Saturday, August 27, 2016

HFH Gateway North News 26.08.2016

Serving Orillia Lake Country, North Simcoe, District of Muskoka, Parry Sound District, North Bay and Blue Sky Region and Sudbury District
The Downtown Huntsville BIA's Green Street Challenge
Photo Credit: Downtown Huntsville BIA

The Downtown Huntsville BIA turned Main Street into a sprawling green parkway for their annual Sidewalk Sale. The BIA then donated the 7,000 square feet of sod, cut that very morning, to Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North. Continued Below . . .
In This Issue:
* Green Street
* Two Doors Down...
* Thanks Huntsville!
* Volunteers Needed!
* Habitat in the News
* Huntsville BA5
* Hods & Sods
* Parry Sound Golf
* The Amazing Race
* Health & Safety Tip
* Save the Dates
* Quote of the Week
The Newsreel: Quick Facts to Keep You Informed!
* Support our 2016 build projects across the region by donating online at
* Our Espanola Build rolls on! Stay up to date with photos and more at the Habitat for Humanity - Espanola Build Facebook Page.
* 1 in 5 Canadian families are living in unstable homes. But little by little, a brick for brick, you can help bring stability to the lives of many children from low income families. Because you're not just helping us put a roof over their head, you're helping us put the ground beneath their feet. For full details on the Brick for Brick campaign visit brickforbrick.
* For seven years, the Aviva Communtiy Fund has been investing in charitable community initiatives across Canada. To date, more than $6.5 million in project funding has been dispersed, and this year they're donating another $1 million. Voting for your community opens onOctober 11th. Stay tuned for your chance to vote!
Know someone who'd like to be involved with Habitat? Share the newsletter with them! Anyone who is interested in staying in touch can sign up for the weekly newsletterhere!
Hi Habitat Gateway North Team!

Volunteers are the driving force behind Habitat. Yes, we have staff in key roles, and as we grow and change operationally, we need staff in those roles to maintain strategic growth and administrative capabilities. However, volunteers are the heart of Habitat.

When I look at our volunteer team I think about the positions we need. I ask, "What positions do I need to accomplish our mission?" "What do I want the team members to do?" And then I look for people who can fill those positions. Often, finding the right person for the position is less about skills and more about attitude.

At every level of the organization, we have volunteers making great things happen. Volunteers process donations and merchandise goods at our ReStore locations. They are the friendly face behind the cash counter and out on our trucks, delivering and picking up goods. ReStore volunteers are ambassadors of the organization.

Our Chapter Members are connected individuals in their community, volunteering their time to fundraising and awareness events, build progress, family selection and support, and more. Each Chapter has anywhere from four to 15 members, each with a specific role. The success of any project in a community is based on the positive outlook and engagement of the Chapter.

Our Board of Directors is entirely volunteers, giving leadership and guiding the strategic direction of our organization. We rely on the exceptional leadership of our Board, who understand our mission and vision, to drive Habitat Gateway North to achieve our mission and create dynamic change.

Finally, our build volunteers, skilled or unskilled, make homeownership a reality for families in need. From the ground up, a Habitat build is a rallying point for the community; a chance to learn new skills, meet new people, practice a trade and lend experience to a cause. Better yet, Habitat builds are a visual manifestation of the community coming together for a singular purpose: helping others.

“Positive thinking is more than just a tagline. It changes the way we behave. And I firmly believe that when I am positive, it not only makes me better, but it also makes those around me better.” – Harvey Mackay

No ‘thank you’ can ever really convey the work our volunteers take on. The positive energy, from volunteers on a build site, in a ReStore, at a community event and at committee meetings, is what advances our mission from a statement to a living, breathing entity.

If you’d like to join our team of volunteers, we would love to have you! We are looking for volunteers to fill the specific roles of:
  • Huntsville Build Volunteer Coordinator
  • Huntsville Build Hospitality Host
  • Orillia Build Volunteer Coordinator
  • Orillia Build Hospitality Host
  • Chapter Members – North Simcoe, Orillia, Muskoka, Parry Sound, North Bay & Sudbury
Please email or call(705) 646-0106 ext. 204 for more details on our volunteer opportunities.

Be well, do good deeds and keep in touch,

Two Doors Down...

Honestly there is one thing which frustrates me about Habitat for Humanity. Why is it like pulling teeth to get families to apply for these homes?

If a banker said: “Today we’re doing zero down payment interest free mortgages geared annually to your income and all you have to contribute is 500 hours of manual labour. By the way, your payments won’t stay here with the bank – they’ll be earmarked to build more affordable homes in your region.” Would that not be like selling ice cream on a humid afternoon?

Yet, across Canada, family selection is one of the most difficult challenges Habitat for Humanity affiliates face. Still, problems are just solutions in waiting. Most of me thinks it’s a communications issue. After all, if every prospective homeowner included Habitat’s home ownership model in their mortgage research we wouldn’t be able to handle the surge of applications. But, the overwhelming number of families who won’t qualify for a traditional mortgage seem to settle for expensive and often inadequate rentals. Either they haven’t heard about Habitat, or the message isn’t sinking in.

I find it hard to believe a family living in a basement apartment and paying $1,000+ monthly wouldn’t at least entertain the option of owning their own home for a fraction of the price. And there’s the rub. The statistics suggest the number of families living in substandard conditions are growing, so why haven’t we heard from more families? If you’ve made it this far I implore you to spread to word.

