Ortiz Family Dedication

The dream of homeownership has come true for the Ortiz family! On Tuesday, October 26th, 11am, we will host our home dedication ceremony at 62 Vineland Terrace in Hartford. “This Habitat house means a new beginning, a fresh start, safety and stability for my family. Most importantly, it will be a place we call home,”, said Shantae Ortiz. Please join us as we present the keys to this deserving family. We will also live stream the ceremony via our Facebook page and YouTube channel. 

Lunges for Lumber

Hartford Habitat relies on monetary donations to purchase the lumber and other materials needed to build or rehabilitate our homes. On April 5th through April 30th, Hartford Habitat is launching a virtual giving campaign to raise awareness of our work and inspire individuals to build change in our community through affordable homeownership opportunities.

Campaign participants are being asked to do 20 Lunges and donate $20 towards our goal of raising $100,000. All donations will be used to help fund the lumber and material costs associated with our 2021 Build Projects which will directly impact 7 families in our community. All donations are tax deductible.  

How to participate: Simply do 20 Lunges, Donate $20 and then share your good deed on social media by tagging @hartfordhabitat with the hashtag #HHLungesForLumber and then ask your friends and family to do the same!  Have fun, do good and feel good!

Together we can continue to build homes, community and hope. 

Toolkit for Ambassadors

Serving our Veterans

Gladys Berry

When Gladys met Private Samuel O. Berry Sr. in 1959, less than 2 years after his
discharge from the US Army, she never thought they’d be married for 55 years and have
3 children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. At 82 years young, she is aging in
place independently since the passing of her husband and doing well until her recent back
surgery in 2019.  She is not able to step into the tub to shower and is in need of a walk-in only shower that also has grab bars and a seat. With a recommendation from her Hartford HealthCare physical therapist & home health aide, a call was made to our Family Service department. After a home repair evaluation and a completed application, Ms. Gladys will soon be able to access her bathroom and be safe.

Fred and Cheryl Lesniewski
Fred, a Connecticut native joined the US Navy in 1971 as a machinist mate on the
submarine USS Patrick Henry (SSBN-599) where he had periscope liberty just once! After
4 years of service he returned where he met and married his wife of 41 years, Cheryl.
They purchased their home in 1978 and have lived there ever since. As they have aged
so has the house and with this year, in the midst of the pandemic, they have had several large areas of
repairs (furnace, water heater, failed appliances) that needed immediate attention.

Cheryl and Fred were overwhelmed and didn’t know where to turn when Fred, trying to step into
the tub to shower, became a challenge. There are also other bathroom repairs that need to be done,
including grab bar installation and flooring. Cheryl shared her concerns with her good neighbor & friend, Susan, who recommended Hartford Area Habitat. Susan’s son had volunteered with Habitat through their Church and said to give us a call. Through the spirit of friendship and Faith, they will soon have their bathroom repaired and a walk-in shower installed through our Hartford Area Habitat for Humanity’s Brush with Kindness program & partnership with the Home Depot Foundation.

Hartford Habitat for Humanity Selected as Grand Prize Winner

Hartford Habitat for Humanity Selected as Grand Prize Winner in Department of Energy’s Housing Innovation Award Competition

Community partnerships assist non-profit in zero energy building design

HARTFORD, Conn. (October 1, 2020) – Hartford Habitat for Humanity has been selected as the Affordable Housing – Single-Family Detached category Grand Prize Winner in the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2020 Housing Innovation Award Competition. The Grand Prize award was given in recognition for the work completed on Hartford Habitat’s Roosevelt Street, Hartford home, which was the non-profit’s first Zero Energy Ready Home.

“For our 30th anniversary, Hartford Habitat had a goal to build a home that makes homeownership more sustainable and affordable for our clients. Thanks to our community partners, including Eversource with their zero energy construction insight and energy efficiency expertise, we were able to make that dream a reality,” said Karraine Moody, Hartford Habitat CEO. “We are honored to receive this recognition and proud to be a part of a community that is dedicated to making sustainable construction available for everyone.”

“From consulting on energy efficiency to on-site volunteering and providing incentives and rebates, we have a long history of supporting Habitat for Humanity organizations and the excellent work they do throughout our region,” said Eversource Vice President of Energy Efficiency Tilak Subrahmanian. “To learn that Hartford Habitat’s Roosevelt Street home has received this national recognition is very exciting and serves as an example of how working together – we can achieve affordable, sustainable housing for all.”

