We’re in the swing of summer here in the Shenandoah Valley, and many organizations, groups and individuals are looking for volunteering options to promote team building or to better their community. The majority of new contacts that we make are made in the summer months, when people can get out on our construction site and help us promote affordable housing. 


However, a lot of these new contacts are completely new to our organization, knowing only what they’ve heard by word of mouth.


This week, we’ve collected some of the basic facts about Central Valley Habitat for Humanity into a “Beginner’s Guide” to our organization!


How CVHFH Was Founded


While Habitat for Humanity International is our parent non-profit, Central Valley Habitat for Humanity is the local affiliate serving Harrisonburg and Rockingham County. The Bridgewater Interchurch Food Pantry saw a need for affordable housing in their community in the 1980’s and applied to start an affiliate of HFHI. Central Valley Habitat for Humanity Inc. was officially founded in 1988 with the first home completed in 1990. 


Homes have been built in communities including Broadway, Elkton, Harrisonburg, Grottoes, Bridgewater, and everywhere in-between. In the first 30 years, the affiliate completed 60 homes.


Our Mission in the Community


The mission of Habitat International and our affiliate is: Seeking to put God’s love into action, Central Valley Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities and hope. 


Recently, we’ve been building capacity and recognizing an even greater need in the community for decent, affordable housing, so we’ve identified a service mission as well, as we work to become lead advocates. 


At our latest board summit, we identified our service mission as: In partnership with our neighbors, CVHFH delivers homes, hope and security in our community by providing a path to home ownership for families that could not otherwise realize their dream.


The Habitat Process


Our families are looking for a hand up, not a hand out, so they have lots of pride in their home and work alongside our volunteers on the construction site. A key part of the process is that the families pay a no-interest affordable mortgage on their home, and each adult works approximately 200 hours in partnership with us. 


The first step is that qualified families apply and are selected for our program. This means that they are a permanent resident or citizen of the United States and they have lived in Harrisonburg/Rockingham County for at least 1 year. They also go through a credit check process and our family selection committee works to ensure they are financially stable enough for the affordable mortgage, and also meet our standards of low-income individuals. 


Once a family is selected, we do our best to make sure the house we build will correctly meet their needs, be it size, location, or handicap accessibility.


This can mean waiting to find the right building lot or the right sponsorship, all in order to make sure we set the family up for success. 


Volunteers work on-site with our families to do a majority of the labor, and this can include construction companies or other organizations that volunteer their labor and services. 


Getting Involved with Our Organization


We run completely on community support, meaning that the majority of our mission in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County would not be possible without the generosity of volunteers and donors.


There are only four staff members that work in our office including our ED, everything else is on a volunteer basis. This means there are lots of diverse opportunities to get involved! This could mean becoming a long-term volunteer on the construction site, joining one of our committees, speaking at a groundbreaking or dedication event, holding a benefit, and more. 


What this all boils down to is that all the people that work with us believes in one core factor: Everyone deserves a decent place to call home.


If you’re reading this blog post you’re already on the right track, so if Habitat sounds like a cause you can get behind, head to our volunteer page and sign – up today!

To stay informed of what’s happening at CVHFH, follow us on Facebook and Instagram @CentralValleyHabitat or Twitter @CentralValleyVA and click that subscribe button and ring the bell on our Youtube Channel so you’ll be notified when we post new videos!

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