridge, and Hurlock, and four more are scheduled to begin in St. Michaels in the coming weeks.  Currently, 16 home buyers are working through the homeownership program.  For more information, to donate, volunteer or apply contact 410-476-3204 or visit habitatchoptank.org.

Habitat for Humanity Choptank Breaks Ground in St. Michaels

On Saturday, September 8, Habitat for Humanity Choptank celebrated breaking ground on a seven-home neighborhood on Brooks Lane in St. Michaels.  The groundbreaking recognized the benefactors and partnerships that have helped to make this much-needed neighborhood a reality, and dedicated the ground on which seven affordable homes will be built and purchased by hardworking homebuyers.  Beyond this, the ceremony gave those with a vested interest in bringing affordable homeownership opportunities to St. Michaels a chance to come together in an effort to build new beginnings and brighter futures for seven local families.

Charlie Bohn, President of the Board of Directors of Habitat Choptank, addressed those in attendance with words of welcome and gratitude, and expressed that the Brooks Lane neighborhood would not have been possible without the generous donation of property by the Dodson Family; the additional support provided by the estate of Robert and Beverly Wolffe; and the collaboration between Habitat Choptank and Maryland’s Department of Housing and Community Development, Talbot County, and the Town of St. Michaels.

Guest speakers and Habitat home buyers were invited to grab a shovel to officially break ground on the soon to be Brooks Lane neighborhood. (Photo contributed by Tim Poly)

Rev. Steve Mosher— Rector of Christ Church of St. Michaels asked God for blessings for those who gathered for the groundbreaking, our sisters and brothers who will benefit from shelter, and asked that the spirit move every human heart and instill in us to be stewards in his creation.The blessing was followed by a rendition of “God Bless America” by the Trinity Singers of Trinity Cathedral in Easton.

Guest speaker, Mary Jane Dodson, then shared her remarks on leaving a legacy, emphatically stating that,“roots matter.”  She explained how the property on which the seven homes will be built had sustained her family for many years, and now new families will have land of their very own to plant their own roots and sustain their families.

Barb Pollard, the daughter of Robert and Beverly Wolffe, followed by invoking remembrance of her parents, saying that they would be “bursting with pride and joy” over the impact these homes will have on the community, homeowners, and those who will roll up their sleeves to help, as their civic-minded philosophies aligned well with those of her parents and Habitat’s guiding principles.

Guest speaker, Bridgette Lundfelt, Director of Community Outreach for the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives, spoke on behalf of Governor Hogan to congratulate all parties involved and recognize the community effort it takes to change Maryland for the better.  Followed by the endorsement of William E. Boos, the President of the Commissioners of St. Michaels, who expressed that the work of Habitat is so much more than just building homes— it transforms communities and lives.

Amy Morgan from Trinity Cathedral in Easton sings Psalm 84. (Photo contributed by Tim Poly)

Finally, the event culminated with closing remarks from JoAnn Hansen, the Executive Director of Habitat Choptank, who read from Psalm 84 by stating her gratefulness for the dwelling place that St. Michaels will serve for new homebuyers but also for the dwelling place that exists within the hearts of those who have supported this project.In a closing prayer, she asked for God’s protection, provision and blessing on the project.

Construction of the Brooks Lane neighborhood is projected to begin in the fall of 2018 and will continue for two to three years, relying mostly on volunteer labor as well as the “sweat equity” of the prospective homeowner.  After completing “sweat equity” hours, attending pre-homeownership classes, and meeting debt reduction and savings goals, seven families will purchase their homes and assume the full responsibilities of homeownership, including maintaining their home, paying property taxes and repaying an affordable mortgage.

About Habitat for Humanity Choptank

Since 1992, Habitat Choptank has made homeownership possible for 78 local Dorchester and Talbot county families.  Income qualifying home buyers are offered access to affordable mortgage financing in order to purchase a new construction or rehabbed home from the nonprofit.  After completing “sweat equity” hours, attending pre-homeownership classes, and meeting debt reduction and savings goals, these individuals and families will purchase homes that they helped construct and assume the full responsibilities of homeownership including maintaining their home, paying property taxes and repaying their mortgage. Habitat Choptank’s toolkit of services also includes Neighborhood Revitalization which helps existing homeowners with critical repairs. Currently 15 home buyers are working through the home ownership program. Eleven homes are under construction at this time with plans to start at least nine more over the coming year. For more information, to donate, volunteer or apply contact 410-476-3204 or visit habitatchoptank.org.

Habitat Choptank and the City of Cambridge Celebrate Neighborhood Revitalization Partnership

Once blank chalkboards are now filled with resident’s hopes, dreams and aspirations for themselves and for the future of the Historic Pine Street Neighborhood in Cambridge.

The chalkboard project was central to the purpose of the Community Resource Fair that took place on the lawn of Waugh Chapel on Wednesday, August 22nd.  The event celebrated the kick off of the Neighborhood Revitalization partnership between the City of Cambridge and Habitat Choptank and involved other community partners and resources.  It was a unique opportunity for residents to come together to share their vision for the community with Habitat, the City and each other.

