Today marks one of the most tragic days in our country’s history. On the 13th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks, we remember innocent lives that were taken that day, and honor the bravery and selflessness of all of our armed forces who have fought to keep our freedom alive.
As most troops have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan, attention is increasingly focused on ways to honor veterans and support the transition back home, especially given the current economic circumstances that limit job opportunities and exacerbate availability of affordable housing.
Habitat affiliates around the country, including Habitat for Humanity Capital District, have already begun to develop programs for veterans. Since many veterans already meet the income and socio-economic profile of Habitat families, with 30% to 60% of area median income and paying more than 1/3 of incomes in rent, the dream of homeownership becomes reality for our nation’s heroes.
Habitat for Humanity International has developed a nationwide Veterans Initiative that is focused on five inter-related strategies:
- Build: Provide simple, decent and affordable opportunities for military service members and veterans in communities across the US to improve their current housing or to become homeowners.
- Educate: Promote better understanding of military culture among Habitat’s civilian supporters and the communities in which Habitat affiliates are at work and offer access to veterans for financial literacy programs aimed at supporting successful home ownership.
- Mobilize: Engage military members, veterans, families, veterans’ groups and all military supporters to serve with and in honor of veterans in volunteer programs in the US and overseas.
- Employ: Capitalize on skill sets gained from military service with recruitment targeting veterans as Habitat leaders, with employment, internships, fellowships, apprentice programs, and national service opportunities.
- Celebrate: Host regular slate of events, broadening awareness of veterans’ housing issues.
As of 2011, Habitat has completed over 314 projects in partnership with veterans as partner families, including new construction, rehabs, renovations and home preservation projects. In addition, Habitat is currently partnering or reaching out to partner with more than 100 veteran-focused organizations to provide a holistic approach to meeting veterans’ needs.
An Eye on Albany
In July 2012, Habitat for Humanity Capital District was invited to host a homeownership orientation for active duty and retired military personnel at the Veterans Administration. We were moved by the stories we heard of the sacrifices these men and women made for our country and we were angered by the descriptions of the substandard, overcrowded and unaffordable housing in which these veterans live. As a result, Habitat for Humanity Capital District has renewed and strengthened its commitment to make sure that every veteran in the Capital District has a safe, decent and affordable home of their own.
Now, as part of our homeowner qualification process, Habitat for Humanity Capital District is committed to giving veterans priority preference. When all other qualifications are equal, veterans and their families will be placed at the top of Habitat’s priority list.
Also, as part of our Sheridan Hollow project, Habitat is working with the Veterans Administration to redevelop an existing World War II Memorial on Sheridan Avenue into an All War Memorial that will sit inside a revitalized neighborhood park as a tribute to those who have served.
Today, and everyday, we honor all those who have lost their lives fighting for our freedom. God Bless America.
It’s been one year since we moved the ReStore to 70 Fuller Road, and what a year it has been! The ReStore is Habitat’s home improvement resale store that sells new and gently used building materials, appliances, furniture, tools and other home improvement products at a fraction of the retail price. All our merchandise is donated by businesses and individuals and we get new things daily. Revenue from the ReStore goes towards helping Habitat build affordable homes the Capital District. The ReStore also keeps usable materials out of the waste stream and into home building, remodeling, and creative arts projects.
Moving our home improvement resale store from 454 North Pearl to 70 Fuller Road gave us double the inventory space allowing us to showcase even more great product. The new location also has more accessible parking, making donating and shopping more enjoyable! With 365 days under our belt, we are happy to report some really great numbers!
The ReStore recorded a three-quarters of a million dollars in sales this year, with 15,983 transactions – the majority of our revenue coming from furniture, kitchen cabinets and appliances. Donations have gone up as well, giving us an even greater amount of quality items for resale.
We held our grand-opening at the end of last summer to celebrate the move. The new location has maintained all of the favorites from the old location, but we have added new product, such as AmeriWood cabinets & Valspar interior paint, as well as a brand new lighting section and home good boutique. The boutique is our most recent update. Here you can find vinyl records next to one-of-a-kind decorative candle holders; ornate jewelry boxes alongside a framed painting of Kramer from Seinfeld; vintage books sharing space with old-school golf clubs. You never know what you might find, which is half the fun!
All of this excitement and growth has created an overwhelming demand for longer store hours, so we are now open 6 days a week! You can stop by the store Monday-Friday from 10am-6pm and Saturday from 10am-5pm.
Most importantly, all the money received from our store goes directly to helping Habitat achieve its mission of building decent, affordable housing for lower-income families in our community. Every time you stop in and buy a set of cabinets for your remodel, or a new couch for your living room, or that extra refrigerator for the garage, you are helping give hardworking, local families a hand up and the opportunity to achieve the American Dream of homeownership.
The 21st Annual Tent-a-Thon is in the books and what a successful event it was!
Tent-a-Thon is staple annual event for Habitat in which participants raise money by camping out for 1-4 nights in Tawasentha Park. All proceeds go towards Habitat for Humanity Capital District’s mission of eliminating poverty and substandard housing in the Capital District. It was another great year of fundraising thanks to all of our dedicated and long-time Tent-a-Thon supporters. Total numbers were over $10,000! We also had great meals generously provided for our campers from Capital Q Smokehouse, Texas Roadhouse, 99 Restaurant and the Mallozzi Family Restaurants. Our top fundraising teams came from Calvary United Methodist Church in Latham and Mcknownville United Methodist Church in Albany. Other big supporters include Slinglerlands Community United Methodist Church, First United Methodist Church of Voorheesville, Pine Grove United Methodist Church, and First United Methodist Church of Delmar.
This year’s entertainment included outdoor activities such as tennis, hiking, and lawn games, as well as a free concert by folk/rock band, Hair of the Dog and Jim Knowles-Tuell. In addition, we also hosted our first annual volleyball tournament! Teams of 4 or 5 players pre-registered and showed up ready to play. All teams played at least 12 games throughout the day, with the teams making it to semi-finals and finals playing more games. This year’s winner was “It’s All Gonna End in Beers” with second place team, “Smash Masters” and top fundraising team the “Setting Ducks” (Sponsored by Villa Valenti Pub).
Money raised from Tent-a-Thon and many of the above-mentioned churches over the years has helped us build 11 homes – with this year’s $10,000 going towards their 12th Habitat home. Their unwavering support and dedication to Habitat’s mission is one-of-a-kind and we are so thankful!
The weather was great, and we had a blast, all for a good cause. Thanks to everyone who camped out, helped out, fundraised and played, we are already looking forward to next year!
Thank you to everyone who came out this weekend to bump, set and spike for Habitat for Humanity Capital District! After a little bit of rain in the morning, it cleared right up and we had blue skies for the rest of the day!
The volleyball tournament was added on to our Tent-A-Thon fundraiser, an event in which participants raise money by camping out for 1-4 nights in Tawasentha Park. All proceeds are put towards Habitat for Humanity Capital District’s mission of eliminating poverty and substandard housing in the Capital District.
Teams of 4 or 5 players pre-registered and showed up ready to play Sunday morning at 10am. All teams played at least 12 games throughout the day, with the teams making it to semi-finals and finals playing more games. Our teams raised a grand total of $1040!
First Place: “It’s All Gonna End in Beers”
Second Place: “Smash Masters”
Top Fundraiser: Setting Ducks (Sponsor- Villa Valenti Pub)
Check out our Facebook album for more pictures of the fun!
We hope to see you all back next August for more volleyball fun!