Fort Wayne Habitat for Humanity started in 1986 as a grassroots affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, a collaboration spearheaded by local church leaders and community members. 28 years later, they have built nearly 180 homes for low- and moderate-income families, and have nearly a dozen staff members.
“2014 was our first year building in our brand-new neighborhood, Fuller’s Landing,” said Megan Hubartt, director of communications and grants. “What started in 2013–when we broke ground–as an empty field, now has 9 homes…families are living there now.”
The organization will complete at least 10 more homes in that neighborhood in 2015, but that’s not all it is doing. Fort Wayne Habitat also offers education and support for new homeowners, and runs the ReStore, a resource center that receives donations of new and gently used household items and sells them to the general public. The revenue generated by these sales goes back into Fort Wayne Habitat and helps to build homes in the community.
As a not-for-profit, Fort Wayne Habitat for Humanity relies on the community for its health, and succeeds primarily when it is able to leverage community partnerships.
“So for us to achieve our goal and our mission here in Fort Wayne, it’s going to take a lot of volunteers,” she said. “Whatever way we can find to continue engaging new businesses and build stronger engagement with current businesses here in Fort Wayne…there’s a concerted effort [on our part] to expand on those partnerships.”
They came to Greater Fort Wayne Inc. to connect with other businesses in the area. Hubartt said that involvement with GFW Inc. has allowed them to consistently associate with donors in the Fort Wayne Community, as well as with potential new partners.
“Greater Fort Wayne Inc. is a hub for collaboration,” Hubartt said. “And that really aligns with what Fort Wayne Habitat is trying to do: bringing people together to build communities here in Fort Wayne.”