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Dad Build 2020 News Release image

Dad Build 2020 Press Release

Moms, dads, and families volunteer to help renovate the new home of Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity in Pluckemin.

Pluckemin, NJ (August 13, 2020) – Parent and child teams are helping to renovate the historic Burd House, the future home of Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity (RV Habitat) in Pluckemin, New Jersey. The build teams formed to celebrate “Dad Build,” a Father’s Day fundraising event open to family teams with children over 16 years of age.

The teams painted and sanded exterior siding and trim while learning new skills from RV Habitat site supervisors on hand. The Burd House was built in 1839 and is located on the property of Pluckemin Presbyterian Church and owned by the church. RV Habitat will move into the new space this fall with the help of community members such as the moms, dads, sons, and daughters who volunteered to help renovate a piece of historic property.

Several of the participants shared the reasons they volunteer. From Jack, who volunteered with his mom, “I came to learn more about Habitat and enjoy the time with my mom to help the community.” From Melinda, who came with her son, “We came out today to spend some time together for a nice cause for other people.” And from Cicely, who brought her two daughters, “We came out today to support Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity. We’re a partner family and we’re so excited to assist in helping to create their new office space.”

“The parent and child partnership is a great opportunity for families to learn new skills together while contributing to a meaningful community project that will help to deepen our roots in Pluckemin.” said Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Jan Holmstrup. “We welcome more parents and children, individuals, and corporate teams for the Pluckemin build and to our next home build with Cicely and her family in Montgomery Township.”

RV Habitat has volunteer openings for regular shifts on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays at the Pluckemin office site, as well as for future construction on RV Habitat’s 54th home in Montgomery Township that will begin in late September 2020. RV Habitat’s newest partner is Cicely Caldwell, a single mother living in Flemington. Ms. Caldwell and two of her daughters attended one of the Dad Build events to contribute to the office renovation and meet volunteers. Volunteers also got to meet Josephine Awadalla, the daughter of a RV Habitat partner family who have been living in their home for several years.

When asked how Habitat impacted her life, Ms. Awadalla told us, “As I was growing up, Habitat for Humanity had a drastic influence on my identity, on who I became, and how I viewed the entire world and humanity itself.” Ms. Awadalla is now a junior at Rutgers University studying public health, a career choice inspired by her experience with Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity. “There is nothing like going home after a long day for everyone in my family. It’s our favorite spot to be since our home is built on the dedication of beautiful families and the hard work of donors.”

Wells Fargo Builds

#WellsFargoBuilds Press Release

Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity and Wells Fargo team in Montgomery Township, New Jersey and across the country to help build affordable housing.

Somerville, N.J. (July 21, 2020) – The Wells Fargo Foundation has awarded Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity with a $15,000 grant to build an affordable home in Montgomery Township, N.J. The funding is part of an $8.1 million donation to Habitat for Humanity International for capacity building and direct mission support to build, renovate and repair more than 350 affordable homes across the United States. The funding is provided through Wells Fargo Builds℠ and part of the Wells Fargo Foundation’s $1 billion philanthropic commitment to create more housing affordability solutions by 2025.

“We’ve had a rich history of working with Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity to strengthen our neighborhoods through philanthropy and volunteerism,” said Greg White, Wells Fargo’s Northern New Jersey region bank president. “Safe and stable housing enables people to build upon the rest of their life and, together, we can shift the narrative to help others understand that housing affordability is both an economic and humanitarian crisis that’s taking a toll on millions of people.”

Wells Fargo Builds provides philanthropic financial support from the Wells Fargo Foundation to aid the construction, renovation, painting or repairing of homes with low-to-moderate income households. In 2019 alone, Wells Fargo employees volunteered more than 1.9 million hours of service to strengthen their communities, including building, repairing, and improving 674 homes across the U.S. with several organizations through Wells Fargo Builds.

