PLATINUM2022

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Fort Wayne

Building homes, communities, and hope

Fort Wayne, IN   |  http://www.habitatgfw.com

Mission

Seeking to put God's love into action, Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities and hope.

Ruling year info

1987

CEO

Jeremy McClish

Main address

2020 E. Washington Blvd Suite 500

Fort Wayne, IN 46803 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Fort Wayne Habitat for Humanity

Huntington County Habitat for Humanity

EIN

35-1687064

NTEE code info

Housing Development, Construction, Management (L20)

Christian (X20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2020, 2019 and 2018.
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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Where we live impacts financial and food stability, health, life expectancy, transportation costs, exposure to violence and crimes, and educational opportunities; across the nation, the cost of housing has become increasingly unaffordable for many families. Because a large part of their income is spent on housing, these families are forced to make dangerous compromises on the quality and quantity of other necessities, like food, healthcare, and education. Safe and affordable homeownership is needed now more than ever. Not only are we dealing with a lack of housing options, but affordability also continues to be a significant challenge, as buyers are getting hit with skyrocketing housing prices, rising interest rates, and all-time low housing stock. According to Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, monthly payments have risen 28% from one year ago. (Forbes.com, March 2022) Safe, stable, affordable housing options are needed now more than ever.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Homeownership & Mortgage Services

Homeowner and Mortgage Services handles the administration of the education programs and works with applicants as they go through the program as partner families and eventually become homeowners. Homeowner and Mortgage Services also provide post-purchase support through loss mitigation. Loss mitigation includes delinquency management and foreclosure prevention efforts. Eligibility for our homeownership program relies upon income guidelines as well as front and back debt to income ratios. Habitat for Humanity serves families that are within 30-80% of the Housing of Urban Development (HUD) median income level. Families are assessed based on their total household income and family size.

Habitat for Humanity believes the education received before becoming homeowners is paramount to the success of our families. Our traditional partner families are hardworking members of the community who have a monthly income but do not earn enough to afford a decent place to live. Therefore, they find themselves in the poverty cycle. To combat this, we provide families with the necessary tools and resources through the Homeowner Stability and Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University classes. These resources empower families to effectively maintain a stable home and manage the many new responsibilities of homeownership.

Homeowner Stability classes require all partner families to successfully pass more than 50 hours of sustainable homeownership and financial literacy classes to complete the program and purchase a Habitat home. Class sessions are typically held twice throughout the year and taught by local community volunteers and Habitat staff who are experts in their respective topics. Each Homeowner Stability class has objectives, with the overall program goal of educating the families to become independent, competent homeowners, as well as contributing members of the community. Class topics enable families to master concepts in money management and savings planning; building and maintaining good credit; understanding a mortgage and insurance terms and requirements; basic landscaping and home maintenance processes; developing personal and home organizational skills and practicing proper home security and fire safety.

By incorporating Dave Ramsey’s curriculum with our one-on-one individualized sessions dedicated to in-depth personal reflection and goal setting, we are providing an opportunity for families to contemplate and potentially change behaviors and attitudes in all areas in their life. When going through the Ladders of Success portion of the educational component, participants utilize guiding questions to help them establish and prioritize goals.

We feel that goal setting is a robust process for thinking about what the ideal future looks like and for motivating families to turn their vision of the future into reality. The method of setting goals helps choose the path to get to where you want to go in life. By knowing what you want to achieve, you know where you must concentrate your efforts and can spot distractions that can lead you astray. This transformational process has had a significant impact on the lives of our families. Our families can say it better than we can. Here is a quote directly from one of our recent partner families. “I learned a lot about myself. I learned I could do it,” Stephanie said. “I learned that partnership is the best thing in the world. You can’t be better partners than with Habitat. Their love and affection are so empowering.”

Population(s) Served
Adults
Economically disadvantaged people

The Habitat for Humanity ReStore is a nonprofit home improvement store and donation center selling new and gently used items to the public at discounted prices, including furniture, appliances, building supplies, household items, lighting and more.

