I am writing to provide an update about the measures Habitat for Humanity of Craven County is taking to protect our staff, volunteers and the people we serve during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.
These measures are based on guidance from Habitat for Humanity International and local, state and national public health authorities. We are continually monitoring the situation, and our approach may change as new guidance is provided.
Given the current circumstances in our area, our builds and repair work will continue. In addition, our ReStore will remain open. We will send out additional updates as conditions change.
While we continue to move forward, we do ask that if you feel unwell or have traveled recently to one of the areas designated by the CDC as level 3 or on a cruise ship, you should refrain from joining a Habitat event or build/repair or visiting a Habitat ReStore or office. Similarly, if a member of your household has potentially been exposed to the virus through travel or other means, seek medical guidance and refrain from participating in any Habitat-related events, including volunteering or shopping in our ReStore.
We realize your health is your top priority. Should you decide not to volunteer as previously planned, please let us know so that we can adjust our plans accordingly.
In the meantime, please familiarize yourself with advice from the World Health Organization on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Please know that we are constantly monitoring the situation and will update our plans as new details emerge. Thank you for your continued support as we navigate this public health crisis together.
Habitat for Humanity of Craven County committed to repairing 44 homes in the wake of Hurricane Florence and the unparalleled damages that struck our community through the neighborhood revitalization program. To date 22 homes have been completed in Craven and Jones County. We are honored to have an opportunity to partner with families who are still trying to recover from Hurricane Florence. As a result of partnering, these families who had no other means or support to repair their homes are now in safe, healthy housing.
Habitat for Humanity of Craven County is proud to announce the recent completion of four homes through the program. Homeowners in Duffyfield, Sunnyside and western Craven county were assisted. Project tasks included repairs to flooring, windows, roofs, gutters, sheetrock, decking and access ramps.
One homeowner in the Pembroke community, Ms. Lillie Brimmage, is finally returning home after more than a year of living displaced with family and friends due to Hurricane Florence. Ms. Brimmage is overjoyed to be back in her homeand is ready for life to resume normalcy. The damage to her home was extensive as she took several feet of water inside of her home causing a need for repairs to the roof, heating and cooling systems, insulation, sheet rock, and much more.
Extensive damages are often unexpected and hardworking homeowners can find themselves unprepared to pay large repair costs upfront in the wake of a devastating storm such as Hurricane Florence. That’s where Habitat for Humanity of Craven County steps in and can offer subsidized repayment options for qualified applicants to help recover and bring life back into their own home and subsequently the neighborhood.
Antoinette Boskey, Neighborhood Revitalization Director states that “neighborhood revitalization is all about creating an improved quality of life through holistic community development and empowerment of residents. We understand that when disasters like Hurricane Florence affect a community, rates of marginalization tend to increase amongst vulnerable populations. For this reason, we have focused our efforts on low income families in Jones and Craven counties, partnering with these families and empowering them to be able to take an active role in their individual recovery and the recovery of their community.”
If you are struggling to recover from Hurricane Florence or need assistance with home repairs, please contact our office at 252-633-9599 to learn more about program requirements and how to begin the application process.
Habitat for Humanity of Craven County builds affordable single-family and duplex homes in Craven County and has been actively addressing the affordable housing crisis since 1989. In addition to building new homes, Habitat for Humanity of Craven County also repairs existing homes to keep homeowners in their homes to age in place comfortably or to recover following disasters or unexpected damages. For more than 30 years, Habitat for Humanity of Craven County has assisted more than 100 individuals and families to achieve their dream of homeownership through our affordable housing program andremain in their home through our neighborhood revitalization critical repairs program. In addition to these programs, Habitat for Humanity focuses on educating and empowering potential homebuyers and current homeowners through homebuyer education and disaster preparedness education series.
Tried By Fire, Inc. invites women, and supportive men, to participate in a special “Make A Difference Day” on Saturday, March 28 from 9 a.m. to noon at 524 Roundtree Street in New Bern.
The morning will be focused on clearing out debris and overgrown vegetation at the future site of “My Sister’s House.”
My Sister’s House will provide affordable and supportive transitional housing for up to six women coming out of prison. A safe, decent and affordable home is essential for human survival and dignity. Upon release from prison, women have identified housing as one of their most urgent needs to meet the challenges of re-entry into the community. Significant barriers exist for these mothers, sisters, daughters, aunts, etc. due to stigmatization and policies barring them from most federal housing assistance programs.
Transitional housing exist in the area for men returning to the community from prison, but there are no such facilities for women within Craven County or the seven surrounding counties of Pamlico, Carteret, Lenoir, Jones, Onslow, Pitt and Green.
