Habitat for Humanity Gearing Up for Exciting 2019

The Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity Windsor-Essex is calling 2018 a "rollercoaster year."

Fioana Coughlin says the organization took a devastating blow in September when $20,000 in tools were stolen during two separate break-ins, but thanks to volunteers and the generousity of the community habitat was able to bounce back.

She says the break-ins were shocking.

"Dealing with that and processing that, that feeling of loss and I think the community really drew a line there. We all know that there's been break-ins, it hit habitat and people went "whoa" and 9,000 people shared the story to help us replace what we could. So that was amazing."

AM800-NEWS-Habitat-for-Humanity-break-in-again-Sept-14-2018-1

A gate smashed down at Habitat for Humanity on Devon Dr after a break-in Friday, September 14 (Photo courtesy of @FionaCFRE via Twitter)

Over the course of the year, habitat completed builds in the city and county and then went on to break ground on its 65th home which is expected to be ready for Mother's Day this May.

Coughlin says, all in all, 2018 turned out to be a good year.

"We helped a family that was living in an attic get out of that situation and then, out in Leamington, we also built a house. Then we broke ground on our third house. So there was a lot of great things that happened and it's really because of all of the volunteers that help habitat do what we do."

Coughlin says the year wrapped up in a big way with a donation of land in Ford City.

She says they're planning to build five new homes in the neighbourhood over the next two years.

"One of the wonderful things that happened to us in 2018 that we want to really celebrate is that we had land donated in Ford City which was a huge gift. We plan to do more neighbourhood renewal and partner with the community groups already there. So it's very exciting heading into 2019."

AM800-NEWS-HABITAT-FOR-HUMANITY-RESTORE-GROUNDBREAKING-JULY-2018

AM800 file photo

Coughlin adds 2019 will be a year for expansion as well as Habitat's new 22,000-square-foot ReStore on Edinborough St is expected to have its grand opening in the spring.

The new store will be one of the largest ReStores in Canada.