News

Martha's Building Blog

June 21, 2018

                                                                                                                                                                                                               June 16th, 2018

Today, I had "Friends and Family" build day. We were expecting bad weather but we were blessed with a beautiful day. I had 9 people show up to build and we got a lot accomplished. We painted the fascia around the entire house, the window frames, the pillars on the front porch... that was my group! My second group worked on the fences and put up post(s) and finished digging the holes to finish the side fence. My third group finished up the siding on the side and back of the house. We did half of the front of the house (and left) just the (other) half the front of the house needing siding. After we were done building and cleaning my mom was kind enough to make food for all the volunteers and my friends and family. I didn’t realize it until a friend brought it up that it was my first party at MY HOUSE! Wow, what an amazing feeling. The first of many! I was overwhelmed with emotion from all of the efforts and hard work my family did that day. Words can’t explain how grateful and thankful I was to have such great people in my life.

 

 

 June 2, 2018 

This morning I arrived at the jobsite without a volunteer group to assist with today’s build (only the regular volunteers were there). I have to admit, I was a little discouraged because I didn’t think we would get much done without the help of others. Well I was WRONG.  My dad started sweeping the inside of the house because he says “you work better in a clean environment.”  I was put on fence duty and started helping Dan Chapman. We started on the side of the fence. My dad joined us after he finished sweeping the house. We finished fairly quickly so we started doing the back fence. I learned how to use spacers to make sure the boards are lined up; I used the ramset hammershot for a few boards... and did a lot of walking and carrying the boards. Perry (aka "Mr. Saw Man") said “don’t bring too many boards - you don’t want to have to carry them back when you leave.” He was surprised when we finished all the boards we had cut and then started another pile of boards. He told me at the end of the day it was a pleasure working with such a hard-working homeowner. That made me feel pretty proud of myself and to see that I am building Mariah’s (my daughter's) home.

I also met Mrs. DeeDee to pick out my landscaping... that is when I got emotional again. The flowers are going to be so colorful and beautiful. I was working so hard and didn’t even go inside the house until we were cleaning up! That’s when I saw I have a shower, Mariah has a tub, we have a front door and light fixtures. It was amazing to see how hard everyone worked that day and we accomplished so much with just a handful of us there. Feeling blessed!  

 

 

Saturday April 7, 2018 

                April 7th was the first day we started building my Habitat Home with Premier Dental by my side (again)! We had already built the house frame in the parking lot of Premier Dental. I remember the two freezing cold and rainy days that we spent building the frame to my house with perfect strangers. Needless to say, by the end of the day they were all my special friends. I remember thinking (about) what kind & selfless people they were to be out there working in the cold on their knees for most of the day. To see Dr. Morales and Dr. Massa on the truck loading the frames... WOW! All (of) this (was) for me and Mariah! I couldn’t thank them enough for their time and sacrificing their Saturday to build with me instead of staying at home in their warm cozy bed. So today (April 7th) we unloaded the frames that we put together with all the beautifully decorated donated studs. I learned how to use the ramset hammershot that goes through the concrete. We finished the outside house frame. As I was leaving, I took a picture to show Mariah and that is when it hit me … my dream was starting to become a reality. Thank you, Premier Dental!

Habitat on the Hill 2017 Recap

May 03, 2017

EXPERIENCES AND ANECDOTES BROUGHT TO YOU BY ADMINISTRATIVE & GRANT COORDINATOR, SHAYLEE BURNS

Two weeks ago I traveled to Washington D.C to represent Comal County Habitat for Humanity at the annual legislative conference, Habitat on the Hill. Nearly 300 attendees from across the nation, Canada and Mexico gathered to learn, share and advocate for affordable housing.

