MANSFIELD, OHIO– Habitat for Humanity of Richland and Crawford Counties, Inc., (HFHRCC) has announced it has reached a state of financial emergency and is asking the public’s help to get back on its feet.
“For the past three years, we have focused on 'recycling' Habitat Houses that came back to us,” Veronna Drane, executive director, said. “It has taken a toll on our finances.”
Habitat is asking for help though donations and purchases at the ReStore.
HFHRCC has built, rehabbed or repaired over 50 house in the area since its inception in 1988. Funding for these projects is reliant on donations from businesses, churches and individuals. But according to Drane, money to complete “recycles” has traditionally come from Habitat’s coffers.
“Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, three homes came back to us,” Drane said. “While we went through the process of evaluating condition, finding home buyers, and repairing issues with the homes, they sat unoccupied. It required us to pay for incidentals including heat, insurance and mowing of properties.”
This, along with operations costs for the affiliate and the Habitat ReStore drained the affiliates limited savings.
Another contributing factor was the recent unplanned and unbudgeted move of the Habitat ReStore. According to Drane, sales have been slow at the new location. The ReStore relocated to 115 Park Ave. W. in April. They were previously located on Stumbo Road in Ontario.
Habitat’s income comes from donations and mortgage payments. They hold approximately 30 zero-percent interest mortgages.
“Habitat for Humanity is not funded by United Way or the government. We rely on the generosity of donors in North Central Ohio,” said Board President Katie Welch, of Woodforest Bank. “Individuals, businesses, churches and foundations are the backbone of our finances.”
In the past year the affiliate has taken steps toward building capacity and strategic planning. As a participant of the Osborne Meese Academy through the Richland County Foundation, Habitat learned from experts in various fields. In addition, through a grant, Habitat worked with a consultant on mapping out their strategic plan for the next three years. This included capacity building, and fund raising.
If you are interested in donating, visit Habitat’s website at www.habitatofrcc.org. Donations may be made online or by mailing to 115 Park Ave W, Mansfield, OH 44902. You may also call the office at 419-524-8361.
The Board of Trustees for Habitat will be meeting to discuss plans to turn the affiliate around. A fully funded rehab is currently ongoing and funds have begun to be raised for a new construction to begin in 2020. However, donations for general operations and smaller projects are lacking.