WOMEN BUILD

Please Visit Our new website at
U.S. Postage
Paid
Monroe, CT
www.habitatcfc.org
Permit No 173
A special thank you to Blair McCaw,
President, Constellation Management Group
and WSAA especially David Cushman, Senior
Art Director and Renee
Mandis, Owner, for generously sharing their
time and talent to make our new look possible. We are also deeply grateful to the
Massoud family for their generous support of
this project and all the work of Habitat for
Humanity of Coastal Fairfield County.
Logo
Women Build encourages and empowers women to address the critical shortage of
affordable housing in Fairfield County
The number of single mothers and their children struggling to succeed in neighborhoods challenged by crime,
substandard housing and some of the highest rents in
the nation are cause for grave concern in Fairfield County, CT. Paying as much as 50% of their income for rent
each month, keeps many low-income families impoverished. Tenuous rental situations detract from families’
stability, impacting children’s grades, quality of life and
prospects for the future.
Save The Date!
September 19, 2011
18th Annual Golf Outing
Country Club of Fairfield
WOMEN BUILD
1542 Barnum Ave, Bridgeport, CT, 06610 Phone: (203) 333-2642 www.www.habitatcfc.org
1785 Stratford Ave, Stratford, CT , 06615
We accept donations of new & used furniture, appliances & building materials.
Call Our Donation Hotline
203-3838-4358 or visit
www.fairfield county restore.org
Free Pick-Up Available
The Habitat Restore sells still-useable , donated
furniture, appliances and building
materials , keeping them out of our landfills. All
proceeds are used to build houses in partnership
with hardworking, low-income families who need
a safe, decent place to live.
At then end of the summer we will bid farewell to our wonderful AmeriCorps volunteers who skillfully led construction
teams over the past year. David Cremer, Mikaela Dennison
and Chelsea Lee Williams were indispensable and we wish
them well. Julianna Calvin who spent the year building the
ReStore’s marketing capacity will remain with us as a member of our development team.
We are currently seeking candidates for AmeriCorps positions which begin this summer. We have opportunities for
two construction leaders and one resource development
team member.
Habitat CFC’s partnership with the AmeriCorps program leverages our resources while allowing young people to gain
experience, commit to a long-term project, live in a new
place and take on new challenges…all while receiving benefits that include a modest living allowance, medical coverage
and an educational award to use for school or pay off student loans. To learn more about AmeriCorps, visit the website at: www.habitat.org/americorps.
For the past 6 years, Habitat for Humanity of Coastal
Fairfield County’s (Habitat CFC) Women Build program
has taken on the challenge of poverty housing one family at a time. They meet this challenge by raising funds
for and actually building the new home side by side
with the future homeowner. All Habitat CFC homeowners are rigorously screened to assure their success in
taking on a 30 year 0% interest mortgage. They also
invest 500 hours of “sweat equity” as a down payment
on their future home. In addition, they are required to
take courses in financial management and conflict resolution which help them become responsible homeowners and community members.
“Every aspect of a family’s life is impacted from health to kid’s
grades. The odds of children completing high school and moving on to college increase and their prospects for a better life
are much improved. The community benefits and blighted
properties are returned to the tax rolls.”
This year, Women Build is partnering with single mother Nicole
Murphy of Stamford. Nicole was born and raised in Stamford.
She grew up in the projects on Connecticut Avenue, graduated
from Stamford High School, got married and started a family.
Since her divorce in 2007 Nicole struggles to pay her rent on
what she earns working locally as an administrative assistant
in the field of education. She and her son Jerry age 7, live in a
high-rise building which had been slated for demolition and
rebuilding prior to the economic crash. Many of her neighbors
were moved out in preparation for the demolition and the
building has fallen into a state of disrepair.
“We live on the 10th floor and the elevator is broken a lot so
Jerry has to help me carry groceries all the way up ten flights
to our apartment. In the winter, the heat isn’t always reliable ,
but the worst thing is that there is nowhere for my son to play.
The neighborhood isn’t safe so he can’t be outside and he is
too young to really understand why mom is so protective.”
“When you understand the impact owning a home has
on a family, it’s a project that’s almost impossible to say
no to” explains long-term Women Build volunteer Amy
Gilles
“My son is my motivation for everything I do.”
