Habitat's history

Habitat's history

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Habitat for Humanity Mid-Yellowstone Valley Grass Roots History

Habitat for Humanity began in Billings, as it does everywhere, as a grass roots organization. 

Margaret Ping worked as a Habitat for Humanity International volunteer in 1983. Margaret spoke to many groups in the succeeding years and participated in two Habitat "long walks" with Millard and Linda Fuller in 1985 and 1988 with this she was able to raise some funds, had a good deal of media coverage, but still no impetus to get started. Margaret continued to spread the word about Habitat for Humanity.  During that time period she was asked to write an article for the Montana. Association of Churches' Newsletter, describing Habitat, and the article did inspire some people in Kalispell, and in Bozeman, to start affiliates in their communities.

Then Shirley Wells, who had had some experience with Habitat in another state, moved to town and together, they began the organizing effort and our affiliate officially began in December 1992. 

Habitat for Humanity Mid-Yellowstone Valley’s Beginnings

After many individual contacts, it was decided to send invitations to as many people as they had names for to attend an "organizational" meeting for starting a Habitat affiliate in Billings. The basis of the list was one which they received from the International headquarters of Habitat, with about 300 names of people in Billings who had had some contact with the organization. The first meeting was held at St. Andrew Presbyterian church with about 50 people representing 16 churches and various other organizations in attendance. Bob and Donna Ward, of the Bozeman affiliate, came to tell of their experiences. Several people signed up to work on the major committees. One of these was designated as an Organizing committee. They met every two weeks until April 27. 

Interviews were set up with a variety of individuals and groups who were in a position to know about the housing needs in Billings, and the committee was easily convinced that there was a need for the Habitat program.  They chose a name--Mid-Yellowstone Valley Habitat for Humanity, and secured permission from the office in Americus, GA, to use it. 

Rob Sterup, an attorney, was recruited for the committee and started the long process of writing Articles of Incorporation, and By-laws, which had to be approved by the International office. 

FIRST BOARD OF DIRECTORS

In order to secure the Incorporation, a constituting Board, composed of Shirley Wells, Rob Sterup, and Margaret Ping, had been named. The first Board of Directors was elected by those attending an open meeting at Little Flower Catholic Church on April 27. In addition to the first three already named, the other members were: Marjorie Bear Don't Walk, Steve Bradley, Darrell Ehrlick, Sandy Haney, Jay Jensen, Patricia Otstot, Brenda Schilff, Paula Schilke, Grady Skaggs, Randy Siemers, Ann Treece, and Roy Ventura. 

AFFILIATION 

Finally, after months of struggle on the wording of each item, the application for Affiliation was submitted. One requirement was the having raised at least $3000 from at least 15 different contributors, and this took a while. But, on December 1, Habitat for Humanity Mid-Yellowstone Valley was officially accepted as an Affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, and they could look forward to getting on with the task of building houses for those in need. 

 

1993 - 1 house built by affiliate. Paid Staff: None

1994 - 1 house built by Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd.  Paid Staff: None

1995 - 3 houses built by St. Thomas, Sample Foundation grant and the affiliate. Paid Staff: Part-time Office Manager

1996 - 2 houses built by Piper Jaffray and the affiliate. Paid Staff: Part-time Office Manager

1997 - 3 houses built by St. Thomas, Heights Coalition of Churches and Exxon Billings Refinery. Paid Staff: Part-time Office Manager - 30 hours per week; Seasonal Building Supervisor

1998 - 2 houses built by Norwest Bank and affiliate.  Paid Staff: Part-time Office Manager; Seasonal Building Supervisor

1999 - 3 houses built by Heights Coalition of Churches, HBA and St. Vincent. Paid Staff: Part-time Office manager till October; Building Supervisor, Part-time Volunteer Coordinator, Part-time bookkeeper

2000 - 5 houses built by Scariano Family, Washington Foundation, Mrs. Nora McDonald, Mercata, Inc. and First Interstate Bank.  Paid Staff: Executive Director, Construction Supervisor, Part-time Volunteer Coordinator, Part-time bookkeeper

2001 - 3 houses built by affiliate, Fair Sponsors and Playhouse Parade, first “Raise the Roof” build occurred during the eight and one half days on Montana Fair at MetraPark. The First Major Fundraiser BASHH (Building a Stronger Habitat for Humanity) was held. Paid Staff: Executive Director, Construction Supervisor, Part-time Volunteer Coordinator, Part-time bookkeeper

2002 - 4 houses built by United Methodist Churches, Lutheran Churches and Fair Sponsors and Habitat - Paid Staff: Executive Director, Construction Supervisor, Part-time Volunteer Coordinator, Part-time bookkeeper

2003 – 3 houses built by the 350 Club, US Bank, The Sample Foundation, and The Washington Foundation. Paid Staff: Executive Director, Construction Supervisor, Part-time Volunteer Coordinator, Part-time bookkeeper

