Women Build Update

May 4, 2016, was our official opening ceremony for this year’s annual Habitat for Humanity National Women Build.  While this date marks the start of construction on Crystal’s home, it wasn’t the beginning of Crystal and her family’s home ownership journey.

One of the biggest misconceptions I often hear from volunteers and the general public is that they believe Habitat homeowners are GIVEN a house.  In reality, homeowners in our program assume the responsibility of a 20 to 30-year mortgage.   (Habitat partner families cannot qualify for a conventional loan because of the added fees and high interest rate.)  Crystal is receiving a affordable loan and her monthly payment will be pooled with other partner families’ monthly payments to help pay for building future homes.

Crystal, and all of our partner families, must financially qualify and complete an extensive program before the first nail is driven.  After credit approval is complete, partner families are required to perform 250 sweat equity hours, complete nine weeks of the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace course, and other home ownership education classes.   Typically, a minimum of 50 hours must be spent building other partner families’ homes, 25 hours in the Habitat Restore, and 50 hours are reserved for working on their own home.  Partner families are often actively involved in their community, church, and they are employed full-time.

As the 2016 Women Build homeowner, Crystal has completed the majority of her requirements and is currently finishing her 50 sweat equity hours on her own home.  Many of the Women Build volunteers have stated how meaningful it has been working alongside Crystal.  Whenever Crystal isn’t building with the volunteers, she has made it a priority to arrive at the home site prior to going to work, to welcome and thank all of the volunteers.

The Women Build is unique as it is a partnership between Lowe’s Home Improvement and Habitat for Humanity International.  The focus of our Women Build is two-fold; it is about empowering the women who volunteer and about raising the necessary funding to build the home.  All donations are being used to pay for the building materials to make this build possible.  Habitat depends on donations from individuals and businesses, along with the profits from our Restore.  In addition, we continually strive to find ways to reduce costs and to support our mission.

Last week we reached the halfway mark in the construction of Crystal’s new home and in collecting the funds for the building materials.  Additional contributions would be greatly valued and used towards Crystal’s home building journey.

Donations can be mailed to Habitat for Humanity of Elkhart County, P.O. Box 950, Goshen, IN 46527, or please visit our website at www.habitatec.com.

In appreciation,

Amy L. Zakiewicz
Development Director

Tom McArthur
Executive Director

Announcing 2014 Lowe’s Women Build Clinic


Goshen, IN (April 14, 2014) – Women volunteering with Habitat for Humanity of Elkhart County during the seventh annual National Women Build Week can get a head-start on learning key construction skills and tips. Lowe’s will host a free “how-to” clinic for women in preparation of National Women Build Week, an initiative of Habitat’s Women Build program developed in partnership with Lowe’s. Habitat’s Women Build program empowers women to get actively involved with Habitat’s mission to help families in need of safe, decent and affordable housing.

“We are looking forward to National Women Build Week and the opportunity to engage more women in our work,” said Tom McArthur, executive director of Elkhart County Habitat. “We invite women of all construction levels to join us on the build site and take the clinic hosted by Lowe’s.”

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Holly Robinson Peete, Habitat for Humanity and Lowe’s team up for National Women Build Week

Women volunteers across the U.S. join together to build affordable housing in their communities

Habitat for Humanity National Women Build Week

ATLANTA (May 02, 2013) – Actress and author Holly Robinson Peete will join more than 10,000 women, including Lowe’s Heroes from across the country, to volunteer at Habitat for Humanity construction sites in recognition of National Women Build Week, May 4-12. Now in its sixth year, National Women Build Week challenges women to devote at least one day to help build affordable housing in their local communities.

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Habitat Celebrates 2012 Women Build

Goshen,IN – Habitat for Humanity of Elkhart County celebrated their 10th annual Women Build with a home dedication this past Tuesday, September 18. Check out these two great pieces on the event.

Habitat for Humanity celebrates home dedication The Elkhart Truth

ELKHART — Erica Sherman moved into her Habitat for Humanity house three weeks ago. And on Tuesday, volunteers from the organization and Sherman’s friends and family came to dedicate the home.

The house was built through the Women Build program, which ensures that mostly women are involved during the home’s construction. The program is designed to encourage women’s interest in construction and in Habitat for Humanity. This was the 10th home that the group has built in the Elkhart County area. Almost 60 women were involved in the building of Sherman’s home.

Sherman moved in with her three children, Mason Sherman, 8, Camden Malone, 10 months, and Ashlynn Sherman, 3. They were previously living with her mother to save money. Sherman said they’re more comfortable now that everyone in her family has their own bedroom.

“We can actually have our own space,” she said.

The four-bedroom, two-bathroom. 1340-square-foot house is typical for Habitat homes. She has already painted the rooms in the home for her three children. She put in more than 100 hours working on the house.

“Now that it’s here, it was all worth it,” she said.

To read the rest of this article click here.

Family receives keys for Habitat for Humanity house Fox 28 News

The Sherman family is now proud homeowners thanks to Habitat for Humanity!

Erica Sherman and her three kids received the keys to their new home today in Elkhart.

The building of this house was unique because it was the women who picked up the hammers and power tools to make it happen.

“50 women who came from all sorts of directions and ages. There were some retired women out here working as well,” said new homeowner Erica Sherman. “It was awesome because I’ve always been a woman advocate so to have women actually come help and build my house meant so much to me.”

Sherman’s three kids are happy to have their own rooms.

The building of the house was sponsored by Lowe’s.

To see the video from the Fox 28 newscast click here.

2012 Women Build House Dedication

Celebrate 2012 Women Build with us!

  • Who:
    • The Sherman Family New Habitat for Humanity homeowners
    • Habitat officials
    • Crew of women volunteers
  • Where: 507 Pleasant St. Elkhart, IN [MAP]
  • When: House dedication ceremony, Tuesday, September 18, at 5:30 pm

GOSHEN, IN – Some 56 women picked up hammers and power tools to build a Habitat for Humanity house with the Sherman family. The Sherman’s will receive the keys to their new home and to a brighter future at the house dedication September 18. Women built the house as part of Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build program, underwritten by Lowe’s, which empowers women to build Habitat houses to move families out of substandard housing. Media are invited to attend the dedication. The new homeowners, volunteers and Habitat officials will be available for interviews.

Habitat for Humanity of Elkhart County, an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, is a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing ministry dedicated to eliminating poverty housing. Habitat for Humanity brings together people with resources and people in need to build simple, decent, affordable houses. The houses are sold to those in need at no profit. Habitat for Humanity of Elkhart County was founded in 1986 and has built 159 houses in the Elkhart County.

Anyone interested in volunteering or offering donations is encouraged to call Habitat for Humanity of Elkhart County at 533-6109 or visit our website at habitatec.com.