“Our partnership with the Wells Fargo Foundation and the local Wells Fargo employees will strengthen the community and help build strength, stability, and self-reliance through affordable home ownership. We are so thankful for Wells Fargo’s commitment to affordable homeownership opportunities and volunteerism,” said Jan Holmstrup, executive director for Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity.

The grant will support the construction of Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity’s 54th home in Montgomery Township, New Jersey. Our newest partner is Cicely Caldwell, a single mother to five children, currently living in Flemington. When asked about the impact of being a Habitat partner, Caldwell told us “Habitat miraculously provided me, a single mom, with the opportunity to become a homeowner, and it just means everything to me and my children.”

About Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity
Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity (RV Habitat) puts God’s love into action and brings people together to build homes, communities and hope. Our vision is a time when everyone in Hunterdon and Somerset counties has a decent place to live. Since 1991, RV Habitat has been building strength, stability and self-reliance through affordable home ownership opportunities for hard-working, local families.

COH image

#CostofHome Press Release

Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity Raises Awareness of Home Affordability Through Nationwide Cost of Home Campaign.

Somerville, NJ: July 7, 2020–
For a long time Andrea and her children couldn’t afford a decent place to live. Though Andrea was hard working, she had a low wage job and was barely able to afford the lowest rent in her area – an average two-bedroom apartment was over $1,700. She became caught in a punishing cycle of working two jobs to pay for a substandard, unhealthy apartment, that the family would tolerate for a while, and then pick up and move once the poor living conditions became too much. Her last apartment was prone to water leaks, which she believed caused her 5 year old daughter’s asthma. Andrea had a debate in her head every night as she laid awake: stay in the semi-affordable home that may be causing the asthma, so that she could afford groceries and put a little money aside each month, or move once again, pay more money for a “better” place and then cut way back on groceries, dental visits, and saving for emergencies. There was never a clear answer, so Andrea rarely slept well. The cost of affording a simple, decent place to live is a source of worry and concern for millions of Americans, but it shouldn’t have to be.

This summer marks one-year of Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity’s (RV Habitat) involvement in a nationwide home affordability advocacy campaign developed by Habitat for Humanity International called Cost of Home. The campaign involves Habitat organizations across the country united to educate the public and to invite them to advocate for action to improve home affordability for 10 million people in the U.S. over a five-year period.

Families living all across the country, and in New Jersey in particular, are paying too much to cover the cost of their homes, often foregoing basic necessities such as food and health care, and living in overcrowded, unsafe conditions to make ends meet. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, 1 in 5 households in New Jersey are severely rent-burdened, which means they spend 50% or more of their income on rent. The need for affordable homes is surprisingly urgent, even in thriving communities like Somerset and Hunterdon Counties, where it takes a minimum wage worker like an essential grocery store clerk or gas station attendant, 3.8 full time jobs to afford a $1,746 per month, two-bedroom fair market rental.

According to RV Habitat Executive Director Jan Holmstrup, “So many families in our area are forced to live in unhealthy, overcrowded conditions. It’s all they can afford in order to put food on the table. These families move often in search of a better place to live, which takes a toll on their children’s education, and social and emotional wellbeing. They’re often faced with making difficult choices, like whether to pay rent or take their child to see a doctor. No one should have to make these trade-offs.”

As the significant economic impacts of COVID-19 continue to unfold, the number of families struggling to make ends meet while still not living in a decent home is only growing. As lawmakers figure out future COVID-19 relief programs, they must be urged to include further support for families struggling to afford life’s essentials, as well as resources for nonprofits like Habitat for Humanity that serve our communities. RV Habitat urges the community to join in advocacy by taking some simple actions. You can go to www.habitat.org/costofhome and send a pre-written, customizable e-mail message to your state representatives to encourage them to prioritize the needs of low-income families and the organizations that work hard to serve them. You can also participate in the campaign on social media by sharing campaign support messages accessible through www.habitat.org/costofhome using #costofhome.

