PRESS RELEASE .......
Habitat for Humanity Merger to Provide More WV Families with Affordable Housing

Almost Heaven Habitat for Humanity

Franklin, WV – July 1, 2010 – On July 1st Almost Heaven Habitat for Humanity and Habitat for Humanity Greenbrier merged into one new larger organization that will serve the Eastern West Virginia counties of Greenbrier, Pendleton, and Pocahontas. The combined strength of the two organizations will be able to increase the number of new homeownership opportunities, better serving low-income families in need of safe, decent affordable housing across the three county area. Geographically, the newly combined organization is the largest Habitat for Humanity affiliate in the state of West Virginia.

“As Greenbrier’s vision began expanding, we looked to other affiliates in West Virginia who modeled the aggressive approach we were looking to adopt. This led us to Almost Heaven Habitat,” reports Phil Rolleston, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity Greenbrier. “We were impressed with the significant impact Almost Heaven has made in Pendleton County, and merging the two affiliates simply made sense.”

Philip McLaughlin of the Greenbrier board agrees, “I believe this union brings to our area the proven successful leadership of Almost Heaven Habitat for Humanity and also provides for the consolidation of the two separate administrative functions of each organization. The result being greater operational efficiencies, allows our Greenbrier County volunteers and staff to devote more of their time and effort to addressing the housing needs of deserving families in Greenbrier County. It's a wonderful opportunity to improve upon an already good idea to help others in our area have a better life.”

Habitat for Humanity Greenbrier was established in 1992 as the vision of six community members concerned about the lack of affordable housing in Greenbrier County. Founded in a similar way in 1988, Almost Heaven Habitat for Humanity was created to serve low-income families in Pendleton County. To date their combined efforts have built and sold 110 new homes in partnership with low-income families, making their dream of homeownership a reality.

The merger also incorporates Pocahontas County into the service area of the new organization, which will operate under the name Almost Heaven Habitat for Humanity. The work of the organization will continue under the leadership of Executive Director Michelle Connor. Phil Rolleston who headed operations in Greenbrier will continue on as the Program Director for the county.

“Although we are celebrating an expansion of our service area, we are also reaffirming our commitment to serving families in Pendleton County, and I look forward to working with our friends and neighbors in Pocahontas and Greenbrier Counties,” says Michelle Connor. “Don’t think for one second that this means we are slowing down or that we will be serving fewer families! To the contrary, it may have taken 20 years to build our first 100 homes, but we plan to build our next 100 homes in less than 10!”

For more information about Almost Heaven HFH visit:
www.almostheavenhabitat.org

Photographs are available upon request.
Michelle Connor is available for phone or in-person interviews.


Almost Heaven Habitat for Humanity - Greenbrier
Phil Rolleston
P.O. Box 103     Lewisburg, WV 24901
304-647-3342           habitat@ghfh.org