News

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Thrivent/RV Habitat News Release

Thrivent and Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity partner to help families stay in their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Somerville, New Jersey (Dec. 29, 2020) – Thrivent is awarding Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity (RV Habitat) a contribution of $5,000 to help families in Hunterdon and Somerset Counties stay in their homes. Thrivent’s donation will allow Habitat to provide mortgage relief to Habitat homeowners who need temporary assistance making their mortgage payments during the COVID-19 pandemic. With Thrivent’s support, RV Habitat will sustain affordable homeownership costs for its homeowner families in Hunterdon and Somerset Counties.

Prior to the spread of the novel coronavirus, more than 18 million households across the U.S. were paying half or more of their income on a place to live. As the pandemic continues to cause job disruption and economic fallout, many households are enduring lay-offs, unemployment, and pay cuts. This wage loss has amplified the financial burden on households to maintain essential payments and can result in families having to trade-off between bills, mortgage, or medical care.

“We’re thankful for Thrivent’s financial support to provide critical funding during this challenging time,” said Jan Holmstrup, Executive Director at Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity. “It will go a long way to help defray the costs of monthly housing for our homeowners who have been financially affected by the pandemic. It will also provide them a great amount of relief during the holiday season.”

RV Habitat is one of 100 local Habitat organizations across the nation partnering with Thrivent to help families stay in their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic. In total, Thrivent is donating $750,000 to Habitat for Humanity to assist with mortgage-related relief and prevent foreclosures across the U.S.

“This year has been incredibly difficult for many people as financial hardship has added stress and anxiety to daily lives,” said Nikki Sorum, senior vice president of Thrivent Advisors at Thrivent. “This pandemic has underscored how important it is for people to have safe, affordable homes. Given all we have endured in 2020, we are especially honored to provide financial support to Habitat for Humanity to help people stay in their homes so they can continue to build toward financial stability.”

In 2019 Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity was awarded a $5,000 Thrivent sponsored Building on Faith grant. In association with this grant, RV Habitat hosted a Building on Faith Community Service Day where over 100 volunteers were broken into work teams that accomplished eight maintenance projects needed by local faith-based organizations. 

Habitat for Humanity and Thrivent began their partnership in 2005. Over the past 15 years, Thrivent and their clients have contributed more than $275 million to Habitat and have partnered with families to build safe, affordable homes across the U.S. and around the world.

 

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 support these projects by making a donation, please visit www.rvhabitat.org/give or mail a donation to Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity, P.O. Box 6275 Bridgewater, NJ 08807. For individuals (ages 16+) and groups who would like to volunteer on the Montgomery Township build site, visit www.rvhabitat.org/volunteer.

 About Thrivent

Thrivent is a diversified financial services organization that helps people achieve financial clarity, enabling lives full of meaning and gratitude. As a mission-driven, membership-owned organization, it offers its more than 2 million members and customers a broad range of financial products, services and guidance. Thrivent and its subsidiary and affiliate companies offer insurance, investments, banking and advice over the phone, online as well as through financial professionals and independent agents nationwide. Thrivent is a Fortune 500 company with $152 billion in assets under management/advisement (as of 12/31/19). Thrivent carries an A++ (Superior) rating from AM Best, a credit rating agency; this is the highest of the agency’s 16 ratings categories and was affirmed in May of 2019. For more information, visit Thrivent.com. You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Montgomery Community Build Day

Raritan Valley Habitat Holds Community Build Day With Montgomery Twp. Volunteers

Somerville, NJ: A group of Montgomery Township residents set aside their busy Saturday schedules on December 12th to support the construction of Montgomery’s first Habitat home on Willow Road in the Belle Mead section of the township. It was a cloudy, cold morning, but that didn’t dampen the spirits of this eager crew who were determined to help their soon-to-be neighbors, Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity future partner homeowner Cicely C. and one of children, her daughter Jordan.