Habitat on the Hill 2017: Congressional meetings
Habitat on the Hill attendees were able to cover a lot of ground during the annual day on Capitol Hill, meeting with 350 Senate and House congressional offices to talk about this year’s legislative priorities: tax reform and appropriations funding for HOME, SHOP and national service. Habitat representatives, including affiliate staff members, board members, homeowners and campus chapter students, did an excellent job of conveying the importance of Habitat’s policy priorities to members of Congress and their staff members, supporting our network’s ability to help more low-income families secure homeownership opportunities. Attendees reported that they had very positive meetings and that Habitat’s concerns and legislative asks resonated with legislators and staff members. Overall, Habitat was able to make its voice heard in the halls of Congress, reminding lawmakers that our nation is facing an affordable housing crisis and that Habitat has the ideas and policy solutions to address it.

One of the first speakers was Denny Heck, a House Representative from Washington State. Congressman Heck spoke on the importance of looking at housing as a “whole cloth” not a patchwork quilt; meaning the whole continuum of housing-from emergency shelters and supportive housing, to affordable rentals and homeownership- are connected. He also talked about how much he enjoys volunteering with Habitat and how he has helped build over 40 houses with his local affiliate. Congressman Heck encouraged us in times of uncertainty to “Stand up and speak out.” He went on to say that it is now more important than ever to voice our opinions and get involved in local, state, and federal legislature.

After a morning of workshops, we were fortunate enough to be joined by Mathew Desmond, author of the bestselling book Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City. The book follows the lives of eight families living in some of the poorest neighborhoods in Milwaukee and the trials and tribulations that come with being evicted. Desmond’s captivating writing beautifully intertwines quantitative data about poverty and inequality in the United States with real-life stories about families being evicted as well as the landlords doing the evicting. A few statistics Desmond shared include:

•            Most poor renting families devote over half of their income on housing and ¼ spend over 70% on housing in Milwaukee.

•            2/3 of renting families below the poverty line receive NO assistance for housing.

•            In Milwaukee 1 in 5 black women are evicted while 1 in 15 white women are evicted.

Desmond went on to share a story from his book about a young single mother, Arleen and her two sons. I won’t spoil the story as I encourage everyone to read this book, but it is safe to say there was not a dry eye in the room when he was done. One thing in particular that resonated with me from Desmond’s speech was “Eviction is a cause not just a condition of poverty.”

On Wednesday, all roughly 300 of Habitat staff, volunteers, board members, and homeowners were unleashed on the Capitol to meet with local representatives to share our mission, our stories, and our legislative asks.

The asks:

1. Ensure tax reform does not undermine access to adequate, affordable housing or nonprofits’ abilities to meet critical needs

2. Prioritize funding of critical resources four housing and community development in FY18:

a. Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity program (SHOP): $15 million

b. Home Investment Partnerships Program: $1 billion

c. Funds for National and Community Service (AmericCorps & Vista) at $1 billion

I had the pleasure of meeting with staff members from Congressmen Lamar Smith and Llyod Doggett’s offices. This was the first time for anyone from CCHFH to attend Habitat on the Hill and meet with our legislators, so I will admit I was quite nervous on the bus ride to the Capitol. All of my nerves left the building as soon as I sat down with Chris Morris (Lamar Smith’s Legislative aid) and he mentioned that he volunteered with his local affiliate while in college and admired the great work we do. Lloyd Doggett’s legislative aid, Kristen, was equally enthused to talk with me about the great work CCHFH is doing and I invited both her and the congressmen to join us at a job site next time they are in town. 

What a beautiful site it was to see almost 300 other Habitat-ers running through the House and Senate offices advocating for our vision: a place where everyone has a decent place to live. Next year’s Habitat on the Hill will be held February 13-15th, if you are interested in attending please contact me at 830-625-4025 or shaylee@comalhabitat.org.

An Evening in Paris:The story of "Home is Where the Heart is"

March 29, 2017

Red wine, French cream puffs and dim lighting paired with the soft laughter of the guests made for an exceptionally exquisite and well executed evening.  

The evening started at Seekatz Opera House, the venue was beautifully decorated with greenery, umbrellas and lace, which created a certain je ne sais quoi. The guests mingled, enjoyed the catered food and became one with the ambience.

