Who We Are

CENTRAL VALLEY HABITAT FOR HUMANITY is an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, the ecumenical Christian housing ministry founded by Millard and Linda Fuller in 1976. Central Valley Habitat for Humanity was organized in 1988 when a group of volunteers at the Bridgewater Interchurch Food Pantry became concerned about the deplorable housing conditions they saw in the community. They incorporated as a non-profit organization and were approved as a Habitat affiliate. Central Valley Habitat dedicated its first house in Grottoes in 1989.

Since then, Central Valley Habitat for Humanity has continued to build simple, decent homes for sale to low-income families at no profit and no interest in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County. As of thespring of 2014, Central Valley Habitat for Humanity has completed 55 homes in Bridgewater, Briery Branch, Broadway, Elkton, Grottoes, Harrisonburg, Hinton, and Timberville.

The cooperative effort between Habitat volunteers and partner families has grown to include three Habitat Campus Chapters at local schools, twenty-five Covenant Churches, and many local businesses and organizations.
CVHfH Board of Directors
 
Lawrence (L.J.) Purcell   President 
Anita Beckman
 
Vice President
Hillary Dorzweiler
 
Treasurer
Jacqueline Painter
 
Secretary
Larry Brown
   
Gil Colman
   
Jan Flora
   
Donna Miller
 
 
Terry Sager    
William (Bill) Stoner    
CVHfH Staff

  Jennifer Sager
Office Manager
  Marsha Smith
Executive Director
  Brian Breeden
Construction Manager

Myths and Truths about Habitat for Humanity

MYTH: Habitat for Humanity gives houses to poor people.

TRUTH: Habitat for Humanity offers homeownership opportunities to families who are unable to obtain conventional house financing. Generally, this includes those whose income is 30 to 50 percent of the area’s median income. In most cases, prospective Habitat homeowner families make a $500 down payment. Additionally they contribute 300 to 500 hours of “sweat equity” on the construction of their home or someone else’s home. Because Habitat houses are built using donations of land, material and labor, mortgage payments are kept affordable.

MYTH: Habitat builds houses only for minorities.

TRUTH: Habitat builds houses in partnership with those in need of adequate housing regardless of race, religion or any other difference. Prospective homeowners must meet three criteria: need, ability to repay the mortgage, and a willingness to partner with Habitat.

MYTH: Habitat homeowners are on welfare.

TRUTH: Many Habitat homeowners are gainfully employed. Typically, their annual income is less than half the local median income in their community.

MYTH: You have to be a Christian to become a Habitat homeowner.

TRUTH: Habitat homeowners are chosen without regard to race, religion or ethnic group, in keeping with U.S. law and with Habitat’s abiding belief that God’s love extends to everyone. Habitat also welcomes volunteers from all faiths, or no faith, who actively embrace Habitat’s goal of eliminating poverty housing from the world.

MYTH: Habitat houses lower neighborhood property values.

TRUTH: Housing studies show affordable housing has no adverse effect on neighborhood property values. In fact, Habitat houses have proved to increase property values and local government tax income.

MYTH: Habitat for Humanity is a Southern poverty program.

TRUTH: Habitat for Humanity is a worldwide, grassroots movement with a presence in more than 70 countries. In the United States, Habitat for Humanity’s work is accomplished at the community level by more than 1,400 affiliates — independent, locally run nonprofit organizations.

MYTH: Habitat for Humanity is an arm of the government.

TRUTH: Habitat is an independent nonprofit organization that accepts some government funds and other resources to help build houses in partnership with those in need of adequate shelter. We accept these funds as long as they do not limit our ability to demonstrate the love and teachings of Jesus Christ. Additionally, our local affiliates insert specific guidelines as needed to avoid becoming dependent on or controlled by government funds.

MYTH: Habitat for Humanity was started by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter.

TRUTH: Habitat was started in 1976 in Americus, Georgia, by the late Millard Fuller and his wife, Linda. Former President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn (whose home is eight miles from Americus, in Plains, Georgia), have been longtime Habitat supporters and volunteers who help bring worldwide attention to the organization’s house-building work. Each year, they lead the Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project to help build houses and raise awareness of the need for affordable housing.

MYTH: Habitat for Humanity builds only in cities — or only in rural areas.

TRUTH: Habitat — through its local affiliates — is at work in cities, suburbs and rural areas in highly developed countries and in developing countries. Because poverty housing is so widespread, Habitat’s work goes on 365 days a year in locations throughout the United States and around the world.

MYTH: Poverty housing is such a large problem that it can never be solved.

TRUTH: Poverty housing is a huge issue. But Habitat believes that by continuing to build houses in partnership with people in need of decent shelter, by working with other committed groups, and by putting the issue of poverty housing on the hearts and minds of compassionate people everywhere, the problem can be solved.

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