“We are very excited to begin working on the renovations to this property in the Duffyfield community,” said Bonita Simmons, executive drector of Tried By Fire, Inc. “We want to make a difference with a visible statement that we are committed to improving this two-story home and we look forward to being part of this neighborhood,” said Simmons.
Volunteers should wear close-toed shoes and bring work gloves. Rakes and brush trimmers are also recommended. Renovation of the two-story home, built in 1941, will begin within the next few months. Licensed contractors will be hired to replace the roof, electric, plumbing, and HVAC systems.
The bulk of the interior and exterior repairs will, however, be completed by volunteers under the supervision of staff from Habitat for Humanity of Craven County.
“Once actual repair work can begin, our ‘Sisters Helping Sisters’ campaign will recruit volunteers to make this home a reality for post-incarcerated women,” Simmons said.
Anyone interested in volunteering can contact the volunteer coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or 252-670-1907. For more information or to make financial or in-kind donations is asked to contact Bonita Simmons at email@example.com or 252-637-2339.
Block Party to make it all happen—Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020 in Vanceboro
The Craven Resource Council was forged with four primary goals in mind
Building relationships between community residents and partner stakeholders.
Raising awareness about community resources.
Identifying and addressing resource gaps
Maximizing the reach of partner agencies.
The council is the result of a collaborative relationship between Habitat for Humanity of Craven County, Twin Rivers Opportunity, and Vision Forward and has since expanded to include other non-profit groups, City and County agencies, and other organizations.
The Craven Resource Council will host their second community focused event on Saturday, Feb. 29, in Vanceboro, at the large field adjacent to Kite’s Grocery Store. The block party will be held from 1-4 p.m. and will have activities for children and parents, games and prizes, music, as well as snacks and refreshments.
Antoinette Boskey, Neighborhood Revitalization director at Habitat for Humanity of Craven County, said, “This is going to be a great opportunity for us to learn more about this area of county directly from residents whom we welcome to be a part of helping us fill these gaps in their own community. All the partner agencies are excited about the opportunity to connect with the community and learn from them how we can truly reach each of our missions.”
If you are an agency interested in joining this exciting collaborative group or have any questions about this upcoming event, please contact Antoinette Boskey at 252-633-9599 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Craven Resource Council was forged with 4 primary goals in mind: building relationships between community residents and partner stakeholders, raising awareness about community resources, identifying and addressing resource gaps, and maximizing the reach of
The council is the result of a collaborative relationship between Habitat for Humanity of Craven County, Twin Rivers Opportunity, and Vision Forward and has since expanded to include other
non-profit groups, City and County agencies, and other organizations.
The Craven Resource Council will host the first of many community focused events on Saturday,
November 2, at the Jasper G. Hayes Omega Center, located at 800 Cedar St., New Bern. The
event will be held from 1-5 p,m. The Block Party will feature games for kids, free food, live
DJ and dance performance, door prize giveaways, and a community resource fair. The event is free and open to the public.
If you are an agency interested in joining this exciting collaborative group, contact Antoinette
Boskey at 252-633-9599 or via email at email@example.com.
Some of the more than 220 people who have been helped by Habitat for Humanity pose during a celebration at the N.C. History Center in New Bern on Saturday evening.
Habitat for Humanity Craven County is celebrating its 30th anniversary helping families build and own homes.
A reception was held at the N.C. History Center on Saturday to commemorate the milestone.
Habitat for Humanity works with families, volunteers, donors, corporations, and the community to build affordable homes. They work to transform neighborhoods through revitalization, education, innovative development, partnerships, through long term relationships with families and the community.
Habitat for Humanity Craven County got its start in 1989. It has built 66 homes starting with its first in 1991, providing decent homes for 105 adults and more than 120 children. Of those, 16 have fully paid off their mortgages.
Habitat for Humanity started construction on five new homes in 2019.
In addition, 41 homes have been built in other countries around the world through local tithes made to Habitat for Humanity International.
“Since 1989, Habitat for Humanity of Craven County has been helping families achieve strength, stability, and self-reliance they need to build a better life for themselves and their families,” the organization said on its website.
Following the devastating damages in Craven County from Hurricane Florence in September 2018, Habitat for Humanity of Craven County established a Critical Repairs Program to assist Habitat and non-Habitat homeowners with the repairs necessary so they can to return to a safe and healthy home. We are also pleased to partner with Purple Heart Homes to work on repairs for veterans’ homes.
Habitat for Humanity operates ReStore at 930 Pollock St.
The ReStore sells new and used household items, appliances, furnishings, building materials, and home improvement items to the public. All materials are donated by local retail businesses, building contractors, suppliers and individuals, and are made available for sale to the public at 50% to 90% below retail prices. Proceeds from ReStore go to the building of new homes and the operating costs of Habitat for Humanity of Craven County.
