Letter: Working together to build homes, community and hope | VailDaily.com
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Letter: Working together to build homes, community and hope

As the county — and world — begins to reopen, I reflect on the past year. While there were times of uncertainty, anxiety and struggle, it was also a year of growth, resilience, perseverance and hope. Habitat for Humanity Vail Valley, thanks to our many partnerships and generosity, persevered and shifted as we faced the unknown.

We pride ourselves on strong volunteer relationships that help us keep costs down as we build decent, affordable homes for families in the Vail Valley. However, when the world got quiet, and volunteers were unable to come to the job site, our business partners were “essential” and showed up for Habitat homeowners.

Over 50 companies provided professional expertise, labor and materials at a significantly reduced rate. In particular, Beck Building Co., Encore Electric, Excel Exteriors and JV (Juan Villegas) Excavation paid their skilled tradespeople to work at our Grace Avenue, Gypsum job site. This unprecedented situation resulted in unprecedented generosity. Thus, allowing us to stay on track to complete six duplexes, creating housing stability for 21 children. Moving forward, we are excited to welcome volunteers and visitors back to the job site this summer.



The pandemic amplified the obvious — that we have a critical need for affordable housing. We are responding the best way we know how: Adhering to our mission and achieving the goals laid out in our 2019-2021 Strategic Plan.

We’re building on pathways that help families obtain housing, which include strengthening local partnerships as well as advocating for affordable housing reform at the state and national levels. Further, we’ve increased our collaborative efforts with area nonprofits, government sectors and businesses to find new and innovative solutions to building homes.



Over the next few months, we will break ground on our 100th home, finish the six-duplex (12 home) Grace Avenue project and, together, continue to create strength, stability and self-reliance through shelter. We invite you to join us: Volunteer at the job site; come to the groundbreaking; shop at the ReStore; attend a home dedication; and meet the families who benefit from working together to build homes, community and hope.

John Welaj

Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity Vail Valley

 


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