APRIL 2020
I hope this message finds you healthy and safe at home during these challenging times.

As you know, Habitat for Humanity of Monroe County is like family – we support one another through life’s difficulties, we share experiences and resources, we teach new skills, we celebrate successes and we come together to build community.

We need all of this, now more than ever, even while being physically apart.

In light of the COVID-19 crisis, Habitat has taken unprecedented steps to ensure the health and safety of our employees, volunteers, families and supporters. We have paused all volunteer activities in the office, on the construction site and at ReStore. We have had to cancel Homeowner Information Sessions and postpone the reopening of our homeowner application window. Partner families will resume money management/homeowner classes and their sweat equity hours when health officials determine it is safe to do so. Likewise, ReStore’s in-store operations are on hold until further notice. The Kirkwood office is closed and staff are working remotely to provide support and services to families in need of affordable housing.

You may be concerned about our current Habitat homeowners and know they are already vulnerable. Many of them are in positions at the forefront of the crisis, including restaurant and retail services, educational support and small business staff – employees to whom a missed paycheck can mean catastrophe. We recognize that circumstances will find many people unable to pay their mortgages to Habitat, which is why we are working with families to offer a variety of payment options, including mortgage forbearance.

Our single largest fundraising event of the year takes place each April/May: Women Build. We have postponed our 20th Women Build and are hopeful it can take place in August. Future homeowners Mary and Keba are patiently waiting for the opportunity to build their forever homes with us and over 400 women who will volunteer their time. Nothing can stop women on a mission!
The revenue needed to support our mission comes from three major sources: donations, ReStore sales and homeowner mortgages . Each of these will continue to see major disruptions in the coming weeks. Our supporters have always provided hope to families in need of decent, affordable housing. If you are in a position to support Habitat with a midyear donation, please know that your gift will be put to immediate use to house two families. Our construction staff are working independently to complete houses for Deirdre Jones and for Tangela, Casey and Abby McClelland. These two families need stable housing and a safe place to call home.
To everyone who is doing their part during this crisis, THANK YOU. I have never been more grateful to live in such a caring community. Especially in times of crisis, I am reminded that Habitat builds so much more than houses. In our Trail View neighborhood, homeowner Corinne is helping her neighbors plant vegetable gardens so that they will have healthy, affordable food to eat this summer. The Habitat mission lives on in beautiful ways long after people move into their homes. I look forward to the time when we can be together again to celebrate the mission and the people of Habitat.

Be Well,
Wendi Goodlett
To encourage more charitable giving in 2020, the recently enacted government stimulus bill (the "CARES Act") provides some additional tax relief for donors.  Read more in this article from Kiplinger online.
A special thank you to the  Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County  for their rapid relief grant funding which we are using to provide staffing stability to ensure our homeowners and future homeowners are supported.
Tell Congress you support housing stability and Habitat during the COVID-19 pandemic. Join us in calling on members of Congress to prioritize the needs of low-income families and the organizations that work hard to serve them.