RV Habitat has provided home ownership opportunities and brighter futures to Andrea and her family, as well as 52 other families in Hunterdon and Somerset counties, including 139 children. All children deserve to grow up surrounded by the warmth, safety and comfort of a place they call home, where they can sleep at night in a comfortable bed, play in their neighborhood and celebrate their birthdays – a place that will become the backdrop to all of their childhood memories.

RV Habitat is beginning to build a home in Montgomery Township this month in partnership with the community and its 54th partner homeowner family, and expects to begin building in Hunterdon County in the near future. To support these projects by making a donation, please click the button below or mail a donation to Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity, P.O. Box 6275 Bridgewater, NJ 08807.

You can also get involved in supporting RV Habitat as a volunteer. RV Habitat is currently looking for help with construction projects and for assistance in our ReStore in Manville. Click the button below to find out more.

 

About Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity

Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity (RV Habitat) puts God’s love into action and brings people together to build homes, communities and hope. Our vision is a time when everyone in Hunterdon and Somerset counties has a decent place to live. Since 1991, RV Habitat has been building strength, stability and self-reliance through affordable home ownership opportunities for hard-working, local families. To learn more, explore our website and follow RV Habitat on social media by clicking the buttons below.

COVID-19 Response

To our Supporters and Friends

Impacts of COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Dear Raritan Valley Habitat Supporters, Customers, Volunteers, Homeowners and Friends,

Due to the ongoing spread of the Coronavirus, we must do our part to minimize transmission and protect you and our staff. Toward that end, we’re taking the following actions effective Monday, March 16:

  • The RV Habitat office is closed. Administrative staff will be working from home, regularly checking phone and email messages.

  • Our Habitat ReStore in Manville will be closed to the public for two (2) weeks starting Tuesday, March 17 through Monday, March 30. At that time, we’ll assess the situation and determine whether we can reopen or need to extend the store closing. ReStore staff will monitor phone and email messages during this time.

  • Pickups of ReStore merchandise will be suspended after Tuesday, March 17. ReStore staff will contact donors who have pickups scheduled to reschedule these pickups.

  • The Habitat Youth Rainbow Run 5K Walk/Run scheduled for April 19 is postponed. A new date will be announced at the earliest opportunity.
  • To the extent possible, the contractors at our new home build site in Montgomery Township will continue with excavation and installation of the septic system.

Though we are in a time of extreme uncertainty, we are hopeful that our projects, volunteer opportunities, and operations will normalize in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, we encourage our Hunterdon and Somerset County neighbors to be mindful of how we can all positively impact our communities. Right now, that means social distancing, practicing good hygiene, and supporting businesses and neighbors in whatever ways we can. We look forward to a time very soon when the Raritan Valley Habitat office, ReStore, and build sites will reopen and events will proceed.

We’re hopeful that it won’t be long before we can welcome you back, and, together, celebrate the importance of a strong community!

We’re reminded, now more than ever, how having a safe and decent place to live brings the sense of security, stability and hope that all of us need, and deserve, to weather storms like this.

We greatly appreciate your continued support, and wish you and your families the very best during this challenging time.

Jan Holmstrup signature

Jan Holmstrup
Executive Director

Homeowner Orientation Sessions

Interested in building and buying an affordably-priced home in Somerset County? Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity (RVHFH) will be hosting three information sessions for potential applicants for its next project. Starting in the fall of 2019, RVHFH will be building a 3- or 4-bedroom handicapped adaptable (accessible if needed) home in Montgomery Township, Somerset County.

Anyone interested in applying for this home must attend ONE of the sessions in order to learn about the project and the program requirements and to obtain an application.