Community chalkboards filled with resident’s hopes, dreams and aspirations for themselves and for their neighborhood.

Reverend James Whitaker of Waugh Chapel thanked those in attendance for coming together to take advantage of this opportunity, and asked God to bless the community and the work that Habitat is doing there.  Mayor Victoria Jackson Stanley encouraged residents, “to all do something to support the neighborhood by working together to build a better Cambridge — a better community.”  George Fox, President Elect of the Board of Directors of Habitat Choptank shared his enthusiasm for Habitat Choptank’s expanded toolkit of housing services which includes the Neighborhood Revitalization program that offers owner occupied repairs, in addition to rehabs and new construction.

“What is unique about the Neighborhood Revitalization program is that the work will be shaped by the people who live within the community.  The community chalkboards drew a lot of attention, and we received positive feedback from many residents, including children who stopped by to share their visions,” says Habitat Choptank Neighborhood Revitalization Manager Rhodana Fields.

Painted on one chalkboard on High Street was, “When I dream about Cambridge, I see,” and in colorful chalk read messages like “I see progress” and “I see community.”  Another chalkboard on the corner of Muir and High Street read “If this lot could be anything it could be a place to,” and was filled with statements from the profound to the practical, like “be a family” to “read.”

Mayor Victoria Jackson Stanley welcomes the community to the event. Cambridge, a better community.”

Cambridge resident, Lynette Wongus shared her personal aspirations finishing the sentence “If I owned an affordable home” with “I could leave a legacy for my family.”  She added, “Without Habitat the dream of home ownership would be almost impossible for a lot of hardworking people.  I believe it is important for people to own their own property, and to be able to leave a little security behind for their families.”

Fields adds, “The next step is to share the information we heard about housing needs, desires for the use of vacant lot space, and what makes the Historic Pine Street neighborhood a great place to live with the community.”

Yvette Robinson, City of Cambridge Housing Specialist will spearhead ongoing community revitalization efforts, seeking input from the community and partnering with local leaders, non-profits, and businesses who share the same vision to develop a collaborative plan to support the community’s aspirations and to create a better quality of life not only for the Pine Street Neighborhood, but Cambridge as a whole. She can be reached at Yrobinson@choosecambridge.com.

To secure funding for the Neighborhood Revitalization program in Cambridge, Habitat partnered with the City to apply for Community Development Block Grant funds through Maryland’s Department of Housing and Community Development.

About Habitat for Humanity Choptank

Since 1992, Habitat Choptank has made homeownership possible for 76 local Dorchester and Talbot county families.  Income qualifying home buyers are offered access to affordable mortgage financing in order to purchase a new construction or rehabbed home from the nonprofit.  After completing “sweat equity” hours, attending pre-homeownership classes, and meeting debt reduction and savings goals, these individuals and families will purchase homes that they helped construct and assume the full responsibilities of homeownership including maintaining their home, paying property taxes and repaying their mortgage. Habitat Choptank’s toolkit of services also includes Neighborhood Revitalization which helps existing homeowners with critical repairs. Currently 15 homes buyers are working through the home ownership program. Eleven homes are under construction at this time with plans to start at least nine more over the coming year. For more information, to donate, volunteer or apply contact 410-476-3204 or visit habitatchoptank.org.

Habitat for Humanity Choptank Hosts Resource Fair and Block Party

Habitat for Humanity Choptank will host a Community Resource Fair and Block Party on Wednesday, August 22. This free event will take place from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM at Waugh Chapel located at 425 High Street in Cambridge. Attendees will have the chance to visit with numerous community resources, enjoy a free lunch, and meet with program representatives about critical home repairs. From tax prep assistance to an exploration of the history of the neighborhood as well as craft and home repair demonstrations, the event will be a fun, informative opportunity for the whole family.

There will be games for kids, and crafts and Rita’s Italian Ice.  Central to the day’s events, is a Community Chalkboard Project.  The project will place five Chalkboard Signs in the Pine Street neighborhood for people to fill in the blanks with their hopes, dreams and aspirations for the future— both for themselves and for the community.  Participants can text a picture of their entry to 443-291-9925, to be entered in a drawing for a $250 Lowes gift card. The contest kicks off on Wednesday, August 22 and ends Saturday, August 25.

“The City of Cambridge and DHCD [the Sate of Maryland’s Department of Housing and Community Development] share Habitat’s vision that having a safe, stable home helps bring strength, security and pride to families and ultimately communities” said Habitat Choptank’s Neighborhood Revitalization Manager, Rhodana Fields. “This event will be a fun way for neighbors to share their vision for the community with the City, with Habitat, and with each other. Working together, the vision can become a real plan –a road map– for the future.”

