The lack of affordable housing has been an issue for quite some time in Skagit County. Recent data compiled on the new Skagit County Trends website showed that in 2015, more than a quarter (26.8%) of Skagit County renters paid more than half their monthly income on rent, a greater percentage than all of Washington (21.1%) and the entire US (23.5%). So it was a blessing to receive support for our builds from Skagit County again this year.
This year’s funding purchased the build rights from Home Trust of Skagit for two homes and a portion of building materials for one home in the Summerlynd Neighborhood, Mount Vernon. This grant, totaling $85,440, is the largest that Skagit Habitat has received from Skagit County to date. It is generous support like this that makes us say we have had a great year.
We will complete the two current builds by the end of this year or early 2017. We will be building four more homes over the next two years at Summerlynd, for a total of seven affordable homes in the neighborhood. Habitat Homeowners help build their own home alongside construction volunteers. In-kind donations of materials and services along with financial contributions from our many generous donors help keep our building costs down thus maintaining affordability. The Habitat Homeownership Program selects families based on ability to pay and keeps mortgage payments to 30% or less of our Homeowners’ incomes.
So let’s spread the word: Skagit Habitat mortgage payments are more affordable than rent! And, after all, strong and stable homes help build strong and stable communities.
Thank you to all who supported Skagit Habitat for Humanity at the ‘Raise The Roof’ Dinner Auction on May 9, 2016 at 13moons Restaurant, Swinomish Casino and Lodge raising over $30,000 to help provide strength, stability and self-reliance through homeownership.
We couldn’t have done it without our Auctioneer for the evening Mike (In The Morning) Yeoman and our ‘Raise The Roof’ Team and the support of the Skagit Habitat Board of Directors.
Thank you to all who provided us with Auction package donations: Susie Alvarez, Kimberly Bell, Sorena and Wayne Brusseau, Deception Distilling, LLC, Carpenter Creek Winery, Jan Ellingson, Manny Gomez, Habitat Crafters, Trena Humerickhouse, Boyd and Janice Lanier, Lincoln Theater, Lowe’s Companies, Inc, Manresa Castle, Restaurant & Lounge, John Milnor, Dawn New, North Sound Oral & Facial Surgery, Gale and Ruth Ann O’Neil, Tom Peebles, Brian Poppe, Mary Roetciseonder, Sedro-Woolley Glass, Skagit Habitat Board of Directors, Carole Straathof, Twisted History Tours, Wayne’s Shuttle Service.
And a special thanks to all those who donated your time and/or home as Auction package party Hosts: Kayla Koopmans, Teresa Pugh, The Fabulous Hagen Sisters, Don & Danya Wolf.
Thank you to our Volunteers for the event including: our friends from Kohl’s ‘Associates in Action’ team Allison Himmelman, Marilyn Johnson, Caleb Marlow, Taylor Sanders, Jennifer Smith and Melissa Solis; our friends from US Bank who helped out at registration Daniel Bush, Elizabeth Craig and Caleb Marlow; as well as Kimberly Bell, Carol Boss, Bradley Davis, Christi Brua Weaver, Carol Hagen, Julie Hagen, Janice Lanier, John Milnor, Dawn New, Mary Roetciseonder and Melanie Sahnow.
And last but definitely not least thanks to Michael Boss for announcing the items in a style only to come from you; Brian Poppe for your words as Board President; to our Skagit Habitat Homeowners that spoke and shared their stories with our guests: Maria and Mark & Echo; to the staff of 13moons and Swinomish Casino & Lodge under the direction of Darlene Azure, Kristy Sedano and Sarah Nelson, as always you provided our guests with a night to remember!
Our vision is to empower people to empower themselves by providing tools and opportunities individuals in our community need to build a better life for themselves and their families. Together we can make a greater impact and we cannot do it without all of our supporters, so from the foundations of our hearts… Thank you!
In April of 2015 Skagit Habitat for Humanity Construction Coordinator Paublo Baca met with Lisa, Community Relations for WA of Sierra Pacific Industries. This meeting got the ‘ball rolling’ for a partnership that would result in Sierra Pacific Foundation making a generous donation of materials for one Skagit Habitat for Humanity home.
On October 27th we received the good news from Sierra Pacific Foundation that our request for lumber, a sliding door and all of the windows for one home in the Summerlynd Neighborhood had been granted!