Another part of me believes we need to build quicker and build more often. Families choose rentals because it’s often their only option. The Habitat home ownership model makes all the sense in the world, but if it’s going to take years from application to key dedication ceremonies we’ll lose a lot of prospective families who need this service.

That is why everything we’re doing in this Habitat for Humanity federation is about building more homes more quickly. From ReStores and regionalization to pre-fabrication and communications. It’s all about pouring more foundations and building more homes.

So, embrace the frustration because no one ever did anything that mattered while feeling content.

Habitat for Humanity Thanks the Huntsville BIA, Volunteers and Sponsors
HUNTSVILLE, ON – Huntsville’s Main Street is back to plain old asphalt, but the 7,000 sq. ft. of sod which turned the street into a temporary park lives on.

Thompson Landscape Construction purchased the sod from Habitat for Humanity following the Sidewalk Sale and the generous donation by the Downtown Huntsville BIA. The money is earmarked to help fund the build of a semi-detached home currently ongoing at Irene Street. Once completed, the build will house two hardworking local families who will experience the benefits of homeownership for the first time.

“There were a lot of moving parts with this incredible gift,” said Habitat CEO David Morris. “Originally we hoped to be further along with the build and use the sod on site, but when it became clear that wasn’t going to be possible we pivoted and relied on the community of Huntsville. Thankfully, Thompson Landscape Construction could use the 7,000 square feet of sod on short notice.”

The Green Street Challenge would not have been possible without the help of volunteers who helped lay sod in the early morning hours, and roll it up in the evening. Habitat for Humanity would like to extend a sincere and heartfelt thank-you to all of those who participated in the greening of Huntsville’s Main St.

Habitat for Humanity would also like to thank the event’s sponsors: Come Alive Outside,, Rugged Earth, Beverley Turf Farms, and the Downtown Huntsville BIA.

“Community mobilization is at the forefront of the Habitat mission, and the Huntsville BIA’s Green Street Challenge is a shining example of what can be accomplished when helping hands join together,” said Morris.
The Floors Are Here! Metal flooring arrives in Huntsville
A shipment of engineered metal flooring arrived at the Irene Street build site in Huntsville this week. The flooring comes from Habitat OGN partner Bailey Metal Products and Green Terra Homes. Justin Pritchard from the Huntsville ReStore was there to help with the heavy lifting. Thanks Justin! 
Habitat for Humanity in the News | The Orillia Packet & Times
MEHREEN SHAHID/THE PACKET & TIMES Kathy Gallivan speaks Thursday with Gary Haase, a volunteer at Habitat for Humanity's ReStore in Orillia.
The Habitat for Humanity ReStore is making more money at its new location in Orillia than it was at the old one, according to an executive.
"Our revenues are much higher, and because the ReStores fund the overhead of Habitat, that's excellent news," said David Morris, CEO for Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North. "It makes it easier for us to do the building we do and give the service to families."
The store held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday afternoon. The James Street location also hosted the Orillia District Chamber of Commerce Business After 5 meeting that night.
"I was thrilled with the event," Morris said, adding more than 70 members of the chamber were in attendance, many of whom signed up as volunteers for the upcoming two Orillia builds. "I think it was a great way for us to reintroduce Habitat to the community in Orillia and to let people know exactly how Habitat operates and how the ReStore fits into our operation."
The location, he noted, has helped the retail end of ReStore, but the significance of the store is not just reflected in increased sales and donations, but there in the influx of volunteers, too.
"Quite often, ReStores attract volunteers who might have special needs -- financial, physical or mental -- and require public transportation," he said. "At the previous location, we did not have public transportation, and here we do."
Gary Haase, a long-time volunteer with the ReStore in Barrie, now volunteers at the Orillia store.
"I just like to help and serve people," he said. "And this is a global organization, not just local."
For customers, such as Kathy Gallivan, being able to visit a store in Orillia is appealing.
"I love the whole idea of reusing things and not putting them in the landfill," said the Orillia resident. "The price of things compared to buying new is great, and it helps the Habitat builds."
Two builds are set to take place in Orillia over the next year or two.
"We are in the process of getting the building permit for 499 Bay St. -- land the city made available," he said. "Hopefully, between now and mid-September, we will break ground on that semi-detached unit that will house two families. And then the rough plan right now is to build a single-family home on the other lot at 75 Victoria St."
The Huntsville ReStore hosts Business After Five
The Huntsville ReStore played host to the Huntsville/Lake of Bays Chamber of Commerce Business after Five on Thursday, August 25. A huge thanks to Muskoka Brewery and Farmer's Daughter for supplying the party fuel! It was a great opportunity to meet & greet Habitat's wonderful partners who make up Huntsville's business community. 
Espanola (159 & 163 Adelaide St.; semi-detached; underway): Our Espanola project is waiting for duct work for the furnace to be completed inside before finishing flooring and trim. The exterior of the homes are coming along nicely. The siding and decking are nearing completion around the structure of the building. The families have been working diligently toward their hours of sweat equity.

Huntsville (11 Irene St.; semi-detached; underway): The steel floor framing has been delivered to the build site. Justin Pritchard from the Huntsville ReStore was on hand to greet the material, and by greet we mean haul it off the truck like a superhero. Thanks Justin! It's simply too much work for even an Adonis like Justin, however, so please volunteer to help!

Orillia (499 Bay St.; semi-detached; permitting): Still in the early phase of permitting, we're excited to get back to building in Orillia. With a mid-September target for excavation, stay tuned for our official ground breaking ceremony announcement.

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