Affiliate History and Overview
Garrett County Habitat for Humanity was organized in 1983 and incorporated in the State of Maryland in 1984. Since 1983, we have built 76 houses, but including our rehab and repair work in conjunction with other agencies, we have touched the lives of 213 families in Garrett County. Our building rate, based on houses built for every 10,000 people is above both the median and average in our region.
We have well established and successful fundraising from our Square Foot Club, 2 community events and a big Christmas wreath sale (wreaths are made by Habitat homeowners). We also host workcamp groups who bring financial gifts, some far and beyond our fee. Our local churches (20+) support us financially, volunteering at the site and partner in hosting our workers with housing and food.
Although we have 75 partner families our staff is very small. We have a full-time administrative director and a full-time administrative assistant. It takes many other volunteers to keep our affiliate on the move – that would be an additional 250 (+) volunteers that work on committees, at the site, fundraisers, supervisors, food, housing, etc.
Houses are built using tax-deductible contributions of land, materials and money, the labor of volunteers, and the “sweat equity” labor of homeowner families. Volunteer labor is used almost exclusively in the construction of these projects. Each family must donate 250 hours of labor per adult persons in the household. This sweat equity can be applied to the construction of their own home, the construction of homes for others, assisting the office in mailing projects and other Habitat projects. Homes are sold to families at cost with a no-interest 30-year mortgage loan. Families are selected basis of housing need, willingness to partner with Habitat and ability to repay the loan. Mortgage payments received from homeowners are recycled directly into a revolving fund used for the construction of additional homes in Garrett County.
The recent census showed that over 62 homes in Garrett County did not have indoor running water, that over 262 families were living in two rooms or less. We have great need. That same census showed that 77% of families in Garrett County have their own homes, but that over 50% of those homes are over 60 years old and in need of repairs and many are trailers.
Our annual funding comes mostly from contributions by individuals. The only government funding we use is a SHOP grant through HUD. We do have a Square Foot Club and a Dream Builders Society but again most of our funding is by individuals.