Qualifying applicants must be in the moderate-income range with a minimum annual gross income of $48,300 (for the 3-bedroom) and $55,500 (for the 4 bedroom) and a maximum annual gross income of $73,350 (3-person family); $81,450 (4-person family); $88,000 (5-person family); and $94,500 (6-person family). The family must have the ability to repay the 0% interest mortgage plus taxes, insurance and other costs of homeownership; be willing to partner with RVHFH through 250-500 hours of “sweat equity”; and meet other criteria listed on the website. All requirements will be explained at the sessions.

Interested persons must attend one of the following sessions:

  • Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019
    1:00 pm
    Montgomery Evangelical Free Church
    246 Belle Mead Griggstown Rd.,
    Belle Mead, NJ 08502
  • Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019
    1:00 pm
    Blawenberg Reformed Church *
    424 Route 518
    Skillman, NJ 08558
  • Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019
    6:00 pm
    Otto Kaufman Community Center
    356 Skillman Rd.
    Skillman, NJ 08558

Each site is accessible and has free parking.
* Restrooms at Blawenburg Church (also accessible) are in a separate building
Come early! Meeting doors close promptly at starting time; latecomers will not be admitted.

Homeowner Orientation Schedule

Homeowner Orientation Schedule

Starting in the fall of 2019, RVHFH will be building a 3- or 4-bedroom handicapped adaptable (accessible if needed) home in Montgomery Township, Somerset County.

Anyone interested in applying for this home must attend ONE of the sessions in order to learn about the project and the program requirements and to obtain an application.

Qualifying applicants must be in the moderate-income range with a minimum annual gross income of $48,300 (for the 3-bedroom) and $55,500 (for the 4 bedroom) and a maximum annual gross income of $73,350 (3-person family); $81,450 (4-person family); $88,000 (5-person family); and $94,500 (6-person family). The family must have the ability to repay the 0% interest mortgage plus taxes, insurance and other costs of homeownership; be willing to partner with RVHFH through 250-500 hours of “sweat equity”; and meet other criteria listed on the website. All requirements will be explained at the sessions.

Interested persons must attend one of the following sessions:

RSVP Here

I would like to attend one of the scheduled Homeowner Orientation Sessions

Please enter your contact info below

Please choose which session to attend

At this time there are no scheduled Homeowner Orientation Sessions.

Submit the form below to be informed of future scheduled Homeowner Orientation Sessions.

I am interested in learning more. Please add my name to the list of potential RVHFH homeowner applicants and keep me informed of future scheduled Homeowner Orientation sessions.  

Please enter your contact info below

Youth Volunteer Two

Youth Volunteer Opportunities

You have the power to transform lives while gaining life-long skills, making new friends and having fun in your local community!  You are the future!  Your dedication to our vision, a time when everyone has a decent place to live, will make a difference in your community.

Benefits of volunteering with Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity include the ability to:

  • Meet and work with a diverse group of people, including other volunteers and future Habitat homeowners
  • Become involved in the strengthening of your own neighborhoods and communities
  • Participate in meaningful work resulting in a sense of accomplishment
  • Build leadership skills and foster teamwork among your peers
  • Gain a better understanding of the need for affordable homes
  • Learn valuable life skills as you engage in community service opportunities
  • Make a difference!

All Ages

Collect Household Items for a Partner Family

Partner families have given our Family Services Team lists of items that would help them once they move into their new home.  The lists range from kitchen items to cleaning items to tools to maintain their gardens and yards.  If you’re interested in collecting items, please email Iris Alston at ialston@rvhabitat.org. 

Share Some Treats and Words of Kindness

Our Wednesday/Thursday Crew are a dedicated group and they come out and work on the homes every week.  They share their time and talents with us by completing work that is more specialized so corporate and volunteer teams can come out and have a safe, rewarding experience on site.  Give back by putting together bags of treats with a note for each volunteer about the work they’re doing to help the community.  If you’re interested, please email Rebecca Maier to coordinate the details and which date you’d like to come out on site.