The volunteer group included Township Committee Member, Devra Keenan; Township Administrator, Donato Nieman and his wife Roberta; two members of the Rocky Hill Rotary Club, Sharon Prosinski and Paul Blodgett; and additional township residents, Joe Giordano and Katherine Powell. Montgomery Township Mayor Sadaf Jaffer also stopped by to greet and thank the volunteers.

The volunteers worked with a circular saw spending hours cutting and then installing studs, to form the framework of the walls, windows and doors of the home. As if that weren’t enough, they also organized the site’s shed and trailer areas with new tools and equipment that had been delivered that day, to ensure easy access to items for future volunteer groups. Roberta Nieman commented, “I have always enjoyed volunteering. It is a great way to give back! I am an organizer, so I enjoyed the work and the visible improvements we were able to accomplish.”

All involved enjoyed the opportunity to meet and get to know Cicely and Jordan. Katherine Powell commented, ”The best thing about the day was meeting the homeowner and her daughter, and hearing the heartfelt gratitude for all the volunteers helping to make her dream of homeownership a reality.”

Two volunteers inquired about joining Raritan Valley Habitat’s “workday faithful” group. The workday faithful’s are a dedicated group of construction volunteers (some have been with the organization for 10 or more years) that come out every Wednesday and Thursday and perform much of the home’s construction work.

The day concluded with a lunch, generously donated by Powered Services, LLC. Meg Helms, President of RV Habitat’s Board of Directors and 33 year Montgomery Township resident, thanked the volunteers and had this to say, “I am so grateful but not at all surprised by the enthusiastic support my hometown, Montgomery, continues to provide for our first home build in the town! I personally knew half the volunteers, from the town council’s Donato Nieman and his wife, Roberta, to our wonderful Rotary club friends Paul and Sharon (a group my husband also belongs to). That community support directly benefits Cicely and her children, who I hope will grow to love Montgomery as much as we all do.”

Are you interested in getting involved in helping Cicely and her family as they build a brighter future? Whether you are a do-it-yourself home project person or an experienced construction worker seeking to join the workday faithful volunteers, there are still opportunities available to get involved. Just e-mail Iris Alston, RV Habitat Program Manager, at info@rvhabitat.org with Willow Road in the subject line.
You can also support Cicely’s home build and other projects like it by making a donation. Please visit www.rvhabitat.org/donate or you can mail a donation to Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity, P.O. Box 6275 Bridgewater, NJ 08807.

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Charity Navigator News Release

Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity Earns a “Give with Confidence” 100/100 Rating from Charity Navigator

Somerville, NJ (November 25, 2020) Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity is proud to announce that its strong financial health and ongoing accountability and transparency have earned a 100/100 rating from Charity Navigator’s Encompass Rating System. This score designates RV Habitat as an official “Give with Confidence” charity, indicating that our organization is using its donations effectively based on Charity Navigator’s criteria. Charity Navigator is America’s largest and most-utilized independent charity evaluator. Since 2001, the organization has been an unbiased and trusted source of information for more than 8.5 million users annually.

The Encompass Rating System is a comprehensive evaluation tool that analyzes nonprofit performance based on four key indicators. In July 2020, Charity Navigator released the first indicator, Finance & Accountability, to highlight nonprofit organizations demonstrating fiscal responsibility. This is determined by five metrics: Program Expense Ratio, Independent Audit or Financial Review, Board Composition, Liabilities to Assets, and Website Listing. In October of 2020, this was quickly followed by the second indicator, Impact & Results, assessing how well a nonprofit delivers on its mission.

The Encompass Rating System enables Charity Navigator to increase the number of nonprofits it evaluates, growing from 9,000 to 160,000 nonprofits evaluated as of July 2020. In order to be more inclusive of smaller and more recently established nonprofits, the system uses a combination of automated methods and technology-supported manual research and analysis to provide donors and nonprofits with four clearly-visualized indicators of organizational effectiveness.

“We are delighted to provide Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity with third-party accreditation that validates their operational excellence,” said Michael Thatcher, President and CEO of Charity Navigator. “We are eager to see the good work that the organization is able to accomplish in the years ahead.”