Shopping and making donations to the ReStore directly supports the Habitat for Humanity mission. Save money and the environment by purchasing items that would otherwise end up in a landfill.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Fort Wayne (GFW) is a Christian housing ministry uniting community investors and volunteers to build safe, stable, and affordable homes alongside qualified low- to moderate-income families living in Allen, Huntington, and Wells counties. The affiliate was established in 1986 and has since served 2 families in the region with safe homes through affordable homeownership.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

External assessments

Evaluated via the Impact Genome Project (2019)

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of people no longer living in unsafe or substandard housing as a result of the nonprofit's efforts

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Affordable homeownership for low- to moderate-income families

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of people no longer living in unaffordable, overcrowded housing as a result of the nonprofit's efforts

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Affordable homeownership for low- to moderate-income families

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Fort Wayne (GFW) is a Christian housing ministry uniting community investors and volunteers to build safe, stable, affordable homes alongside qualified low- to moderate-income families living in Allen, Huntington, and Wells counties. The affiliate was established in 1986 and has since served 262 families in the region with safe homes through affordable homeownership. Our mission reads: Seeking to put God’s love into action, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Fort Wayne brings people together to build homes, communities, and hope.

Every qualified family or individual who partners with Habitat GFW must complete up to 250 hours of “sweat equity,” building their neighbors’ homes, their own homes, and working at the Habitat ReStore. We require our partner families to go through a series of education classes with us, including financial literacy/competency and other skills to prepare them for homeownership. Future homeowners pay $1,000 towards purchasing their home and repay a 30-year mortgage, which goes back to the organization. Thanks partly to homeowners’ sweat equity and volunteer labor from community members, the cost of a typical three-bedroom home is kept affordable, with monthly mortgage payments based on the family’s income. The revolving fund created by mortgage payments allows Habitat to reinvest into the community through additional housing opportunities, creating a maintainable investment for years to come. These strategies for serving the homeownership need of low-income families assist those homeowners in a viable way and are vital to long-term organizational sustainability.

Homeowner Services handle the education programs’ administration and work with applicants to go through the program as partner families and eventually become homeowners. The department also provides post-purchase support through loss mitigation. Loss mitigation includes delinquency management and foreclosure prevention efforts. Habitat for Humanity serves families within 30-80% of the Housing of Urban Development (HUD) median income level. Families are assessed based on their total household income and family size. Habitat firmly believes in setting partner families up for success. Therefore, all applicants undergo a rigorous financial review to determine their ability to pay the up-front cost and the long-term mortgage by utilizing front-end and back-end ratios. These ratios offer a comparison of current debt amounts to gross monthly income. Maximum income cannot exceed 80% of the HUD median income, and the mortgage payment (principal, taxes, and insurance) does not exceed 26% of the family’s gross monthly income.

Focusing on the families in low income neighborhoods can create real and lasting change by transforming lives from the inside out; people have a desire but lack confidence, resources, or hope to make real change. Our goals are to reduce rental rates and increase affordable homeownership opportunities.

Habitat GFW is committed to fight for homeownership equity in our community. Throughout Habitat’s history, the affiliate built an average of 7.5 homes per year. In 2020, Habitat fully funded ten homes; in 2021, we funded 12 homes; in 2022, we funded 19 homes. One of Habitat’s core values is collaboration, and we feel this is the unique multiplier that sets us apart.

Habitat’s mission allows the organization to utilize several strategies to assist potential homeowners, homeowners in our program, volunteers, and the community. Affordable homeownership helps create the conditions that free families from instability, stress, and fear and encourages self-reliance and confidence. Studies show that strong and stable households are foundational to child development and growth. Families can flourish when a home fosters — instead of hinders — health and safety. Owning an affordable home also allows homeowners to lift up their entire family by saving for their futures and investing in educational opportunities — bolstering job opportunities and long-term career growth.

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Fort Wayne has a Core Leadership Team in the office consisting of the Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operations Officer, Director of Construction, Director of Engagement, Director of Human Resources, and Financial Controller. These staff members are all highly qualified and oversee other staff such as the Development Manager, Grants Manager, Development Coordinator, Homeowner Services Manager, Homeowner Advocate, and Construction Team.

The construction site is run by the Director of Construction, Construction Coordinator, Construction Site Managers, Project Manager, and a group of volunteers called ‘Crew Leads.’ The Development Manager works closely with the Construction Managers to coordinate volunteers in the community to provide a meaningful and engaging experience on the construction site. The construction team and lead volunteers work alongside participants on the build site. They direct and guide volunteers in the construction process. Additionally, the construction team is OSHA and Habitat Competent Person certified to ensure the safety of all involved.

