Habitat for humanity sees change of leadership in 2023


TROY — Habitat for Humanity of Miami and Shelby Counties is a faith-based organization that advocates for residents of Shelby County to have access to quality and affordable homeownership opportunities. Driven by the vision that everyone needs a decent place to live, Habitat for Humanity found its earliest inspirations as a grassroots movement on an interracial community farm in southern Georgia. Since its founding in 1976, the Christian housing organization has grown to become a leading global nonprofit working in local communities across all 50 states in the U.S. and in more than 70 countries.

“We are a hand up not a handout organization. Our goal is to partner with families to promote safe, quality, and affordable housing.” said Marketing Coordinator Maureen O’Keefe. “Access to affordable housing through our programs has an impact on neighborhood revitalization for the community and residents of Miami and Shelby Counties.”

Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage. Through financial support, volunteering or adding a voice to support affordable housing, everyone can help families achieve the strength, stability and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves.

The major project of 2023 was the completion of a home build for Bridget Lawson and her family in Sidney. Bridget’s mortgage payments on this home will help fund the construction of more homes in the Miami and Shelby County areas in the future.

William Horstman retired on Jan.31, 2024 after 10 years serving as executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Miami and Shelby Counties. Under his leadership, HFHMSCO extended the Miami County territory to include Shelby County and it was his strategic vision that led the relocation of Habitat’s ReStore.

The Habitat ReStore had record sales in Fiscal Year 2023. Our ReStore is open to everyone of all backgrounds shopping for great deals on home goods and appliances. The proceeds from these sales are used to fund new builds and home repairs. The ReStore also accepts donations of gently used items such as cabinets, furniture, energy efficient appliances, light fixtures, and more. Habitat has a box truck capable of picking up donations from anywhere in Miami or Shelby Counties.

In November of 2023 Scott Barr joined HFHMSCO as executive director and COO. The organization will move into 2024 under this new leadership. In his first months with the organization, Scott hired the first construction manager Mark Barga, as well as new Marketing and Volunteer Coordinator Maureen O’Keefe.

Scott brought in new board members from several local organizations. They are Mike Lochard of Lochard Inc; Chad Hollinger of the city of Sidney Fire Department; Mickey Hamer of Sidney Cargill (retired); and Jessica Zawalich of The Valley Church Troy.

Moving into 2024, Habitat for Humanity of Miami and Shelby Counties will focus on growing the Home Repair program which works to improve existing homes. Critical home repair includes such activities as a change to, or repair of, materials or components; a reconfiguration of space; a modification for accessibility; installation or extension of plumbing, mechanical or electrical systems on an existing structure. They have also launched Project Playhouse, a unique opportunity that allows HFH to partner with sponsors to build a playhouse for a local family or organization. Funds raised will go toward supporting the Home Repairs Program.

Habitat intends to build a home in Piqua in 2024. We are currently looking for compassionate volunteers at our ReStore in Troy and volunteers with experience in woodworking, carpentry, or construction for our home repair program and inside our activity center. Interested volunteers can contact Scott Barr at [email protected] or 937-332-3763.

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