“Our Charity Navigator rating of 100 out of 100 through their Encompass Rating System is further validation that our supporters can trust our commitment to good governance and making the world a better place,” said Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Jan Holmstrup. “We hope that it will introduce our work to new supporters who can help us advance our mission to build homes, community, and hope in Somerset and Hunterdon Counties.”

You can read more about Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity’s Encompass rating at https://www.charitynavigator.org/ein/223126027.

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Women Build 2020 News Release

All-Female Construction Crew Volunteers in Montgomery Township for Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity Women Build Event

Montgomery Township, NJ (October 22, 2020) – An all-female volunteer construction crew came together on a beautiful October day to take part in a Women Build event at Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity’s newest home in Montgomery Township. The annual event welcomes individuals and volunteer teams who want to help build affordable homes for hard-working, local families in Hunterdon and Somerset Counties. This is the affiliate’s 54th home in Hunterdon and Somerset counties.

This year’s Women Build participants raised over $2,700 to help build a new home for Cicely Caldwell and her children. Over the last 16 years of Women Build events, RV Habitat has raised over $241,000. This year’s top fundraiser was Gemma Saujani from Belle Mead, who received a $100 gift certificate to Home Depot for her efforts. Gemma remarked, “It makes me feel great to help out another family and work with other women. It’s empowering and I’m grateful to have been a part of it.”

Overseeing the October 17th build day was Donna Moore, a long-time volunteer at Women Build events and former Site Supervisor for RV Habitat, and Adam Capone, an RV Habitat Site Supervisor. Together, Donna, Adam, Cicely and her two daughters Jordan and Awesome, and eight female volunteers built a large storage shed from the ground up. Jordan and Awesome were inspired by the women volunteers around them. “It was really empowering, a great experience being surrounded by strong women, physically and mentally,” said Jordan. “I’ve never done this before and never want to hear anyone say that women can’t do something,” remarked Awesome. Their mom, Cicely, told us that she is “grateful, grateful, grateful for meeting all the women on the build. It is so inspiring being around these women and to be a part of building our home.”

The Women Build workday was supported by Devra Keenan, a member of the Montgomery Township Committee who was on hand to welcome participants. Devra, the owner of executive coaching and leadership development company High Impact Advisors, donated lunch. Girl Scout Troop 60626 of Montgomery Township, who will be landscaping the property for their Silver Award, prepared snack bags with inspirational and motivational messages. Troop co-leaders Dawn Fogarty, Lisa Maddox, Jen Seamon, and Anna Quick oversaw the snack bag project and some of the co-leaders and scouts delivered the bags and had a chance to meet the Women Build participants, offering everyone a break in the day with good company, nutritious energy, and warm hearts.

Women Build participants expressed their gratitude for the day in many ways. Volunteer Tara McGauley of Gillette said it was “an absolutely amazing day! After months of not being able to do ‘normal’ things, to come together and work with strangers on a rewarding project was so refreshing.” Maria Rodriguez from Roselle shared that it was “fulfilling and wonderful to work on something so big and tangible for a great family, and to come together like this with so many issues in the world going on.” Kathy Fekete of Monroe remarked that “I learned new skills that I’ve always wanted to learn. It’s great watching how everything comes together.”

With an estimated completion date of June 2021, there are many opportunities for volunteers to be a part of building this home in Montgomery Township with the Caldwell Family. If you are an individual, part of a personal, work, church or other group, or a member of a youth group and 16 years of age or older, RV Habitat welcomes you to join in helping to build the Caldwell family’s future home.

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 support these projects by making a donation, please visit www.rvhabitat.org/give or mail a donation to Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity, P.O. Box 6275 Bridgewater, NJ 08807. For individuals (ages 16+) and groups who would like to volunteer on the Montgomery Township build site, visit www.rvhabitat.org/volunteer.

