Shelly’s Story

My name is Shelly, and I have two daughters. We own a Habitat “buy back” home in Edmonton’s Kirkness community. About four years ago I heard about Habitat for Humanity and how the program helps families. I did some research and realized, wow, the program had helped so many families get a new fresh start. I was amazed and thought an opportunity like the Habitat program would be so great for my daughters and me. Before Habitat, life was okay, but I never felt like we had a stable home because with renting you just don’t have stability.

I was renting an old home that was very cold in winter. I had to put plastic on the inside and outside of my windows to keep the cold out. We rented this house because it was all I could afford, and the rent was 50% net of what I was paid at work. Before being accepted into the Habitat program, owning my own home was only a dream. Now I own a beautiful, bright, clean, warm, safe and stable home, and it is my dream come true. To me, the most important thing about being a homeowner is safety and stability for my daughters and me. I have had many positive and fun experiences while completing my 500 volunteer hours, including meeting all those nice friendly volunteers at Habitat.

I remember my very first 8-hour shift at Restore North. My youngest daughter and I went to the lunchroom and saw a bulletin board with our family’s picture on it and it said “future homeowner”. I started to cry, and I said to my daughter this is real. The past few years I have shed more than a few happy tears. I am so, so thankful for all the hard work Habitat staff and volunteers do to make dreams like mine come true. Since owning our Habitat home life has been GREAT for us!

For those of you who support Habitat, thank you for all the amazing things you do to help families! All of us are grateful for all you do and are grateful that you are people with very big hearts.

A “hand up” in Edson

 

Jennifer and her husband Joseph used to rent a home in a four-plex in the community of Edson. It was a two bedroom house, but they could only utilize one of the rooms for sleeping, and so the family of four crammed into one room to sleep each night. They also had a communal washing machine with laundry available to them only one day a week. With young children, this set up was not ideal however, they made life work while they looked for a plan to move their growing family into a better situation. Jennifer had doubts that an opportunity would come available. They had been living in Edson since 2016, and nothing had come up. When she had almost abandoned hope, she heard about Habitat for Humanity.

She spoke to one of her friends who told her about her experience living in a Habitat home. She was told about all the benefits and was super excited about the prospect. However, the 500 hours of volunteer time seemed undoable. How would she complete the hours while taking care of her family? This question stopped her and Joseph for a quite a while, but then they decided to give it a go, and it was a great experience. The 500 volunteer hours ended up being an enriching experience for the couple. They helped with various tasks at the local museum and helped out during community events, such as Canada Day. When they completed their hours they felt empowered and were so proud.

Becoming homeowners has changed life for Jennifer and Joseph. Their children now enjoy playing outside more often. It is safer for them to be out in the front yard with a window for Jennifer to watch their 10-year old, 5-year old, and 2 year-old playing – and the bonus is that their lawn is not on a highway like their former home. Yes, safer indeed. And yet safety was just one way that benefited the family. There were other benefits that the couple noted.

Jennifer said, “We feel more secure and stable in our Habitat home. Since we own our home, we can do what we’d like without checking with a landlord. Now we can make changes without asking. It’s so nice having more freedom.”

The family really enjoys hiking and biking, and so they hope to be able to do even more of that in the summer months. When they’re not physically active, they enjoy just chilling around the house and watching TV and playing games with the kids.

The couple sends out a huge thank you to everyone who helped them become homeowners. The Habitat program has been transformational for their family, and they know that volunteers and donors continue to leave a lasting impact on so many others.

Family Moving into Habitat Home Excited for Stability – City TV coverage (April 9/20)

2019 AGM Postponed

Please note that due to the COVID-19 pandemic and Habitat Edmonton’s desire to protect our staff and membership, the AGM that was scheduled for April 28, 2020 has been postponed until further notice. Thank you for your understanding.

Habitat Edmonton’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

(last updated: January 29, 2021)

The ReStores are open 9:30 am – 5:00 pm, Mon-Sat (closed Sundays).

All volunteers must adhere to our COVID-19 Protocols, which can be found here. 

 

Daily Self-Assessment

All employees and volunteers will take care and be vigilant about their own health.

  • All staff and volunteers will self-assess their health daily, prior to entering the workplace, using the Alberta Health Services’ (AHS) COVID-19 ALBERTA HEALTH DAILY CHECKLIST.
  • Staff and volunteers answering YES to any of the questions in the daily checklist will not be allowed to enter Habitat worksites and should use the AHS Online Assessment Tool to determine if testing is recommended and follow information on isolation requirements.
  • For the purpose of tracking close contacts, all employees are encouraged to keep their own record of contact with other employees, clients and external colleagues.

Hygiene

All worksites (build sites, ReStores, offices, Prefab Shop) have implemented, at minimum, the following practices related to hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette.

  • Hand sanitizer at point of entry and at locations throughout the worksite where employees and visitors handle/use equipment and other items.
  • All staff, volunteers and visitors must employ frequent, proper hand hygiene. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (greater than 60% alcohol content).
  • Glove use alone is not a substitute for hand hygiene. Hands should be cleaned before and after using gloves.

Workplace Cleaning and Disinfecting

  • Make cleaning supplies, disposable towels and disinfectant available and highly visible at locations throughout the workplace where there are shared surfaces and shared equipment.
  • Frequently clean and disinfect high-touch/shared surfaces.