Completed in May 2019, the 1,280 sq. ft., three-bedroom home features airtight construction, high-performance HVAC equipment, ENERGY STAR®-certified appliances, low-flow fixtures, a heat pump hot water heater, and solar panels. With a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) index of -7, the Roosevelt home is approximately 40 to 50 percent more energy efficient than a typical new home, saving the homeowners $4,000 in annual energy costs.

In addition to expertise, incentives and rebates, Eversource donated LED light bulbs and employees volunteered their time to support the home’s construction. Additionally, Eversource-approved contractor Home Energy Technologies, Peter Harding and David Hiscocks, helped educate and guide Habitat staff through the Zero Energy Ready Home requirements.

“We love our home! One of our goals was to become homeowners and have a positive environment for our kids – and we were able to achieve that with this home,” said homeowners Chris and Sharmane Walton. “Having an energy efficiency home has changed our lifestyle a lot, and we are grateful to Habitat, Eversource and everyone who volunteered and dedicated their time, their energy.”

To learn more about Hartford Habitat and Eversource’s partnership and construction of the Roosevelt Street home, please check out this short video.   The specification sheet is available here for download.


Dear Habitat Ambassador:

Like many of you, we spent the last week glued to the coverage of protests across the United States. In the eight days since George Floyd was held to the ground by a police officer’s knee for a fatal 8 minutes and 46 seconds, communities small and large across the United States have been rocked by sadness, anger and uncertainty.  These protests aren’t just about the killing of George Floyd. They’re about Breonna Taylor, who was killed in her own home during a no-knock raid in Kentucky. They’re about Ahmaud Arbery, who was shot dead while jogging in his own neighborhood in Georgia. They’re about Christian Cooper, whose safety was jeopardized simply for asking a white woman to follow posted rules in Central Park. They’re about Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, Rodney King and Emmett Till. They are about Klan members in the 1960s burning down Clarence Jordan’s vegetable stand and firing guns into homes of families at Koinonia Farm outside Americus, Georgia. They’re about decades and centuries of individual and systemic racism that precede and infuse the founding and life of our nation.

We know, too, that so many of the Habitat family — our staff members, volunteers and perhaps most of all the people we serve — are impacted by these protests and the injustices they call attention to. And that as Americans, we are all called to face the difficult questions raised to the forefront of this national conversation. Habitat can help be part of the answer. “The way we approach our work at Habitat has been a vehicle for reconciliation and has broken down barriers between people. We work alongside those willing to partner with us, no matter their background or walk of life, and that will always be true.”

Habitat can be a vehicle for reconciliation. But it only happens if we make it so.  Habitat is more than a housing nonprofit. It’s a vision of a world where we share one humanity. Habitat for Humanity was born on a farm in South Georgia on the theory of radical inclusivity, at a time when inclusivity was seen by some as an existential threat. It’s a vision of a world we still believe in and fight to build every day.

In partnership,

Jonathan Reckford
Habitat for Humanity International

Adrienne Goolsby
Senior Vice President, U.S. and Canada
Habitat for Humanity International

Advocacy for Housing

Dear Habitat Ambassadors:

Please take a minute to email Senators Murphy and Blumenthal urging them to support nonprofits and housing stability.  With the House recently passing its proposal for the next COVID-19 relief bill, the process has moved to the Senate to respond. As senators begin forming their priorities, NOW is the time for them to hear from us to ensure our recommendations are included in any Senate proposal.

One way we can do that is by garnering strong bipartisan support over the next few weeks for Senate bills related to our priorities. We want senators to co-sponsor two key bills — the Housing Assistance Fund Act and the Work Opportunities and Resources to Keep Nonprofit Organizations Well (WORK NOW) Act.

The Housing Assistance Fund Act would provide $75 billion to boost foreclosure and eviction prevention efforts in all 50 states. A similar version of the bill was included in the House proposal for the next relief package (the HEROES Act). This policy is also directly aligned with the goals of the Cost of Home campaign.

The WORK NOW Act would provide $50 billion for the nonprofit sector to scale much-needed services and help unemployed individuals get back to work.

It is our hope that with significant support for these bills, they will be included in the Senate priorities and ultimately a part of the final relief bill passed by both chambers.

Senator Murphy:  https://www.murphy.senate.gov/contact

Senator Blumenthal: https://www.blumenthal.senate.gov/gethelp

Rainbow Road-Windsor Public Hearing

On behalf of our Board of Directors and staff, we would like to thank everyone for submitting letters of support for the Rainbow Road subdivision during the public comment.  The Planning and Zoning Committee will review and make a decision at the June meeting.   Please stay tuned for more information as we work closely with the town.

Thank you again!