- Our Programs
- H.O.P.E. Podcast
Greetings! This past year, we have been busier in many ways than we ever have been. We completed 8 new homes across New Castle County this fiscal year, with 14 more underway. Our repair team has been at any one time working on twenty repairs in Wilmington and along the Route 9 corridor. We launched a statewide healthy homes collaboration with the two other Habitat Affiliates in Delaware. We also hosted “Rock the Block” programs in two different Wilmington neighborhoods – the Eastside and the Northeast.
Our work though is more than being busy. We want to be making an impact! An impact on prospective homebuyers, an impact on those non-HFH homeowners who have repair needs, an impact on neighborhoods long devoid of meaningful investment, and an impact on everyone living in New Castle County. Yeah, you read that right, everyone in New Castle County. We want everyone in New Castle County to know and understand the seriousness of the housing crisis here in our community.
In the State of Delaware, we are short over 15,000 units of affordable housing. From those experiencing homelessness to teacher and nurses looking to buy their first home, there is an enormous need for more housing. If everyone is engaged in this issue, then we can affect change. We need you to join us in telling your state and county representatives to make sure there is enough funding for affordable housing. We need you to tell county and city representatives to pass legislation that allows for inclusionary zoning, and other creative solutions to lead to more affordable housing being built. The more people that are aware, the more people will support Habitat for Humanity financially, making donations of money, land, and materials (to the ReStores). Many people want to help make change, and a growing awareness will encourage their volunteering.
Together, we can help individuals and families solve their housing problems, which will allow them to thrive, not just survive.
Lucinda Cain is one of our most recent Habitat Homeowners to move into her new home. Family has always been an important constant in Lucinda’s life, especially in her relationship with her grandmother. Before applying to Habitat, Lucinda found normalcy in sleeping in her car until she found a small apartment for her and her sister’s family. As the small apartment seemed to grow smaller, Lucinda was encouraged to apply for Habitat. The news of being accepted into the homeownership program came on a bittersweet day in December 2019. Lucinda was beyond excited that her dream of homeownership was about to come true, however the first person she would want to share the news with recently passed away. Her motivation throughout her journey toward homeownership has been both her grandmother’s support and the drive to create a more stable life for her nephews.
On February 25th, 2022, Lucinda received the keys to the forever home that she will share with her nephews.
Amos and Bertha Ortiz are one of the families we have been able to help this year through our Critical Repair Program. Amos and Bertha are cost-burdened, living on an income that is approximately 30% of the Area Median Income ($30,793). Amos and Bertha have lived in their home since 2002. Their home was built in the 1930s and has seen better days. The roof had deteriorated, causing a leak inside the house. The electrical was not up to code. There were also several leaky pipes in their home. These issues posed serious health risks for the Ortiz family, from concerns about mold to fire hazards. Thanks to the supporters of our Critical Repair Program, we were able to replace their roof, update the electrical, and fix the plumbing.
“Habitat’s critical repair program helped us to feel safe at home once again. We can’t thank you enough!” – Amos and Bertha Ortiz
At HFHNCC, we recognize that thriving neighborhoods are essential to the well-being and future outcomes of our families and communities. In 2022, we have continued to work side by side with residents and organizations to further assess and address the critical needs of your community.
This year, our Neighborhood Revitalization team partnered with two Wilmington neighborhoods – the Eastside and the Northeast. Through this initiative, we helped over 400 families with various neighborhood improvement projects, such as restoring community parks, installing picnic tables and grills, planting rain gardens, and improving safety with Ring Doorbells.
All are welcome.
Walls. Our mission is to raise them so a family can find comfort, security, an affordable place to call home. Walls. Our ethos is to remove them so that all can feel welcome, visible, respected, supported, and valued. Whether on a work site or in the workplace, we are committed to removing the visible and invisible barriers to opportunity and self-expression — barriers that limit a person, a family, or an employee from reaching their full potential. Wherever you find us, we stand tireless in our commitment to foster a culture where diversity, equity and inclusion are core to our thinking, strategies, and actions.
Our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee has established four pillars to assist with our goal of creating an all-inclusive environment to offer support and awareness. Each pillar is designed to hit target areas to help improve diversified engagement, onboarding, diversified volunteerism, and diversified homeownership.