On the 5th of May 2016 Lisa, along with other Sierra Pacific Industries representatives, came out to the build site during Skagit Habitat’s National Women Build Week. Representatives included Lisa, who is Community Relations for all of WA State, two representatives from the local Burlington Mill (Plant Manager and Human Resources) as well as a representative from Sierra Pacific Windows. It was great having Sierra Pacific join us on the build site to see how their donation is helping our organization and gave them an opportunity to meet the Future Homeowner who will directly benefit from this contribution.
Sierra Pacific is an environmentally responsible forest management company and talk about keeping it local… lumber grown locally, milled in Burlington and used on a Habitat home in Mount Vernon. But, we wouldn’t expect anything less from a company that prides itself on being a good neighbor.
About one month following Sierra Pacific Industries visit to the construction site, Skagit Habitat reached the phase of construction for installation of windows and doors. On June 2, 2016 core volunteers began installing the donated product. We cannot thank Sierra Pacific Foundation enough for seeing how strong and stable homes build strong and stable communities. All of the staff and volunteers here at Skagit Habitat appreciate the time Lisa, Brad, Janifer, and Mike took out of their busy schedules to come out and see how this donation will impact Selamawit and her family as they build a brighter future together. Thank you!
National Women Build Week is a nationwide initiative of Habitat’s Women Build program developed in partnership with Lowe’s. Lowe’s donated $2 million to support this year’s National Women Build Week and will provide $5,000 gift cards to 300 participating Habitat Affiliate organizations and $25,000 grants to support 10 Affiliates ‘Girls Night Out’ build events in cities across the U.S. Girls Night Out evening builds will take place in Lowe’s parking lots and will engage Lowe’s Heroes and Habitat volunteers, kicking off National Women Build Week. This year’s events will be part of a yearlong initiative between Lowe’s and Habitat for Humanity to build or repair 1,000 homes alongside families across the U.S. in time for the holidays. During National Women Build Week alone, volunteers across the country worked on 650 homes, which included the two homes here in Skagit County at the Summerlynd Development. We were excited to be selected for a second year in a row for this nationwide event!
We had several groups join us, alongside of our National Sponsor Lowe’s Companies, Inc., and support National Women Build Week again this year to be a part of improving our community together. Through financial support, volunteering or adding a voice to support affordable housing, everyone can help families achieve the strength, stability and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves. We thank all of those who supported this year’s National Women Build Week. In addition to our National Sponsor Lowe’s we also received donations from: Costco Wholesale Corporation, Girl Scouts of Western Washington Troop #40730, Jersey Mike’s Subs, North Puget Sound Carpenters Local 70, Party City, Skagit Bank, Starbucks Corporation, US Bank, Woods Coffee… Thank you all! We also had groups throughout the week volunteering, in addition to our regular volunteers who are dedicated week in – week out to our program: Ellingson Home Group of Keller Williams Western Realty, Lowe’s Heroes from Mount Vernon and Bellevue stores, Mount Vernon Fire Department, North Puget Sound Carpenters Local 70, Skagit Bank, US Bank… Thank you all!! Skagit Bank and US Bank were also participating this year as a United Way of Skagit Days of Caring project. These groups had the opportunity to work alongside three Partner Families: Selamawit, Jose and Noelly and Vidal, building their homes, helping them achieve their goals and requirements as Habitat Homebuyers.
The excitement of Media Day also drew a crowd of special guests and media from Skagit Publishing resulting in front page coverage in the Skagit Valley Herald for the second year in a row for National Women Build Week on Saturday, May 7th. On Media Day we also had representatives from United Way of Skagit County, KAPS Radio personality Mike in the Morning, and Sierra Pacific Industries who donated doors, windows and lumber for Selamawit’s home. It was great having Sierra Pacific Industries and Windows representatives join us on the build site to see how their donation is helping our organization and meet the family who will directly benefit. Sierra Pacific is an environmentally responsible forest management company and talk about keeping it local: the lumber is grown locally, milled in Burlington and will be used on a Habitat home in Mount Vernon.
We cannot thank all those who volunteered and supported this week long event enough. We also thank Lowe’s for providing our two Lowe’s Clinics this year, held April 7 and 14 at Lowe’s teaching us about selecting and proper use and safety of hand and power tools. As always these were a great educational opportunity! Thank you, especially to Darrell Smiley and your fabulous team there at Mount Vernon Lowe’s Home Improvement! Looking forward to next year’s National Women Build Week!