Physical Distancing

  • Employees should maintain at least a 2-meter separation between individuals to the extent possible in the workplace.
  • In office sites, install physical distancing markers and signage and install Plexiglas shields where physical distancing cannot be maintained (reception desks, between workstations).
  • Direct traffic flow where possible (e.g. one-way hallways).
  • Re-structure non-essential gatherings (e.g. meetings, training classes), using video and teleconferencing as necessary.
  • Follow Public Health Restrictions on mass gatherings and events.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • Use appropriate PPE, as per AHS Guidelines and relevant Ministry Guidelines.
  • Masks are mandatory – in all our office and work areas and public spaces/Restores and vehicles.

Visitors to Habitat Edmonton

To limit the risk of transmission of illness from visitors to staff and volunteers meetings are by appointment only. All visitors are screened and must provide contact information.

Work from home

Where possible, staff will continue to work from home but are permitted to be on site for continuity of business.

ReStore capacity

Most retail businesses may remain open with capacity limited to 15% of the occupancy set under the Alberta Fire Code.

No social gatherings in our workplaces

 

Questions? 

Melinda Noyes
Chief Strategic Engagement & Programs Officer
Habitat for Humanity Edmonton
(780) 451-3416 | mnoyes@hfh.org

2020 Interfaith Works Project Kick Off!

We had a great time celebrating the kick off of the 2020 Interfaith Works Project! We are aiming to connect 50 faith communities to the important work that Habitat is doing in the capital region. Below are a few photos from the event.

 

    

A Coronavirus Update from Habitat for Humanity Canada – affects Global Village Trips (Mar 2 – May 9 and possibly later) 

A Coronavirus Update from Habitat for Humanity Canada – affects Global Village Trips (Mar 2 – May 9 and possibly later) 

Date: February 27, 2020

Based on the latest information from the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Habitat for Humanity International is suspending all Global Village volunteer builds scheduled to begin March 2 through at least May 9. We will continue to monitor the situation and Habitat International may extend cancellations after May 9.

This decision came to us from Habitat International, who have been closely monitoring the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and the precautions governments, health organizations, businesses and other international non-governmental organizations continue to take to limit its spread and impact in a growing number of countries.

Our priority is always the health and safety of our staff, volunteers, partners and the people we serve. Habitat is taking a proactive approach to minimize potential exposure to the virus. In this matter, our overriding concern is for our volunteers and the people in the communities in which we serve. Many of our Global Village builds take place in communities that may not be prepared to address an outbreak of the virus. We must take caution to not potentially expose these vulnerable communities to the virus through accidental transmission from our volunteer or staff teams.

The rapidly developing nature of the outbreak, coupled with the complexity of our Global Village program, compelled Habitat International to make this a global action. While some of the countries affected by this decision have few or no confirmed cases of the coronavirus, it is the volunteer and staff travel from and through multiple cities around the world that increases the risk of transmission. The wide and growing geographic spread of the outbreak makes it impossible to predict which countries may be affected next. Proactive cancellations allow us to minimize risk by staying ahead of the outbreak.

We understand that changes to Global Village builds can be disappointing, and know some may disagree with Habitat International’s decision. We respect those views. However, Habitat for Humanity’s concern for the safety and security for all those working and volunteering for Habitat—including volunteers, local staff and beneficiaries—call for an abundance of caution.

Volunteers scheduled on Global Village builds slated to begin between now and May 9 should review the following and take action as appropriate:

  1. Volunteers should contact their airlines to cancel their travel arrangements as soon as possible. Many airlines are offering travel changes and cancellation waivers given the coronavirus outbreak. We have sent you a letter of support to the airline noting the cause of the cancellation.
  2. Should volunteers choose to continue with their travel, it will not be covered by any Habitat Insurance or partner arrangements.
  3. Global Village volunteers are encouraged to consider the financial burden these cancellations create for not only yourselves, but also for Habitat in the host countries. Volunteers have the option of:
    a) receiving a refund of their Global Village build donation;
    b) applying it toward a future Habitat Canada Global Village build within two years of the departure date of the original build (check back on www.habitat.ca/globalvillage for builds later in the year);
    c) designating the donation to be used as originally intended, benefiting Habitat’s work in the host country.

    Our Global Village registration department will contact you and provide you with the appropriate modification form.

  4. For builds beyond May 9, we will continue to monitor and extend cancellations if required.
  5. Due to the potential for further cancellations we recommend not booking your flights until you receive confirmation from Habitat Canada.
  6. If a volunteer has a question or needs assistance, they can contact Habitat for Humanity Canada’s Global Village customer service at globalvillage@habitat.ca. We ask for your patience as we work through these cancellations.

Habitat International made this decision in consultation with colleagues in all regions of our global programs, evaluating all potential impacts as well as the risks of inaction. This decision protects the short-term health and safety of our people as well as the long-term reputation of our organization as one that prioritizes safety and care for the people we serve.

The World Health Organization is providing regular updates to its guidance about preventing the spread of COVID-19. Visit the WHO’s coronavirus webpage for guidance on hygiene and prevention or visit Health Canada’s website.

We look forward to resuming our Global Village builds as soon as we are safely able. Thank you for your continued dedication to Habitat’s vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live.

 

In partnership,

Rob Voisin SVP, Operations
Habitat for Humanity Canada 477 Mount Pleasant Road Suite 403, Toronto, ON, M4S 2L9
(800)667-5137 • habitat.ca