Part of HYPE’s mission is to help young professionals become better engaged in community life, expand professional and social opportunities, and become ambassadors for the Hartford Region. HYPE encourages cross-collaboration among agencies and organizations that offer opportunities to volunteer in the community. The Community Conversations series focuses on interviewing professionals in a local nonprofit to bring awareness to their mission, highlight their impact in the community, and provide information on how to get more involved with the organization. For the November 2019 edition Community Involvement Committee member Stephanie Knightly interviewed Olivia Arsenault
, Marketing and Development Coordinator for Hartford Area Habitat for Humanity.
What is the mission of your organization?
Hartford Area Habitat for Humanity is part of a global, nonprofit housing organization operated on Christian principles that seeks to put God’s love into action by building homes, communities, and hope. Habitat for Humanity Hartford is dedicated to eliminating substandard housing locally and worldwide through constructing, rehabilitating, and preserving homes; by advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions. Habitat for Humanity was founded on the conviction that every man, woman and child should have a simple, durable place to live in dignity and safety, and that decent shelter in decent communities should be a matter of conscience and action for all.
What is your role with the organization?
I am the Marketing and Development Coordinator.
How do you implement your services or programs?
Hartford Habitat has a few different programs. Our homeownership program allows families to become first time homeowners through a 0% interest mortgage. The families go through a rigorous application process before being chosen to be a partner family.
We also opened our Financial Freedom Center to encourage financial responsibility. Our homeowners are required to take these classes as a part of the program. We have also begun to offer the classes to the public as a way to serve more families in the Hartford Area.
A Brush with Kindness is a program that assists low-income families in repairing and renovating their homes so they can continue to live in safe, decent homes. We focus on assisting elderly, veteran families and those with limited mobility. Most projects include landscaping, painting, weatherization and critical repairs.
Another facet of Habitat is our ReStore which is a home improvement and donation center that sells new and gently used furniture, home accessories, building materials, appliances and much more.
In what ways has your organization been impactful to your cause?
Habitat has served countless families in the Hartford Area. Our homes provide stability and security and improve the communities where they are built. We have been able to provide housing for families that gives them the opportunity to improve their lives.
How does someone get more involved?
Folks who are interested in volunteering can find information on our website or contact our Volunteer Manager Ryan Gorecki at firstname.lastname@example.org
The ReStore is also an awesome place to volunteer. Information can be found here!