Ages 13+

Volunteer at Our Habitat for Humanity ReStore

Help out at our Habitat ReStore located at the Marketplace at Manville.  You can participate in a variety of ways including setting up displays, helping and greeting customers and more!  You’ll get retail experience and help the store that builds homes.  To volunteer at the ReStore please complete the form on the ReStore page.

Habitat for Humanity Clubs

Several high schools in the area, including Bridgewater-Raritan, Hillsborough, Immaculata, Montgomery, Somerville, North Hunterdon, Voorhees and Watchung Hills Regional, have Habitat for Humanity Clubs that you can join.  These Habitat Clubs host local fundraisers, share the mission of Habitat with others and are invited to participate in a variety of ways with the local affiliate, Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity.

Students who participate in these Clubs are welcome to be a part of the Habitat Youth Council.  These students from local high schools meet once a month at the Microsoft Store at Bridgewater Commons to discuss large-scale fundraisers and events that engage the community as well as the students at their schools.  Our projects include site tours and our annual Habitat Youth Rainbow Run 5K.

Join or Start a Habitat for Humanity Club at Your School

To establish a club:

  • Give us a call and let us know you’re interested in starting a club at your school (908) 704-0016 ext. 18
  • Speak with your school’s Principal or Vice Principal
  • Find a faculty advisor
  • Elect a president, vice president, secretary and treasurer

Habitat Clubs typically:

  • Schedule monthly meetings for students
  • Plan and coordinate local fundraising and awareness events such as gingerbread building competitions, movie nights and bake sales at their high schools
  • Volunteer on construction sites (ages 16 and older) or in the ReStore (ages 13 and older)
  • Advocate for affordable housing
  • Gain valuable skills and experience

Ages 16+

Office Opportunities

If you’d like to come to our office in Somerville for volunteer hours, we have opportunities to help with creative art projects, photography at events, marketing materials and social media.  Please contact Rebecca Maier to discuss what you’re interested in doing.

On-Site Opportunities

We have opportunities available on our construction site including landscaping and painting.  If you’re interested in being notified prior to this aspect of construction, please send your name, email address and phone number to rmaier@rvhabitat.org

Youth Volunteer

Youth Volunteer Opportunities

You have the power to transform lives while gaining life-long skills, making new friends and having fun in your local community!  You are the future!  Your dedication to our vision, a time when everyone has a decent place to live, will make a difference in your community.

Benefits of volunteering with Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity include the ability to:

  • Meet and work with a diverse group of people, including other volunteers and future Habitat homeowners
  • Become involved in the strengthening of your own neighborhoods and communities
  • Participate in meaningful work resulting in a sense of accomplishment
  • Build leadership skills and foster teamwork among your peers
  • Gain a better understanding of the need for affordable homes
  • Learn valuable life skills as you engage in community service opportunities
  • Make a difference!

All Ages

Collect Household Items for a Partner Family

Partner families have given our Family Services Team lists of items that would help them once they move into their new home.  The lists range from kitchen items to cleaning items to tools to maintain their gardens and yards.  If you’re interested in collecting items, please contact us at  volmgr@rvhabitat.org. 

Share Some Treats and Words of Kindness

Our Wednesday/Thursday Crew are a dedicated group and they come out and work on the homes every week.  They share their time and talents with us by completing work that is more specialized so corporate and volunteer teams can come out and have a safe, rewarding experience on site.  Give back by putting together bags of treats with a note for each volunteer about the work they’re doing to help the community.  If you’re interested, please email us at volmgr@rvhabitat.org to coordinate the details and which date you’d like to come out on site.

Ages 13+

Volunteer at Our Habitat for Humanity ReStore

Help out at our Habitat ReStore located at the Marketplace at Manville.  You can participate in a variety of ways including setting up displays, helping and greeting customers and more!  You’ll get retail experience and help the store that builds homes.  To volunteer at the ReStore please complete the form on the ReStore page.