Pictured L-R: Rhodana Fields, Habitat Choptank; Adrian Holmes, Alpha Genesis Community Development Corporation; Habitat Choptank volunteer, Terri Spence; and Jermaine Anderson, Alpha Genesis Community Development Corporation.

Habitat Choptank partnered with the City to apply for a grant from DHCD to secure funding for Neighborhood Revitalization in Cambridge including new construction and renovation, as well as homeowner occupied repairs. DHCD supported this collaborative approach with additional funding, hoping the program will demonstrate a positive impact for the community, and serve as a successful model to expand to other neighborhoods in Cambridge. The total investment from the City of Cambridge, Habitat Choptank and the CDBG grant will be over $1 Million.

Under this grant, three homes will be purchased for renovation and future homeownership opportunities.  At least three owner occupied homes will be repaired, including major repairs like stabilizing floors, and replacing roofs. Three energy efficient new homes will be constructed, designed to complement the historic community, and built with durable materials to last for the next hundred years.  New construction or rehabbed homes will be offered to income qualifying home buyers who may not be able to access affordable mortgage financing in the market. All of the funds generated from the affordable mortgage payments are reinvested in the community as more homes are built.  “I get a lot of satisfaction paying my mortgage each month, knowing that those dollars are creating opportunity for the next person to become a homeowner”, says Habitat homeowner and neighborhood resident Nora Skiver.

In addition, the grant funds a City of Cambridge Housing Specialist who will coordinate ongoing community revitalization efforts, seeking input from the community and partnering with local leaders, non-profits, and businesses to support the community’s vision.  Cambridge Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley spoke about the City’s support for the project:  “We are truly excited about our partnership with Habitat Choptank, Maryland DHCD and the Community.  This partnership provides vital resources that allow us to effectively implement our commitment to neighborhood revitalization by providing essential services to those most in need.  The preservation of the history, community and pride represented in the Pine Street community is important, not only for Pine Street, but for Cambridge as a whole. We are looking forward to the Community Resource Day and invite all to come out and be about of our revitalization kick-off.”

Through Habitat’s Neighborhood Revitalization approach, Habitat affiliates offer an expanded array of housing services and partner with local residents, housing leaders, community groups and businesses to transform neighborhoods and enhance the quality of life in communities.

For more information about the August 22nd event, contact Rhodana Fields, Habitat Choptank’s Neighborhood Revitalization Manager at 410-476-3204 or rfields@habitatchoptank.org.

About Habitat for Humanity Choptank

Since 1992, Habitat Choptank has partnered with 190 local households to improve a place they call home. One hundred and eighteen of those families have been served through weatherization services since Habitat Choptank initiated its neighborhood revitalization program in 2015. Seventy-six families have purchased new or rehabbed homes from the nonprofit and currently fifteen local home buyers are working through the home ownership program.  Eleven homes are under construction at this time with plans to start at least nine more over the coming year. Income qualifying home buyers are offered access to affordable mortgage financing in order to purchase a new construction or rehabbed home from the nonprofit’s project inventory of durable and energy efficient homes.  After completing “sweat equity” hours, attending pre-homeownership classes, and meeting debt reduction and savings goals, these individuals and families will purchase homes that they helped construct and assume the full responsibilities of home ownership including maintaining their home, paying property taxes and repaying their mortgage over 30 to 33 years. Habitat accepts applications for its housing programs throughout the year. To donate, volunteer or apply, visit habitatchoptank.org or call 410-476-3204.

Golfers Invited to Tee Off for Habitat for Humanity Choptank’s Event

(L to R) Golf Committee members Dr. Paul Brant, Abby Messick, Fred Haller (Co-Chair) & Brett Whitehead (Co-Chair)

Habitat for Humanity Choptank invites area golfers to swing their clubs and help build affordable, energy efficient homes in partnership with local working families. The nonprofit’s annual Golf Outing is slated for Friday, June 8, 2018 at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay in Cambridge, MD.

Funds raised from the event, including sponsorships and registration fees, support the home building program through which qualifying low-income individuals and families can purchase homes with affordable mortgages. Habitat Choptank currently has seven homes in progress between Cambridge, Hurlock and Easton and there are plans to begin six more homes in the coming year if the organization can raise the funds needed.  Over its 26 year history, Habitat Choptank has completed and sold 76 homes and the need for affordable housing continues to grow.

Habitat Choptank welcomes golfers and sponsors to be part of the organization’s mission of putting God’s love into action by bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope.  On the ground, that involves creating opportunities for hardworking local people to build a better future for themselves through the power of home ownership.

Golfers may enter as a twosome or foursome. The Golf Outing package includes a morning of golf, refreshments, and lunch with awards presentation. Golfers will also enjoy a putting contest challenge with a host of fabulous prizes. Sponsorship opportunities are also available.  To learn more about Habitat, to register for the golf outing, or inquire about sponsorship, contact JoAnn Hansen at director@habitatchoptank.org or by calling 410-476-3204.

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