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Archive for July, 2012

23 July 2012 | APEX

23 Jul , 2012

Last week, Habitat Wake closed on a partially-developed subdivision near the historic section of downtown Apex that we will complete and provide homes there for 16 families. Habitat Wake has not built in Apex since 1990. Wake County government has provided the funds for acquisition of the property and completion of the infrastructure.

What’s special about this project is that it was started by the White Oak Foundation, a community development arm of the White Oak Baptist. By partnering together, Habitat Wake is able to help White Oak realize a long-held dream to revitalize this community that they’ve had a heart for and connection to over the years.

We plan to begin site development work this summer and will begin construction of new homes next spring.

Please contact Missy Hatley, part of our development staff if you have an interest in becoming a sponsor at this location. These Habitat homes and families will be a great addition to the Town of Apex – the Peak of Good Living!

11 July 2012 | DO WE HAVE THE WILL?

11 Jul , 2012

Every since I joined Habitat over 24 years ago, I’ve heard the refrain, “It’s not rocket science. We have the ability and knowledge to eliminate poverty housing, but do we have the will?”

I can say, sadly, that I haven’t seen much change over a generation in terms of the will to have all people in our community living in safe, affordable, and decent dwellings. Overall housing conditions have improved due to strengthened building codes and enforcement, but those regulations add cost to housing and affordability has become a major issue.

Millard Fuller, Habitat’s founder, spoke once of when he decided to stop allowing Habitat employees to smoke at their desks. Back in the 1970′s in south Georgia, this was controversial. Workers protested the new rule. Thirty years later, this sort of protest seems ridiculous. Our thinking has changed.

We need that sort of change in thinking in regards to housing. When the public is polled about the important issues of the day, housing doesn’t even show up on the list.

The people we partner with in Habitat for Humanity work in a variety of essential, low-wage occupations that are critical to our community, yet the wages they earn are not sufficient to enable them to acquire decent housing in the marketplace.

Checking out the LIVING WAGE CALCULATOR (http://livingwage.mit.edu/counties/37183) from MIT, you’ll find that in Wake County the living wage for a single parent and one child is $17.99 per hour. The living wage is defined as the hourly rate that an individual must earn to support their family, if they are the sole provider and are working full-time. The living wage is nearly triple the state’s minimum wage.

We need to work to bring our systems of compensation and cost of living closer together so that our well-developed housing markets can serve more of our citizens. Habitat’s work help fills the gap, but the gap is much too large. Just sayin’!

5 July 2012 | WE CAN STILL BE FRIENDS

5 Jul , 2012

as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

Psalm 103:12


When I was in Honduras in April, I met Junior, a 13 year old resident of the village of El Rosario where we were building the first of 31 new homes planned for the area.  Junior was the leader of the neighborhood group of kids that would come to visit our work site after they finished school each day.  I enjoyed learning a new card game, Treinte-Uno, that Junior taught me and another one of our staff members, Pam Forsythe, to play.

As I left the work site on the last day of our trip, I asked Junior what his plans were for next year.  He is in sixth grade, the top grade of the local school in the village.  He said he couldn’t afford to continue schooling and that he would be trying to find work.  It was obvious he would rather continue with school.  His desire to continue his education has been in my heart ever since.

Six weeks later when our second work team went to El Rosario, Junior presented them with a letter he had written for me.  In it, he said, “…yo se que yo soy pobre pero no importa para la amistad que tenemos esta amistad nunca se acabara.”

Translated into English, Junior says, “I know that I am poor but that doesn’t matter because the friendship that we have this friendship will never end.”

A 13-year old who is economically poor, but rich in his awareness of the world around him already understands at a young age that no matter how far apart we might seem—economically— we can overcome that great distance in love and friendship.


Habitat for Humanity of Wake County
2420 Raleigh Boulevard
Raleigh, NC 27604-2235
Phone 919.833.1999
Fax 919.833.8256
Habitat for Humanity of Wake County ReStore

Store hours:

  • Tuesday - Friday: 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
  • Saturday: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
  • Closed Sundays and Mondays