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Voices of Gratitude – News Release

Hunterdon and Somerset Residents are Invited to Join a Free Virtual Community Celebration, “Voices of Gratitude,” Hosted by Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity

Somerville, NJ (October 1, 2020) – Residents of Hunterdon and Somerset Counties and beyond are invited to join the free, virtual community celebration, “Voices of Gratitude” on Wednesday October 28, 2020 from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm. This is an online celebration that will warm your heart, connect you with your community, and show you the positivity and compassion that surrounds us. It is hosted by Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity (RV Habitat).

The event will feature stories from RV Habitat families and volunteers about how building Habitat homes has transformed lives in our region, a ReStore gift auction that will get participants in the spirit of the holidays, a special musical performance by a Habitat family’s children, the chance to win free raffle prizes throughout the hour, and more!

There will also be special recognition of a long-time RV Habitat volunteer, Mary Ellen Koscs-Fleming of Whitehouse Station (formerly of Clinton Township). Mary Ellen is known to many in our community and has admirably served as the volunteer co-chair of RV Habitat’s Homeowner Selection Committee. She has volunteered with RV Habitat since 2006, serving in many roles, including as a member of the Board of Directors and in many roles that work directly with RV Habitat families.

“While the Coronavirus changed the way RV Habitat and residents come together to help families in our area, it didn’t stop our wonderful donors, volunteers, and supporters from continuing to help in the ways they knew how” said Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Jan Holmstrup. “We want to share those heart-warming stories and express gratitude for what we have, while recognizing the strength and resiliency of our homeowners and the community that supports them.”

Local businesses are welcome to sponsor the event, which will provide them visibility to our audience, all while helping deserving families build decent, safe, and affordable homes. All partners will be recognized during the event, and at the Manville ReStore which hosts over 300 customers every day. Sponsorship and event information is available at https://www.rvhabitat.org/voicesofgratitude2020. All are welcome to join “Voices of Gratitude” by registering here: https://bit.ly/32wd1Zu.

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 support these projects by making a donation, please visit www.rvhabitat.org/give or mail a donation to Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity, P.O. Box 6275 Bridgewater, NJ 08807. For individuals (ages 16+) and groups who would like to volunteer on the Montgomery Township build site, visit www.rvhabitat.org/volunteer.

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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.

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#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.

Truth and Reconciliation

A statement by New Jersey Habitat for Humanity affiliates

Habitat for Humanity affiliates across New Jersey stand together with our Black brothers and sisters. Black Lives Matter. We individually and collectively resolve to face the truth of our own bias and racism. Moreover, as leaders in affordable housing and community development, we will face the truth of decades of government, private, and non-profit sector housing discrimination resulting in Blacks being excluded from the wealth creation of homeownership and forced to live in communities with limited opportunities for education, jobs, and healthy lives. We will face the truth of redlining, both its history as well as the present reality of it increasing again under the federal government’s new rule changes to the Community Reinvestment Act. Beyond facing the truth of these harmful realities, we resolve to take action individually, collectively, and systemically to bring an end to these practices and policies.

Habitat for Humanity International was birthed at Koinonia Farm – a “demonstration plot for the Kingdom of God” which was committed to racial equality long before the civil rights work of the 1960’s. Habitat for Humanity provides a way for Black people to become homeowners and a way for people of all races and backgrounds to help build those homes. Habitat for Humanity can be a vehicle for reconciliation, and we are determined to live up to our mission of bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope.

Now more than ever we are rededicating ourselves to Habitat for Humanity’s vision of a united humanity, where everyone, regardless of his or her race or faith, has a decent place to call home. Wherever we work, we will seek inclusivity and to offer a place where people holding disparate views can come together in a common cause. Join us as we break down barriers, become a vehicle for reconciliation, and work alongside those willing to partner with us, no matter their background or walk of life.

Signed:

Habitat for Humanity of Bergen County
Habitat for Humanity of Burlington and Mercer Counties
Metropolitan Camden Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity of Cape May County
Coastal Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity in Monmouth County
Morris Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newark
Paterson Habitat for Humanity
Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity of Salem County
Warren County Habitat for Humanity

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