As we look at the year behind us and forward to the new year, it’s a time for reflection, to take stock of where we started, and to measure how far we have come.
It’s hard to believe that my personal journey with Habitat HMD began only a few short months ago (on July 8th). I am so grateful to be a part of this community and to work with such a dedicated team of staff and volunteers.
As the impact of the pandemic affected our ReStores revenues and traditional ways of raising funds for our mission were impacted, we had to adapt very quickly, pivot and be innovative.
I’m very proud of our Habitat team, working together stronger than ever, they have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to our mission. In fact, thanks to a lot of effort across the organization, it looks like we will end 2021 in a better position than we had forecasted. Individual and corporate donations, government grants combined with the ReStores performance of record sales for several months have all contributed.
While it was a challenging year and one in which we had to make some difficult decisions, we have some accomplishments that we would like to celebrate:
Expansion of Our Service Area – We welcomed the Dufferin community into our family, and successfully relaunched the Orangeville ReStore under the Halton-Mississauga-Dufferin brand.
Construction Progress – We finished construction on 4 units at our Bristow-Law Build Project (3073 Merritt St., Mississauga). Watch for family announcements in the new year. At our Crew-Goetz Landing Build Project (2384 Queensway Dr., Burlington), we erected the sound barrier fencing, and in the spring we will finish this project by completing the landscaping. Stay tuned for a Covid-permitting dedication ceremony when all is completed.
Tiny Home Pilot Program Launch – Habitat HMD is working in partnership with The Chippewas of Nawash and Habitat Grey Bruce, to establish affordable housing options for Indigenous community members. Habitat HMD’s role as the builder will bring together skilled trades students, corporate partners and the community to construct 5 Tiny Homes. The Tiny Home Village will be fully site-serviced and operated by the Chippewas community as part of their housing strategy to increase their available housing stock.
Volunteers – Our Habitat volunteers know what they do is important, and we are extremely grateful for their efforts. Despite Covid restrictions in 2021, 540 individuals completed a total of 29,373 volunteer hours with us. This year also saw a record number of 69 co-op students volunteer their time and skills to Habitat.
Partnerships – 2021 was a year that saw new partnerships formed and old ones strengthened. Our corporate partners demonstrated their ongoing commitment through sponsorship of our Tiny Home pilot and participating in Covid safe team experiences in the ReVive DIY workshops. We offered much-needed space to the Burlington Food Bank, by sharing our Burlington Warehouse on Fairview St., Burlington for their Seasonal Food Drive. And we continued to grow and expand our partnerships and gifts in kind with the many community benefit organizations (i.e. women’s shelters, transitional housing providers, food banks, animal shelters, etc.) located throughout our catchment area.
We have a lot to be grateful for and we look forward to a very exciting year ahead and carrying this momentum into 2022!
On behalf of the Board of Directors and myself, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our staff, volunteers, donors and partners for your tremendous support and contributions in 2021 and extend our warmest wishes for a safe and joyous holiday season. May your home be filled with moments of love, laughter and goodwill, and may the year ahead be full of contentment and joy!
CEO, Habitat HMD