Since 2012 the Newark Habitat affiliate management has actively discouraged engaged volunteer participation in its home building activities. There is now an emphasis on using paid professionals for many volunteer friendly construction stages. Numerous major individual donors, board members and other active volunteers no longer find this organization worthy of their support. The affiliate recently broke ground for a new-construction house, while at the same time essentially abandoning completion of two federally funded two-family rehabilitation projects that had been underway since 2011. Paid office staff has gone from 3 to 5+.
I volunteered and raised significant sums for Habitat Newark since 2004. I, and many of my fellow volunteers, were recognized for our contributions as Volunteer of The Year in at least 5 of the past ten years. In addition to building homes, many, highly accomplished professionals used their expertise to provide, on a volunteer basis, free services to the organization's many support committees. For years, Habitat Newark grew and helped revitalize Newark through the hard work of its volunteers. Our time was used wisely. Our volunteer contributions were life changing for the many partner families we built beside. Currently, the organization has lost its way.
Ways to make it better...
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
Work to return Habitat Newark to its stated mission of building safe, affordable homes for its partner families with the help of volunteer labor. Specifically, change management and promote a shift in board composition.
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