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UPDATE FROM E.J. THOMAS, PRES. & CEO, HABITAT MIDOHIO

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

The mission of Habitat MidOhio is helping deserving families in Central Ohio achieve or maintain, safe, decent and affordable homes.  The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted just how important a safe home is to a family, as many are now forced to spend much more time in the place they call “home.”  

At this point we have already helped more than 60 families this fiscal year – that toward our original goal of 100.  However, like for almost every business and non-profit organization, COVID-19 restrictions have mandated what was, for us, a total shutdown of construction worksites and our three ReStores for two months. Predictably, as a result of related changing economic circumstances, there was little choice but to reset what will be achievable goals for families served this fiscal year, ending June 30th. 

But we are on our way back!   

We’re moving to spool up work on our build sites, reengage our great volunteers, and reopen our stores -- all with proper safety measure in place in accordance with CDC suggested and state-imposed guidelines.  With current projects underway, and as we have prioritized those that can be completed quickly, our affiliate is targeting to serve at least 80 families before the fiscal year is out.  Quite a remarkable feat considering the circumstances!  Know it simply would not be possible without the MidOhio staff and AmeriCorps members who have continued to persevere, so that our partner families can get the services they desperately need.  

I want to share with you that the entire HFHMO team has been working hard to ensure that we are able to continue our mission throughout this unprecedented time, with an eye to the future, so we will be here to serve families for many years to come. Specifically, that eye is focused on our financial stability. 

As we look to FY21 beginning July 1st, it’s not possible today to predict with precision exactly what our families-served goal will be for the year.  Much of that will depend on how quickly our ReStore sales rebound, and how many of our generous donors will be able to continue to support our mission.  So far, the projection for the ReStores is encouraging, as our first week of business since the shutdown started was quite successful. 

As prudent stewards of our resources, and from a fiscally conservative perspective, the affiliate made the decision to reduce the number of new homes we will be building in the coming year.  However, we still expect that 15-18 partner families will have their dream of homeownership realized. Further, we will complete as many home repairs as Habitat MidOhio can afford.  

Know that our plans have two objectives in mind: Serving as many families as possible, while ensuring the financial stability, viability and strength of the organization needed for the long haul. With these important goals in mind, allow me to sincerely thank each of you for supporting our mission and helping us to continue to develop and maintain affordable housing throughout Central Ohio. Further, please know how much we have appreciated the above and beyond financial help many of you have provided to the Fund for Humanity, along with the encouraging moral support that’s been shared with so many of our Habitat team.   

E.J.

Monday March 23, 2020 (updated April 6, 2020)

To our Habitat MidOhio Families & Friends…

In adherence with the Stay at Home order from Governor Mike DeWine, Habitat MidOhio’s Family & Program Center, as well as our three MidOhio ReStores, will remain closed.  

We will continue to respond to phone calls or return any voicemails left for us at (614) 422-4828 or emails sent to
info@habitatmidohio.org.

For ReStore donation inquiries please call our donation line (614) 364-7028, or visit our website.

Your health and safety are important to us and we are eager to continue responding to the need for decent and affordable housing as soon as possible.

Keep your family and loved ones safe!

E.J.

 

FROM E.J. THOMAS, PRES. & CEO

March 18, 2020 (updated on April 7, 2020)

Dear Friends, 

Our team has been closely monitoring the escalations surrounding Coronavirus / COVID-19, and we believe now is the time for us to do even more to protect you, our team, Habitat partner families, and the community for which we care deeply. I'm writing today to share how we are increasing our efforts to help flatten the curve of this harmful disease during the weeks ahead. 

This is an increasingly difficult time for people, businesses, and organizations all across the country and our community. As a nonprofit that relies entirely on the support of others, please know we are making these difficult decisions prayerfully—but we need your help. So as to be fully transparent, here are the protective measures we are enacting today: 

Habitat for Humanity-MidOhio Family & Program Center, powered by the AEP Foundation / Here's what we're doing: 

Our administrative offices are now closed to the public.. 

Our staff is available and actively working remotely, replying to phone calls, voicemails, and emails during this time. Any scheduled meetings are being held remotely in compliance with recommended social distancing practices. 

Here's how you can help us: 

We urgently need your financial support! As businesses throughout our community are impacted by closures, so are many Habitat homeowners who make their family's living in the service industry. As a result, our partner families will certainly be concerned about continuing to make their mortgage payments. Know we are committed to working with each family during this uncertain time, but we need your financial support to sustain us in that.

Please consider any financial support possible and click here to give a gift online or see other ways to give. When you give, you'll help us do more to help our partner families. 

Habitat MidOhio ReStores / Here's what we're doing: 

All ReStores are now closed to the public until at least May 1st. 

Until April 6th, we are pausing donation drop-offs and are working to reschedule donation pickups that are currently scheduled. We do rely on your donated items, so please keep reading to see how you can help. 

Here's how you can help us: 

ReStores are a key part of how we build and repair homes with local families, and this downtime will certainly be a hit to that effort. We will urgently need your donated items when we return. If you're planning a donation drop-off, please hang on to your items and drop them off when we open again.

You can continue to request free donation pickups on our website, but please remember that we aren't able to resume pickups until the ReStores are open again. Click here to learn more about donating items and schedule your free donation pickup

Habitat MidOhio Volunteers / Here's what we're doing: 

We are cancelling all ReStore volunteers and all work on Habitat job sites until May 1st. 

We are contacting all currently scheduled volunteers to reschedule or cancel their assignments. 

Here's how you can help us: 

Take steps to stay healthy—we have a busy build season ahead of us and we'll need your help to build homes once production resumes! 

Habitat Partner Families and Homeowners / Here's what we're doing: 

We are cancelling upcoming Habitat partner family education classes and will communicate those cancellations directly with affected families and facilitators. 

Our Homeowner Services team is available to offer referral services to other agencies who have resources if you or your family have been affected by the Coronavirus / COVID-19. Our team is here to help you in any way we can. 

Homeowners are encouraged to continue to make their mortgage payments as they typically do and to stay in touch with us. 

Here's how you can help us. 

Stay in touch with our Homeowner Services team if you have questions or concerns during this time. Call Lisa Jones at (614) 419-4387 or email at ljones@habitatmidohio.org and she will be available to assist you. 

Join Together in Support and Grace 

This disease most vigorously affects the most vulnerable in our communities, so please join us in praying for those who are already ill, those who may become ill and our government leaders and medical professionals. Pray for protection over our entire community and all those who come into contact with and depend upon our Habitat MidOhio mission. 

As previously stated, once this challenge is behind us, we’ll have a very busy Habitat build season ahead! So take precautions to stay safe and healthy, take time to rest up, and be ready to build hope for families who need the strong foundation of decent, affordable housing.

Above all, let's be there to support one another during this difficult time. If you have any questions, please get in touch. Simply call (614) 422-4828 or email us at info@habitatmidohio.org

Please know how much we appreciate all you bring to our mission, for without your support, ours would not exist. 

With gratitude for your support, 

E.J.

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