1. Education & Awareness
4. Inclusion & Belonging
To achieve these goals the committee meets once a month to discuss new policies & procedures, identify and review shareable educational material and recognize calendar events to celebrate. This may involve having a guest speaker, utilizing training material from Habitat International, and participating in community events, social media posts and/or internal messaging.
All-inclusive for Habitat for Humanity NCC involves identifying areas of needed education and support, accepting physical appearance differences, recognizing socioeconomic and demographic differences, and talking about the difficult topics that some try to avoid, recognizing the silence and agony that some may suffer. We want to celebrate all those differences and make it where it is no longer HARD to discuss or share.
We strive for an environment where everyone can be their true authentic selves.
Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County (HFHNCC) named as 1 of 2 of 2022 Bank of America Neighborhood Builders® awardees for their work in the Delaware community removing economic barriers and advancing economic opportunity. Habitat received a $200,000 grant over two years, comprehensive leadership training for the executive director, and an emerging leader on topics ranging from increasing financial sustainability, human capital management, and strategic storytelling. Awardees also join a network of peer organizations across the U.S. and get the opportunity to access capital to expand their impact. The program continues to be the nation’s largest investment in nonprofit leadership development.
In December, we announced the completion of a Healthy Homes Needs Assessment which underscores the role of housing repair in addressing the state’s escalating affordable housing shortage. To read the full report, click here.
This past year, we had our biggest Giving Tuesday to date! With the help of our supporters, we raised over $6,000!
The Prices Corner ReStore, one of the largest in the region (30,000 sq. ft), sells secondhand furniture, home goods, tools, building materials, appliances and more at 25% and more off comparable prices. Although over 90% of items have been donated by individuals and businesses in New Castle County, the ReStores also sell new paint, paint supplies, and bedding priced below typical retail. HFHNCC also operates a ReStore at 600 N. Broad St. in Middletown. Proceeds from ReStore sales help fund HFHNCC’s programs and cover administrative and fundraising expenses. Along with Habitat homeowner mortgage payments, the ReStore is a sustainable funding source for the organization. “Ten years ago, we had the desire to expand our ReStore operations, and we were fortunate to find this location in Prices Corner. The new location saw immediate results as sales shot up by 30%. For the past eight (8) year we have achieved $1,000,000 in sales year over year.”
Staff kicked off the holidays at 101 Wildel Avenue in New Castle, DE. Over 15 HFHNCC staff members spent the day finishing the foundation and beginning the framework for the home of prospective homeowner Rasheena Henry.
On September 15th, we welcomed over 120 golfers at Hartefeld National to raise money to build affordable homes. While spending the day outside playing golf, guests were able to enjoy sharing their love of Habitat NCC. To learn more about our Annual Golf Outing, click here.
Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County believes that Housing Opens Possibilities Everywhere (H.O.P.E) and in August we launched our new podcast – H.O.P.E. New episodes are available on the 15th of the month on all major streaming apps. Each new episode highlights our impact in New Castle County, Delaware as we continue to build homes, communities, and hope.
Volunteers from partner organizations DNREC and Simonds Gardens Civic Association, as well as staff and board members from HFHNCC, joined community residents to transform the vacant lot into comfortable sitting areas with new park benches. The group also installed a rain garden, which helps to protect homes from flooding and water damage and allows for the growth of green spaces without the need for watering, moving, or regular maintenance.
Through this initiative, we focused on transforming a vacant lot with green infrastructure for the health and well-being of Simonds Gardens and community residents. The Simonds Gardens Rock the Block is HFHNCC’s sixth neighborhood revitalization event since July 2021.
Senator Carper and Representative Blunt Rochester Announced $1.5 Million for Affordable Housing in Wilmington., Habitat NCC CEO, Kevin Smith, was joined by Senator Tom Carper and U.S Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester to announce $1.5 million for Affordable Housing. Two new developments in Wilmington that will benefit from this funding include Sankofa Place, located on Southbridge, and Bennett Point, located at 900 Bennett Street.
In May, HFHNCC, along with the other two HFHs in Delaware, received the highest award at the Multiplying Good Awards Ceremony – the Legacy Award. Multiplying Good is associated with the Jefferson Awards, and annually recognizes outstanding individuals and organizations for their contributions to the Delaware community.
In addition, the Delaware Division of Services for Aging and Adults with Physical Disabilities (DSAAPD) partnered with Habitat to launch a new pilot program aimed at keeping senior citizens in their homes, longer.