Habitat for Humanity Clubs

Several high schools in the area, including Bridgewater-Raritan, Hillsborough, Immaculata, Montgomery, Somerville, North Hunterdon, Voorhees and Watchung Hills Regional, have Habitat for Humanity Clubs that you can join.  These Habitat Clubs host local fundraisers, share the mission of Habitat with others and are invited to participate in a variety of ways with the local affiliate, Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity.

Several students from each club are part of the Habitat Youth Council which meets once a month at the Microsoft Store at Bridgewater Commons to plan large-scale fundraisers and events that engage the community as well as the students at their schools.  Our projects include site tours and our annual Habitat Youth Rainbow Run 5K.

Join or Start a Habitat for Humanity Club at Your School

To establish a club:

  • Give us a call and let us know you’re interested in starting a club at your school (908) 704-0016 ext. 18
  • Speak with your school’s Principal or Vice Principal
  • Find a faculty advisor
  • Elect a president, vice president, secretary and treasurer

Habitat Clubs typically:

  • Schedule monthly meetings for students
  • Plan and coordinate local fundraising and awareness events such as gingerbread building competitions, movie nights and bake sales at their high schools
  • Volunteer on construction sites (ages 16 and older) or in the ReStore (ages 13 and older)
  • Advocate for affordable housing
  • Gain valuable skills and experience

Ages 16+

Office Opportunities

If you’d like to come to our office in Somerville for volunteer hours, we have opportunities to help with creative art projects, photography at events, marketing materials and social media.  Please contact us to discuss what you’re interested in doing.

On-Site Opportunities

We have opportunities available on our construction site including landscaping and painting.  If you’re interested in being notified prior to this aspect of construction, please send your name, email address and phone number to volmgr@rvhabitat.org

HOME

everyone deserves a decent place to live!

Letter to our Supporters and Friends

Truth and Reconciliation:
A statement by NJ Habitat for Humanity Affiliates

Building strength, stability and
self-reliance through shelter

Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit organization that helps families build and improve places to call home. We believe affordable housing plays a critical role in strong and stable communities. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes, alongside volunteers, and pay an affordable mortgage. With our help, Habitat homeowners achieve the strength, stability and independence they need to build a better life for themselves and their families.

VOLUNTEER

Volunteers are the heart and soul of Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity. Get involved, warm your heart, learn valuable skills, meet incredible people, and change the lives of families in Somerset and Hunterdon counties forever.

DONATE

Invest in the mission of Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity. Help individuals and families build bright futures in homes of their own in safe, thriving neighborhoods. Help create communities where everyone has a decent place to live.

OWN A HOME

Achieve the dream of homeownership! Learn how to qualify and/or apply for a Habitat home.



Our vision is a time when everyone
in Hunterdon and Somerset counties
has a decent place to live.

Habitat News

Dad Build 2020 News Release image

Dad Build 2020 Press Release

Moms, dads, and families volunteer to help renovate the new home of Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity in Pluckemin. Pluckemin, NJ (August 13, 2020) – …

Read More →
Wells Fargo Builds

#WellsFargoBuilds Press Release

Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity and Wells Fargo team in Montgomery Township, New Jersey and across the country to help build affordable housing. Somerville, N.J. …

Read More →
COH image

#CostofHome Press Release

Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity Raises Awareness of Home Affordability Through Nationwide Cost of Home Campaign. Somerville, NJ: July 7, 2020– For a long time …

Read More →

Community Partnerships

Habitat Events

Dad Build 2020 header

Dad Build 2020

Join us for Dad Build 2020! In honor of Father’s Day, we are inviting dads to build alongside your son or daughter (age 16+) or …

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Giving Tuesday Now logo

Giving Tuesday

#GivingTuesday is May 5, 2020 Usually the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving, Giving Tuesday has been moved this year in response to the economic impact of …

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shelter strong header

Shelter Strong

RV Habitat and the Habitat Youth Council Present Shelter Strong April 19-25, 2020. Join RV Habitat and Habitat Youth,  families and friends, for a week …

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