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Anybody worked with Habitat For Humanity?

3229 Views 21 Replies 19 Participants Last post by  PoleBarnsNY
I was talking with a guy this morning who works for HFH and he asked me if I would be interested in donating some time. More as a crew leader/babysitter than a nail banger. Has anyone ever done anything with them? Experiences - Good/Bad? Politics aside, I think they do some good things and I wouldn't mind donating some time to them. It may be a way to get leads on jobs from the other volunteers. My biggest concern is that I'll get 'sucked in' and they'll bombard me with calls and emails when they (HFH) need help on a project.

6-7 years ago they bought a property a couple miles from my house, that I drive by every day, and turned into a nice little mini-neighborhood. It was a dilapidated old house on approx 5 acres that they put 10-12 houses on. The people living there are taking good care of their homes and it looks like any other 'normal' subdivision. The only reason I know it was a HFH project is the BI told me.
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It's always good to "help out" when you can.

Talk to them and see what they want, Set the ground rules that work for you.
Ive done some with them here. Its fun, you get to help out others and even teach others along the way. Its an experience and you wont regret it! i get an email every so often from them, and as far as phone calls, never get one unless I ask to be contacted about upcoming things. At least thats how it is here.
I did some volunteer work for Last Chance Ranch, in Quakertown, Pa. I rebuilt some horse stables.

Volunteer work is rewarding.

I never worke d with HFH.
Donated my and my crew's time to frame a house in the hood... :rolleyes: not a great experience. Great story/s just never again like that.

As an individual- Great way to apply your professional knowledge and 'help' other out. Going in with the idea these are volunteer crews composed of just everyday people and having realistic expectations is very important.
I've done habitat homes as well as volunteered for some other projects..... It has always been a rewarding experience and karma always seems to pay itself back.
Was not a great experience for me.

Tom
I have volunteered quite a few times & was even a PM for one for a while - overall not bad at all but I got to say it all depends on that chapter. Just like GC's & subs, there are some good chapters & then there are...
I've voluteered a smidge. It's pretty rewarding, but don't expect the recipients to have a clue how to work in construction.

I'd say go for it.
I was getting really frustrated with the slow progress, but realized it was more of a teaching experience for the younger volunteers. Once I wrapped my head around the fact that the builds were not an "actual" jobsite, I liked it a lot better. I also didn't like the egg tacos they provided, eating semi-solid chicken embrios is gross to me.
I started learning my carpentry skills on a habitat for humanity house 20 years ago. Nothing bad about it, if you have the opportunity and have the time then go for it.
The recipients go through a very long and rigorous screening process and they are also required to contribute a certain amount of "sweat equity" on other projects before they are even considered to be a recipient.

HFH is a Christian ministry that provides recipients with a no-interest loan on these houses at a fair-market rate so they aren't exactly "give-aways" as many people would think.

The recipients are taught how to manage owning a home, how to do repairs, how to save money and put funds aside so that if they ever have to hire a professional, they have cash in their reserves. It's not Section 8 nor is it for anyone homeless so when they select someone to be a recipient, it's for a unique situation.

So far my experiences have been good. But understand that when you are dealing with people, you can't be surprised at what you discover. The biggest events on these projects is usually the "blitz build" where all of the volunteers get together to frame up a house all the way to the roof, put shingles on it. Then the vapor-wrap and siding are installed on the house...all within a week.
The people living there are taking good care of their homes and it looks like any other 'normal' subdivision. The only reason I know it was a HFH project is the BI told me.
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I once worked with them on a housing project for women with small children
I'm fairly familiar with how they operate (I watch TV :laughing:), but my main concern is being bombarded with requests. Like being an NRA member...

Anywhoo - I talked to the guy again today and he alleviated many of my worries about that. I told him what my limits are, time/travel wise, and he was very agreeable. I'll probably be doing some interior finish carpentry and have 3-4 'helpers' that I'm responsible to train/monitor. My only real issue is they prefer to hand-drive everything due to safety issues with nail guns and novices. He indicated that if I spend 30 minutes to do a safety instruction with my 'crew', I should be OK. Plus my Hitachi guns still have operational safety's.

Sounds like it could be fun and I think I can take a tax deduction for my time. I don't know, I'll have to ask my tax lady.
my issue with them is they give a house to someone who typically made horrible life decisions over and over. An able bodied person with 10 kids from 10 different men

i wouldnt have a problem giving my time for someone who got their legs blown off in Iraq or a handicap person though......id make sure you know who the house is for ahead of time and decide if the person is worth your charity.

ive giving some of my time to rehab a house as an abused womens shelter....i took the time to find out how they operate...if the woman is lazy and doesnt hold a job they kick her out....they are hardcore tough love..........they are the type of charity ill gladly give my time to.
I do work for them , soffit and fascia , I did ask my accountant about it and he told I can't deduct my time. material yes or if employees their wages you can.
I'm fairly familiar with how they operate (I watch TV :laughing:), but my main concern is being bombarded with requests. Like being an NRA member...

Anywhoo - I talked to the guy again today and he alleviated many of my worries about that. I told him what my limits are, time/travel wise, and he was very agreeable. I'll probably be doing some interior finish carpentry and have 3-4 'helpers' that I'm responsible to train/monitor. My only real issue is they prefer to hand-drive everything due to safety issues with nail guns and novices. He indicated that if I spend 30 minutes to do a safety instruction with my 'crew', I should be OK. Plus my Hitachi guns still have operational safety's.

Sounds like it could be fun and I think I can take a tax deduction for my time. I don't know, I'll have to ask my tax lady.
Randy, I believe you can take mileage and deduct that.
You are probably right on that, was thinking more on the lines of ones labor.
Randy, I believe you can take mileage and deduct that.
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I finished off the attic of the parsonage house our church owned when we got a new pastor about 14 years ago. Turned it into a really nice master suite for him and his wife.
I too thought I was going to get a tax deduction for it but my accountant told me no.:no: He told me what I could have done was bill the church and then donate the money back to them. Then, deduction for cash donation.
I do work for them , soffit and fascia , I did ask my accountant about it and he told I can't deduct my time. material yes or if employees their wages you can.
Yup, no tax deduction for my labor. It's too bad, because I was going to give myself a BIG raise :laughing: No big deal, as I'm only planning to donate a day every other month or so.
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