 From there the guests transitioned to the historic Brauntex Theatre to enjoy the 1958 Parisian film, “Gigi”.

During the intermission, a live auction of donated items was up for bid, the generosity created a very energetic and uplifting climate in the theatre. While guests voiced their bid, they enjoyed a delectable cream filled French pastry accompanied by an adult beverage.

 Throughout the evening, guests were able to bid on silent auction items. After the live auction guests continued watching the second half of the film to conclude the evening.

The Avila Family's Habitat Story

March 22, 2017

Mother of three, hardworking, driven to succeed and Habitat homeowner are just a few of the wonderful ways to describe Monica Avila. Monica graduated in 2002 and since has acquired several jobs from selling lunch plates, waitressing, assisting a photographer to now being a Deli Representative at the local HEB and all to support her three children: Mariah, Katrina and Xavier. 

A close coworker of Monica’s told her of the Homeownership Orientation hosted by Comal County Habitat for Humanity, and instantly Monica was determined to attend. From orientation through the entire application process Monica excelled, which later proved she was ready for homeownership and accepted Habitat’s offer to partner in building her a Habitat home.

Today her aspiration and energy for upward mobility in the job ladder also translates into her enthusiasm, desire, and drive to be a homeowner. When the Avila family is not hard at work making their dreams of home ownership come true (as families have to complete 350 hours of sweat equity through building and volunteering), the family enjoys spending quality time together.

“When I went in to apply for Habitat I never would have dreamed of actually moving to the next round nor being one of the three families to get accepted. I instantly thanked God for this amazing blessing. I felt like it was a dream and I needed to be woken up. Then I started my next steps working on my hours and waiting to get a lot. After my frame was on my lot and my foundation was poured it still felt surreal to me. Seeing my walls go up and all the amazing volunteers come each week brought tears to my eyes. Now that I walk through my house seeing the progress go from a single lot to now my very own home, is still amazing to me. It has hit me a little but I think once we sleep our first night in our home it will hit me that this is what I worked so hard on. It just shows me being a single mother, working as hard as I can, thinking I couldn't ever get my dream of being a homeowner to now having it here in front of me just shows me hard work pays off.”

The family thanks each and every one of the volunteers and donors for their dedication and hard work in making their dream of homeownership come true. Monica says "The first thing I want to do when I move into my new home is have the house blessed and have a big gathering."

"Home is Where the Heart is" Fundraising Event

March 22, 2017

Comal County Habitat for Humanity would like to introduce its fourth annual “Home is Where the Heart is” fundraising event! This event is particularly crucial in achieving Comal County Habitat for Humanity’s mission to develop strength, stability and shelter in the Comal County community. Funds raised from the “Home is Where the Heart is” event will directly fund the construction of the Gonzales Family’s Habitat Home scheduled for Spring 2017. Comal County Habitat for Humanity extends the invite of this event to all.

                       Dinner is limited to 200- advanced registration required.
                                 Purchase your ticket before we run out!
Tickets will be available starting Jan. 3, 2017:

Comal County Habitat for Humanity
1269 Industrial Drive
New Braunfels, Texas 78108 

Ticket Prices:
$30 per individual, movie only.
$75 per Individual, includes dinner & movie.
$150 per couple, includes dinner & movie.
$600 to RSVP table of 6, includes dinner & movie. 

If you have any questions please contact events@comalhabitat.org or call the office at 830-625-4025.

 

Comal County Habitat for Humanity
1269 Industrial Dr.
New Braunfels, TX 78130
(830) 625-4025


Public Service Announcement                                             FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

 “HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS”

Bonjour! Comal County Habitat for Humanity is hosting its fourth annual February fundraising event, “Home is Where the Heart is” on Feb. 17, 2017.  Join Comal County Habitat for Humanity on this French themed evening! Starting with a French dinner at the Seekatz Opera House, guests will then walk over to the Brauntex Theatre to enjoy a screening of the 1958 classic, “Gigi.” The evening will also include a silent auction, as well as raffles, fun and wine!

Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and the film will start at 7:00 p.m. The event tickets can be purchased at Comal County Habitat for Humanity:

Comal County Habitat for Humanity
Hours of Operation: Tuesday through Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Location: 1269 Industrial Drive, New Braunfels, TX 78130

Funds raised from the “Home is Where the Heart is” event will directly fund the construction of the Gonzales Family’s Habitat Home scheduled for Spring 2017. For more information regarding how to help build strength, stability & shelter in Comal County community, please visit www.comalhabitat.org

About Comal County Habitat for Humanity
Comal County Habitat for Humanity’s mission is to build safe, decent and affordable homes in partnership with deserving, low-income families. With the help of the community, these future homeowners build their own Habitat homes and upon completion, buy the home from
Comal County Habitat for Humanity at a low-cost, no-interest affordable mortgage.

Contact: Roy Quismundo, Marketing and Volunteer Coordinator
Email: events@comalhabitat.org

#HelpingHabitat

March 15, 2017

The Comal County Habitat for Humanity affiliate was founded on July 28, 1993. Since the debut, the affiliate has partnered with 40 qualified low-income families to build shelter, stability and self-reliance in the Comal County community. Currently, Comal County Habitat for Humanity is the only organization within the county providing affordable homeownership opportunities for families making 30-60% of the area median income. As of fall 2016, all 40 homes have been built with donated funds, labor and materials.

Comal County Habitat for Humanity believes that no matter who we are or where we come from, we all deserve to have a decent life. We deserve to feel strength and stability day after day. We deserve to know we have the power to take care of ourselves and build our own futures. Comal County Habitat for Humanity’s mission is to build strength, stability, self-reliance and shelter in the local community through building safe, decent and affordable houses for people to call home.

3 Ways to Begin #HelpingHabitat Lend a Hand Up, Not a Hand Out:

1. Begin #HelpingHabitat through volunteer work:

Volunteers are the backbone and heart of Habitat whether they wield a hammer, microphone, price gun or keyboard! You can help eliminate substandard housing in the Comal County area. You can do so as an individual or a part of a group. We have a wide variety of volunteer opportunities utilizing many skills; we can find a place for YOU! www.comalhabitat.org/volunteer

2. Begin #HelpingHabitat through donating:

Donate to Build
A Sound Investment in a deserving family's future. Your financial support will bring strength, stability and independence to families in need of a decent place to live. A Habitat home provides the foundation people need to create a better life for themselves and their families.
 - We need individual donors for a single or monthly donation. www.comalhabitat.org/donate  
- We need home sponsors of $5,000 or more. Your organization, church, company or group can make a major impact by helping fund the home. https://www.comalhabitat.org/support-us/

3. Begin #HelpingHabitat through the Comal County Habitat for Humanity ReStore:

Donate Materials to ReStore
Don't throw away your old furniture, donate them! Every item donated to the ReStore is an item kept out of a landfill and items the ReStore can resale. Our donation center is conveniently located behind the ReStore at 1269 Industrial Drive, New Braunfels, Texas 78130. Pull up to the donation center to drop off your items. Alternatively, you can set up your intended donations to be picked up at www.comalhabitat.org/donatetorestore or call 830-625-4025. 

Shop at the ReStore
What better way to support your favorite cause than by shopping! With 100% of profit going back to Comal County Habitat for Humanity, shopping at the ReStore is an excellent way to help build homes in the Comal County community. The ReStore provides a selection of gently used or new items ranging from furniture, appliance, construction material and much more.

Comal County Habitat for Humanity ReStore:
Location: 1269 Industrial Drive, New Braunfels, Texas 78130
Hours of Operation: Tuesday- Saturday 9:00 am to 4:00 pm

“Everyone needs a foundation to build a future. Every home is a building block. Every donation helps a family help themselves. Every helping hand makes a difference.”

Lending a Hand Up, Not a Hand Out

Major Sponsors help us build homes in Comal County

secret