We facilitate partnerships between the organization, partner families, volunteers, and investors to provide safe and affordable housing to local families in Huntington, Wells, and Allen counties. Our mission statement reads: Seeking to put God’s love into action, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Fort Wayne brings people together to build homes, communities, and hope. Since 1986, Habitat GFW has helped 262 local families attain the safety and stability of affordable homeownership.
Long-term organizational sustainability is maintained with diverse funding sources, including mortgage payments from homeowners, net income from the Habitat ReStore location, grants, corporate and congregational support, and individual donations.

Resources are effectively managed by utilizing partner families, sweat equity, and volunteer labor from community members. Once accepted into the program, partner families must complete up to 250 hours of sweat equity, building their neighbors’ homes, their own homes, and working at the Habitat ReStore. Families must complete at least 100 hours of sweat equity must be spent on constructing their own home. Habitat solely relies on volunteer labor for construction purposes of completing all non-trade-specific functions. Volunteers do all the framing and siding. Installation of windows, doors, cabinetry, flooring, trim, and painting is also completed utilizing volunteer labor.

Professional contractors complete trade-specific work such as pouring slabs, roofing, electrical, plumbing, and heating/cooling. Each year Habitat goes through a competitive bid process for each build planned for the year. This process also involves building relationships with local contractors to take advantage of in-kind donations for labor, services, and product, along with competitive pricing.

From 1986 to 2013, Habitat GFW used a scattered build approach throughout the counties. In 2014, Habitat shifted the home building focus and began building a neighborhood in Northeast Fort Wayne called Fuller’s Landing. This was a unique venture that created mixed-income levels families living side by side. Based on two studies by Rossi et al. (1996) and Rohe et al. (1996), homeowners reap financial gains of appreciation in the value of their home, so they also tend to spend more time and money maintaining their residence, which also contributes to the overall quality of the surrounding community and increased property values. Habitat affiliates worldwide have seen community-living benefits, including creating the support systems many low-income families lack before joining the program and overall community benefits like neighbor-to-neighbor accountability for general home upkeep.

Phase one of this successful model was completed in 2018, and Fuller’s Landing is home to 44 Habitat families. Of those families, over 50% were headed by single mothers. Habitat owns additional ground that could be used for another 67 homes. However, leadership saw an emerging need in Southeast Fort Wayne neighborhoods. The City of Fort Wayne and several community leaders and organizations began focusing on neighborhood revitalization through renovation, blight elimination, and new home construction to promote neighborhood unity, reduce crime rates, and emphasize the importance of education. Southeast Fort Wayne is home to many employable people who need a hand-up, not a handout. That is why Habitat GFW felt called to join the effort to provide additional safe and affordable homeownership options and help boost the vitality and livability of these neighborhoods.

In 2019, Habitat GFW joined the efforts and partnered with Bridge of Grace Compassionate Ministries. Bridge of Grace is another faith-based community development organization. Their goal is to build thriving and sustainable neighborhoods in Southeast Fort Wayne. Habitat GFW committed to building five homes in five years in Southeast Fort Wayne. We completed all five homes ahead of schedule! Habitat began building the last two houses of the initial five-home commitment with Bridge of Grace in 2021, and we fulfilled our five-year promise in just over 24 months.

Building on the momentum we experienced with Bridge of Grace, Habitat engaged in another local collaborative partnership with Vincent Village in 2021 by leveraging our proven residential home building process. Vincent Village, Inc. serves homeless families with children. They are the only transitional shelter serving two-parent and single-male-headed families in Allen County. Keeping families together during the homelessness crisis provides additional strength and an even greater chance for success. Approximately 82% of their families served are single female-headed families, 13% are two-parent families, and about 4% are single male-headed families.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    1. Partner families - families in our program who are working toward purchasing their home 2. Volunteers - community members who volunteer their time to help construct homes, sit on committees, and assist in the ReStore 3. ReStore donors and shoppers - The ReStore is similar to a home improvement store but all items are donated and then sold at a discount. All proceeds from sales directly support the mission of building homes for low to moderate income families.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board, Our community partners,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We act on the feedback we receive,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time, It is hard to come up with good questions to ask people, It is difficult to get honest feedback from the people we serve,

Financials

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Fort Wayne
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Fort Wayne

Board of directors
as of 01/04/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Adrienne Wampole


Board co-chair

David Faust

Dan Minnich

Mark Dely

Mark Bains

Tyler Binkley

Gabe Brown

Dr. Karl Einolf

JJ Foster

Dr. Lorenzo Suter

Ryan Schiltz

Rob Schmiedel

Joyce Walz

Chris Wesner

Luther Whitfield

Mike Niezer

Matt Streicher

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 1/4/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 08/09/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.