Who We Are

Habitat Stories

Habitat's First Homeowner

Meredith and her son in front of their Habitat home

Phyllis Meredith was the first Charlottesville Habitat homeowner. She paid off the mortgage on her home in 2007.

I decided to take a chance and apply when I heard that Habitat was starting to build homes here in Charlottesville. My youngest son was very sick in the hospital, and we needed a stable home to call our own. My sons' lives are so much better because of our Habitat home. In 2007, when I paid off the house in full, my friends at Habitat threw me a party. When I held the deed to my own house it was one of the proudest moments of my life. This house is invaluable to me-it's something i can leave for my kids when I'm gone. And I helped build it with my own hands, so I know how to fix things when they go wrong. I'm so thankful to have been the first Habitat homeowner in Charlottesville, and to see how many other families have joined me. It's been an amazing blessing, and it's led to so many other blessings for our family. -Phyllis Meredith, Habitat's First Homeowner

Job Preparation and Skill Building with Habitat

Scottie Poor dressed for success

Scottie Poor recently graduated from an employment assistance program at PVCC, where he learned professional cooking techniques and interned at Farmington County Club. He currently works in the kitchen at Wegman's Grocery Store.

"If I ever got a job at a moving company, people would be amazed by all I learned on the Habitat truck [Store] truck," says Scottie Poor, who began volunteering with Habitat in 2012. Scottie came to Habitat as a way to gain job skills while working with the Choice Group, a partner organization that helps clients facing varying obstacles to find meaningful employment. Through his service at Habitat, Scottie build a family-like relationship with staff and volunteers and learned skills that helped him secure a position at the new Wegman's grocery store. "It's been very advantageous to have the Habitat skillset," Scottie says. "When we have inventory truck days, I put everything in its place. When I help in the dish room, I can stack everything with military precision." -Scottie Poor, Habitat volunteer

Habitat Bridging Partnerships in the Community

Ridge Schuyler, founder of Charlottesville Works Initiative and dean of community self-sufficiency programs at Piedmont Virginia Community College

“So many folks in the Charlottesville area work full time but can’t afford to live here. I help people gain skills and training so they can make a decent wage. But you can’t be a good employee if you don’t have adequate shelter. Habitat is a forward-looking, fierce, and effective advocate for housing in our community. They helped us think through the vast array of issues that arise for a family looking for a stable home. No single organization can meet the needs of every family. Whether through housing, employment, childcare, or transportation, we have the chance to really pull people up in the world and move them from self-sufficiency to financial security. We need to work together and look at what the community really needs. Habitat has led that charge.” –Ridge Schuyler, founder of Charlottesville Works Initiative and dean of community self-sufficiency programs at Piedmont Virginia Community College

Midweek Crew Member Finds Camaraderie in Volunteerism

Paul Johnston, Midweek Crew Member

“Since joining the Midweek Crew, I’ve met some terrific volunteers and families. I get to work with people who are building their futures. To see their homes come to fruition and know they have a hand in it— there’s so much pride in that. The devotion, commitment, and skill of the Midweek Crew is just phenomenal. So if you’re motivated by compassion and you want to contribute to a well-respected organization, come on out! We may not all have the technical skills, but we’re all here to row this boat in the same direction.”-Paul Johnston, Volunteer

Advocating for Habitat

Miette Michie, Habitat advocate and volunteer

“I attended a home dedication and was really moved not just by the family’s story, but by Habitat’s commitment to helping Albemarle County reinvest in aging suburban neighborhoods before they deteriorate due to absentee landlords and a lack of investment. So I wrote a letter to the editor of the Daily Progress congratulating the family, praising Habitat for its work, and challenging others to make similar investments in affordable housing.”-Miette Michie, Habitat advocate and volunteer