Sharpening our strategy in 2019: A message from our CEO

Letter from CEO: Big Changes coming to Habitat for Humanity

2018 was the most ambitious year in Habitat for Humanity Halton Mississauga’s history so far. However, only a month into 2019 has proven that we will push even farther beyond what we set out to accomplish last year.

Today, we are announcing an exciting realignment of our affiliate that will enable us to solidify new partnerships, enhance revenue strategies, amplify our message, focus on improving build efficiency, and help us keep pace in a rapidly changing world. This adjustment will allow us to deliver on our three-year strategic plan with the goal of building 75 homes and serving 500 families by 2021.

Habitat has always had an enormous vision — a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Safe, decent and affordable homeownership plays an absolutely critical role in helping families to create a new life cycle, one filled with possibilities and progress. Affordable homeownership frees families and fosters the skills and confidence they need to invest in themselves and their communities. The outcomes can be long-lasting and life-changing.

In 2019, we are celebrating our 20th Anniversary. Anniversaries are a time to reflect, celebrate and look forward. Five years ago we started a journey looking at the needs of the communities we serve and our ability to deliver on our vision. We made important strides – adding a new revenue stream, the ReVive DIY Upcycling Centre, transitioning our build philosophy from single family units to multi-units, and introducing deferred homeownership — but we have much more to do.

Today we find ourselves facing an unprecedented and escalating crisis in affordable housing. With home prices out of reach for most families, limited rental availability, and the ever-increasing need for short term housing, we need a new and forward thinking strategic plan that refocuses our efforts on organizational performance, thereby helping us to achieve our vision.

With the focus on community partnerships, we will reshape how we interact with our donors, vendors and volunteers, striving to deliver an exceptional experience across all platforms. Amplifying awareness will become a major priority for our organization in 2019 through the development of clear messaging and engaging stories. Enhancing revenues through mission relevant pilot programs and social enterprises will continue to help offset our steadily increasing program costs.

There is a strong focus on service programs in 2019. We will be making a renewed push with our environmental initiatives. Our construction and demolition waste program will ensure more recyclable materials will stay out of landfills. Our ReVive Centre will continue to create unique items from donations to the ReStore, and our ReStore will accept more donations and divert more waste than ever before.

Through a new partnership with Halton Region, we will help families in need furnish their homes with items donated to our ReStores. Our Habitat Handyman and Brush with Kindness programs will revitalize homes in need of small scale repairs, and our partnerships with other local non-profits will ensure people in need of a hand up will receive the support they need to live happy, healthy and productive lives.

We have delivered and seen many successes in the last five years, but we want to do more. That means better execution and operational excellence in all the programs and services we offer. To advance our strategy and execute more quickly, more efficiently, and with greater excellence, we need to transform how we organize, how we plan and how we work. Only then will we achieve our goal to be the single largest not-for-profit housing provider in Halton-Mississauga.

On behalf of Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga, thank you for your continued support, and we look forward to working alongside you to make our community a better place to live.

John Gerrard