Nicole Murphy
Women Build (cont’d)
Nicole found out about the condos that Habitat for Humanity
was building on West Main Street, so she decided to apply to
become a Habitat partner family. Partner families invest 500
hours in sweat equity, purchase their home at cost and repay a
30 year 0% mortgage. Nicole will never forget how happy she
felt when she signed her letter of acceptance. “The neighborhood is so much better and Jerry will be able to play outside
and ride his bike. My son is my motivation for everything I do. I
want him to be happy and have a better life. “
To learn more about WomenBuild please contact Eileen Bakos
203-333-2642 x102 or [email protected]
Hoops for Habitat
Hearts & Hammers
On Saturday, March 26, more than 100 students participated in
Hoops for Habitat, a Youth United event which took place at
the McGiveney Center in Bridgeport. Special guests included
Wes Matthews, former L.A. Laker, Chris Smith all time topscorer for U-Conn and Walt Luckett , All American player from
Kolbe High School. More than $7,200 was raised to help fund
the Habitat home on Jane Street in Bridgeport. Youth United
is a coalition of young people ages 5 to 25 from all over Fairfield County who have take on the challenge of eliminating
poverty housing in our community. For more information or to
join Youth United please call Phyllis Machledt at 203-2688737.
Habitat for Humanity of Coastal Fairfield County’s 12th Annual Hearts & Hammers Gala honoring retiring Board Chairman Ken Paul and the law firm of Cohen & Wolf was attended by 240 guests. Held at the Hyatt Regency in Greenwich on March 5th, the evening featured cocktails, dinner, dancing and live
and silent auctions. Honorary co-Chairs Cindi Bigelow, President of R.C. Bigelow, Stephanie Blackwell, CEO of Aurora Products and Jay Ireland, President
and CEO of GE Asset Management, were recognized for their service. More
than $140,000 was raised to help us continue building safe, decent homes in
partnership with low-income families living in Stamford, Bridgeport and
Stratford.
Donations: Call 203-333-2642; online at www.habitatcfc.org
choose WomenBuild in the designation field.; or send check
in the enclosed envelope. Please note Women Build on check.
Those who donate $500 or more can schedule a build day
with us!
Mary and Jim Himes with Habitat CFC Chair Sandy
Blanchard behind future Habitat
homeowners Tiena & Ed Cintron
Volunteer Spotlight
Amy Gillis– Women Build
Amy Gillis of Southport began volunteering with Habitat
CFC in 2005 and she joined Women Build 18 months later.
She liked the idea of learning new skills while volunteering
her time to help families move into safe, decent, housing.
“I really enjoy working side-by-side with families, doing the
heavy lifting together.” Amy has gotten her entire family
involved in Habitat as well. Her husband Jack has volunteered many times as has her daughter Janet, who also
brought her sorority Delta Epsilon Beta and Delta Chi
fraternity to work a few times as well.
About her work with Women Build Amy said “I’ve reached
a point in my life when it ’s important to me to help other
women, especially single mothers, who are struggling to
provide food and shelter for their families. It’s very rewarding to see neighborhoods transform too. Neighborhoods
that were drug and crime ridden now have families taking
pride in their homes and kids playing in the yards . The kids
do better in school and they are healthier and happier. I
can’t imagine a better way to spend my Saturday mornings!”
Pic of amy on
Tractor
Back (l-r) Walt Luckett, Wes Matthews, Chris Smith, Wesley
Daniels , Cathy Burns Front: Beth Rafferty,Youth United coleader with 4 event participants.
Building Communities
Habitat CFC Co-president Keith Cook, Senator Richard
Blumenthal, Hearts & Hammers Honoree Ken Paul, Co
-president Bruce Berzin and Sandy Blanchard.
Habitat CFC Board Member Phyllis Machledt
receives the first annual Jim Lyle Memorial
Award from Lorna Lyle.
Dudley Williams and Juanita James of Stamford with
Mary Himes.
Currently 17 Habitat CFC houses are under construction, on
deck or recently completed. We broke ground on Jane Street,
the future home of the Velasquez Family , Washington Terrace
the site for Nordia Blacks’ fully accessible future home, as well
as Pembroke Street where Jennifer Duprey and her family will
reside. We dedicated Taria Hunter’s home on Peace Street in
Stratford and Ed & Tiena Cintron’s home on Bunnell street in
Bridgpeort. The Vereen family home on Beach Street is next in
line for dedication and The Kossuth Street property is next in
line for groundbreaking. The 8 condominium unit Stamford
project is on schedule for completion in early 2012. We are
grateful to the many donors and volunteers who make this
work possible!
To make a donation please send your check to : Habitat CFC
1542 Barnum Avenue, Bridgeport , CT 096610, visit
www. Habitat cfc.org or call 203-333-2642
David A. Ball of behalf of Cohen & Wolf accepts the
award from Sandy Blanchard
Governor Dannel Malloy addressed the guests .
Auctioneer Terry Betteridge of Betteridge Jewelers in Greenwich made the live auction a huge
success.