Habitat organizations across the country are mobilizing to influence policy and system changes at the federal, state and local levels
Nearly 19 million households across the United States are spending at least half of their income on a place to live, often forgoing basic necessities such as food and health care to make ends meet.
In Craven County, 33% or 13,370 households, are cost-burdened and having difficulty meeting their monthly mortgage or rental payments, according to the 2017 statistics reported by the NC Housing Coalition.
A family needs to earn $33,120 per year in order to afford a modest two-bedroom apartment at $828 per month, while the average renter can only afford a rent of $683 per month. The stability that housing should bring continues to remain out of reach for many people.
On Wednesday, Habitat for Humanity of Craven County joined Habitat organizations across the country to launch a new national advocacy campaign aimed at improving home affordability for 10 million people in the U.S. over the next five years.
Marking significant growth in Habitat’s commitment to ensuring that everyone has a safe and decent place to call home, the Cost of Home campaign seeks to identify and improve policies and systems through coordinated advocacy efforts at the local, state and federal levels.
Cost of Home focuses on improving housing affordability across the housing continuum in four specific policy areas: increasing supply and preservation of affordable homes, equitably increasing access to credit, optimizing land use for affordable homes, and ensuring access to and development of communities of opportunity.
Habitat for Humanity of Craven County already has taken several steps toward these goals. In April, Executive Director Mike Williams and Homeowner Services Coordinator Betsy McDonald spent two days in Raleigh with area State representatives to advocate for policies and funding to support affordable housing in eastern North Carolina. Mike Williams also serves as the chair of a sub-committee on the County’s long-term recovery alliance for housing options.
“The impact of hurricane Florence has made affordable housing a major shelter issue in all of eastern North Carolina,” said Mike Williams, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity of Craven County. “It will take creative and intentional housing legislation and policies, on local and state levels, to solve this issue.”
More details about Habitat’s Cost of Home policy platform and campaign activation are available at habitat.org/costofhome. For more information or to speak to Habitat Craven County about the campaign, please contact Deedra Durocher or Betsy McDonald at 252-633-9599.
Here are some ways you can support the campaign:
Post to social media.Use #CostOfHome, #CostOfHomeCraven, and tag @CravenHabitat.
Write or call your legislators.Tell them to support policies to improve housing affordability.
Tell three friends about the Cost of Homecampaign. Send them a link to this story and ask them to help.
Thirty-three college students from Connecticut, New York and Pennsylvania, along with 34 high school students and chaperones from Missouri, will be spending their spring break helping build Habitat for Humanity homes in New Bern.
March 4-9 – Sacred Heart University (Connecticut) with 15 students
March 11-16 – Lycoming College (Pennsylvania) with 18 students, University of Rochester (NY) with 7 students
March 25-30 – St. Mary’s Catholic High School (Missouri) with 34 students and adult chaperones
Collegiate Challenge is Habitat for Humanity’s year-round alternative break program, founded in 1989
Monday through Thursday, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. each of the three weeks
March 4-7 – Habitat home #68 at 876 Howard Street, New Bern
March 11-14 – Habitat home #67 at 1022 North Bern Street and #68 at 876 Howard Street
March 25-28 – Habitat home #67 at 1022 North Bern Street and #68 at 876 Howard Street
To provide opportunities for students from colleges, high schools and youth groups to spend a week volunteering in partnership with a Habitat for Humanity affiliate in the US. Additionally, the program is designed to empower communities and create environments where exchange and interaction between student groups and community residents can take place to share concerns about ending substandard housing.
Coordinated by Habitat for Humanity of Craven County with the support and hospitality of the New Bern community. Overnight accommodations are being provided by area churches and meals are generally hosted by individuals, churches, or civic organizations.
Habitat for Humanity of Craven County is celebrating its 30th year as an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, a non-profit Christian housing ministry. Since 1989, the local organization has built 66 homes in partnership with homeowners who are deemed eligible by the Selection Committee, impacting 105 adults and over 120 children. When each home is completed, the homeowner is responsible to pay a no-interest mortgage and other expenses associated with owning their own home. To date, the mortgages on 16 homes (25 percent) have been fully paid off. Habitat does not give away houses, but does make it possible for deserving families to realize strength, stability and self-sufficiency through homeownership.
For additional information about Habitat Craven County, contact the Deedra Durocher, Volunteer Coordinator at 252-633-9599, 252-670-1907 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Habitat for Humanity of Craven County was presented with a grant award of $20,000 from International Paper’s New Bern Mill to assist with Habitat’s repair, rebuilding, and recovery efforts with Habitat and non-Habitat homeowners in Craven County. Pictured from left are Allison Arens of IP New Bern Mill, Board President Richard Peebles, Volunteer Coordinator Deedra Durocher, Executive Director Mike Williams, and Catherine Burgess of IP New Bern Mill.