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Alachua Habitat For Humanity
The Habitat View
Dear Reader,  

Welcome to The Habitat View. The Habitat View is  a monthly newsletter to keep you updated on upcoming projects,  events and interesting stories.

Brock Seng

Editor of The Habitat View

Women Build volunteers work on the house. This past month, great progress was made on the home. See more photos and a recap of the past month below.

In This Issue
National  Women Build Week

May 2-10, 2015

We are looking for volunteers - builders, lunch providers and servers, and donors - to participate in two special build days.


Saturday, May 2nd and May 9th


More details to follow soon.


Click here to go to the website




Home Ownership Orientation
June 17th, 2015
Hawthorne Branch Library
6640 SE 221 St.
Hawthorne, FL
6:00 pm
Donate Now!
Click to donate
Text to donate:
Text "HOME" to 72881




Monday through Saturday

9 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Habitat for Humanity
Wish List

Additional construction pick-up truck

ReStore truck (box truck with lift)

Saw blades

Paint rollers/brushes

Microsoft Project Software

Class facilitators - Family Partner classes

Fire proof file cabinets

Build site supervisors

Professional volunteers

Office chairs

Real estate lots

NR/ Family Services staff


Donate Now!
Click to donate
Text to donate:
Text "HOME" to 72881

A Hero In His Own Home

Brian McFather (left) stands near some firewood for Charles Anderson's (right) wood-burning stove, outside of this avid 
Gator fan's orange and blue home.


Without accessibility to his own shower, the disabled-Vietnam Veteran, Charles Anderson had been bathing outside his own home. The door to his bathroom wasn't wide enough for him to fit his wheelchair inside. He almost had no choice but to outside to shower. After enduring years of hip and back pain, Charles requested repair work from Alachua Habitat for Humanity on his 57-year-old home. He was assisted with construction repairs through a county special needs grant administered by Alachua Habitat.


Charles is the definition of a solider. Not only has he sustained physical stress, he hasn't exactly been comfortable in his home for many years. One of the most essential repairs needed for his home was central air conditioning and heat. During those rough winter months, Charles only received heat through the wood-burning stove in his living room. It is remarkable that he was able to chop wood and keep the fires burning, even though, due to a lack of insulation, most of the heat was escaping through the windows and garage door.  Charles' home was not only in need of central AC and heat and an accessible bathroom, but also needed an accessible kitchen, exit ramps, plumbing and electrical assistance as well as a new roof. 


Like many other disabled veterans, Charles is on a fixed income. While keeping the renovation costs as low as they could, Habitat Family Service Director Kristine Thompson and Construction Director Brian McFather, sought out other community resources for assistance. The renovations to Charles' home could not have been completed without the VA Medical Center's donation to complete the walk-in shower. Home Depot, who has a dedicated Veteran's Home Repair program, donated an electric stove, sheet rock and lumber. Godwin Roofing donated volunteer labor to complete his roofing needs. Now that Charles has a new roof, the new goal is to get him accepted into the GRU LEEP program. This would help alleviate some of his utility costs and provide him with the central heat and air he needs. 


The final details of the much-needed renovations are underway. Meanwhile, Charles is making a strong recovery from his recent hip surgery. When he returns home to finish his recovery, he will not only be able to shower in his own bathroom, he will be able to access every area of his house which, with the help of the Alachua County community working together, his house becomes a home. 


Staff Profile: Debbie Bergman 
Debbie Bergman,
ReStore Director

When ReStore director Debbie Bergman was a child, her orphaned grandfather told her that the day he bought his first house was the proudest day of his life. He finally had a place to call his own. Debbie said this taught her the power that something as simple as having a home could have on a life.


The realization of this power sparked Debbie's passion for helping people battle homelessness, a fight that began, for her, in Ohio. 


"When I lived in Ohio, I was the director of a homeless shelter," Debbie said. "So anything to do with homelessness and getting people into homes is very close to my heart.


Debbie shares her home with her husband of 37 years and her long-haired dachshund, Oliver, who she calls the real love of her life. Her family and her desire to help people are two of the things she values the most. 


This desire eventually led Debbie to Habitat for Humanity, where she was able to fight homelessness in a completely new way. 


In 2002, she started at Habitat in Marion County working in their ReStore and was soon promoted into the administration as Vice President of Operations. She admitted the hours were a little exhausting, and she took some time off from Habitat to work for a for-profit company, but she eventually couldn't wait to come back to Habitat. 


She joined the staff of Alachua Habitat for Humanity.


"There's nothing like working for Habitat," she said. "I really, really love it."  


When Debbie returned to Habitat, this time in Alachua County, she started working in the ReStore once again, and today, she's the ReStore director.


"It's a regular retail business," Debbie said, "And I run the business.


Debbie said she and her staff constantly do outreach, and she works with the personnel to run the day-to-day operations, but her favorite part of the organization is the impact that it has on people's lives.  


"My dedication, my education, they've all kinda led to this place," Debbie said. "My goal has always been to help people, and I think I do that here."


A Month of Women Build

What a month at Women Build! This past month, Women Build has been a bunch of busy bees.


Volunteers this month included a group of young women from UF's National Association of Women in Construction who put in a hard day of floor installation by installing laminate in the bedrooms and living room and tile in the bathrooms and kitchen. The bedrooms are almost completed, and they look fabulous. The finishing touches were put on the front porch, more painting was done inside and new fund-raising bird houses are in the works. Blinds were also installed and decorative shutters by the front windows.


Along with other enthusiastic volunteers, Women Build was joined by students from the UF chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers, and My Sister's Keeper at Santa Fe. Thanks everyone for your hard work!


Thanks to everyone who came out to help on these Saturdays! 


In addition to the faithful, regular volunteers, a couple of employees from Community Bank and Trust of Florida, the primary sponsor for this house, came out to help. 


Thank you to all of the lunch providers. David's Real Pit Barbeque provided a special lunch sponsored by the Gainesville Civic Chorus, along with a personal concert. It was such a treat! Many thanks to Kathy Concannon for once again preparing a delicious lunch, this time with ingredients purchased with funds donated by Penny Hopkins to whom Women Build sends a heartfelt thank you. The lunch from Subway (Eat Fresh!) was provided by Habitat for Humanity. Women Build always appreciates the effort, expense and energy that goes into feeding the hard-working volunteers.



Thank You Mercedes Benz!
Chris Baynard, General Manager of Mercedes Benz of Gainesville


of Gainesville



Chris Baynard, General Manager of Mercedes Benz of Gainesville, announced today that Mercedes Benz of Gainesville is supporting Alachua Habitat for Humanity by becoming a whole house sponsor of a Habitat home this year. 

The home will start construction in May or June of 2015 with completion expected by January 2016.

Mercedes Benz staff and their families will also provide volunteer support for the home build project.

Thank you Mercedes Benz!


Founded in 1986, Alachua Habitat for Humanity is the local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing ministry.  We seek to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness from the world and to make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action. To accomplish these goals, we invite people of all backgrounds, races and religions to build houses together in partnership with families in need.