NASHUA — For the past 25 years, Greater Nashua Habitat for Humanity has been refurbishing blighted properties and creating beautiful living conditions for low-income families.
On Friday, the nonprofit organization celebrated its milestone with a 25-year anniversary gala recognizing Habitat for Humanity’s growth and commitment to families in need.
“To see this grow from a volunteer group with two people in a church, and transform into an organization that has housed 13 families and is still growing, is very exciting,” said Louise Smith, development coordinator with Greater Nashua Habitat for Humanity.
The nonprofit’s goal is to implement solutions and assist low to moderate income families qualify for conventional mortgages by creating the opportunity for home ownership.
Although the local organization was founded 25 years ago, half of the homes that it has built have been constructed in the past five years.
“We are really growing,” said Smith. “We never fail to fill a house. We always have way more applicants than homes. There is a huge demand for this in the region.”
Helping to break the poverty cycle is critical, according to Smith, who said decent housing is necessary to provide safe and healthy homes for children and families who are desperate for stability.
Greater Nashua Habitat for Humanity has nine employees and provides services to 14 communities, including Nashua, Hudson, Milford, Merrimack, Amherst and more.
“Habitat’s 25th anniversary celebration is a chance to gather and reflect upon 25 inspirational years serving the Greater Nashua community — and a time to pay tribute to our families, volunteers, board members and staff for their dedicated commitment to our mission,” Scott Slattery, executive director, said in a statement.
Currently, the organization is constructing a single-family home in Wilton on a plot of land donated by the town. The property, once complete, will house a single mother and her two children in the spring, said Smith.
Previously, Habitat for Humanity took over an old, burned out building on Chestnut Street and constructed low-income housing for two local refugee families in 2014. Then, two years later, the former Nashua Soup Kitchen and Shelter on Chestnut Street was razed to pave way for a two-family duplex for low-income residents.
“We all get very attached to the families that we help. We all work very closely with them,” said Smith. “To finally see them with a new home is very rewarding.”
Habitat for Humanity creates homeownership while also concentrating on building wealth in the community, according to Smith, who said the group’s building crew is 100% volunteer-driven.
Once the Wilton project is complete, the nonprofit group will begin a new project aiming to provide housing for veterans.
“We will focus on housing multiple veteran families,” said Smith. “We are still finalizing a location.”
She is hoping that the veteran project will accommodate two or three families.
Habitat for Humanity, locally and globally, works in partnership with corporations, community groups, faith-based organizations and individuals to build affordable homes using volunteer labor and donated materials when possible, according to a news release.