2004 – 4 houses built by The Charles M. Bair Family Trust, Wells Fargo Mortgage, First Interstate Bank.  The “Raise the Roof Build” specialty build was Billings’ first ever Women Build Project.  The house was built in seven weeks by hundreds of volunteers in the Rimrock Mall parking lot. Paid Staff: Executive Director, Construction Supervisor, Part-time Volunteer Coordinator, Part-time bookkeeper

2005 – 2 houses built by The Local Oil & Gas Producers and Russ & Dorothy Foreman. The ReStore was launched in March at 18 Orchard Ln. Paid Staff: Executive Director, Construction Supervisor, ReStore Manager, Part-time Volunteer Coordinator, Part-time bookkeeper

2006 – 2 houses built by ThriventBuilds and the ABC6/FOX Partnership. Paid Staff: Executive Director, Construction Supervisor, ReStore Manager, Part-time Volunteer Coordinator, Part-time bookkeeper

2007 – 3 houses built by The Sample Foundation, The Charles M. Bair Family Trust and The Miller’s Family’s donations. Paid Staff: Executive Director, Construction Supervisor, ReStore Manager, Part-time Volunteer Coordinator, Part-time bookkeeper

2008 – 4 houses built by Faith Chapel, First Interstate Bank, Wells Fargo, and St. Vincent Healthcare.   The Habitat offices and the ReStore relocated to 201 N 15th St.  The 1st annual Golf Scramble was held in September. Paid Staff: Executive Director, Construction Supervisor, ReStore Manager, Part-time Volunteer Coordinator, Part-time bookkeeper

2009 – 4 houses built by ThriventBuilds, ExxonMobil, Billings Heights Lions Club, and Wells Fargo.  The ThriventBuilds home was built during the MT Fair at MetraPark. Paid Staff: Executive Director, Construction Supervisor, ReStore Manager, Part-time Volunteer Coordinator, Part-time bookkeeper

2010 – 4 houses built by a generous anonymous donor, ExxonMobil, ThriventBuilds, Floberg Realty, and Billings Clinic. Paid Staff: Executive Director, Construction Supervisor, ReStore Manager, Part-time Volunteer Coordinator, Part-time bookkeeper

2011 – 3 houses built by Wells Fargo, Bob & Audrey Jurovich, and First Christian Church.  

The Habitat offices and the ReStore relocated to 1617 1st Ave. N. Paid Staff: Executive Director, Construction Supervisor, ReStore Manager, Part-time Volunteer Coordinator, Part-time bookkeeper

2012 – 4 houses built by Wells Fargo, The Harnish Foundation, Faith Chapel, and the Margaret Ping house. Paid Staff: Executive Director, Construction Supervisor, ReStore Manager, Homebuyer Services Specialist, Part-time Volunteer Coordinator, Part-time bookkeeper

2013 – 5 houses built by US Bank, St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church, ExxonMobil, First Interstate Bank, and the Cole house. Paid Staff: Executive Director, Construction Supervisor, ReStore Manager, Homebuyer Services Specialist, Part-time Volunteer Coordinator, Part-time bookkeeper

2014 – 3 houses built by Wells Fargo, First Presbyterian, and a generous anonymous donor.  The Wells Fargo build house was built at MT Fair at MetraPark. Paid Staff: Executive Director, Construction Supervisor, ReStore Manager, Homebuyer Services Specialist, Part-time Volunteer Coordinator, Part-time bookkeeper

2015 – 4 houses built by Russ & Dorothy Foreman, ExxonMobil, American Lutheran, SM Energy. Paid Staff: Executive Director, Construction Supervisor, ReStore Manager, Homebuyer Services Specialist, Part-time Volunteer Coordinator, Part-time Business Manager, Part-time bookkeeper

2016 – 4 houses built by First Interstate Bank, Oakland & Co., Wells Fargo, The Staggering Ox, and Mayflower Congregational Church. Paid Staff: Executive Director, Construction Supervisor, ReStore Manager, Homebuyer Services Specialist, Volunteer Coordinator, Part-time Business Manager, Part-time bookkeeper

2017 – 2 houses built by a ThriventBuilds and a generous anonymous donor. Paid Staff: Executive Director, Construction Supervisor, ReStore Manager, Homebuyer Services Specialist, Volunteer Coordinator, Part-time Business Manager, Part-time bookkeeper

2018 – 3 houses built by Billings’ first Apostles build, a generous anonymous donor, and Wells Fargo. In November a fire destroyed the building where the Habitat offices and ReStore w located. Paid Staff: Executive Director, Construction Supervisor, ReStore Manager, Homebuyer Services Specialist, Volunteer Coordinator, Part-time Business Manager, Part-time bookkeeper

2019 – 3 houses built by Helen Fryer, a generous anonymous donor, and an Apostles build. In July the Habitat offices and ReStore re-opened at 685 King Park Dr. Paid Staff: Executive Director, Construction Supervisor, ReStore Manager, Homebuyer Services Specialist, Volunteer Coordinator, Part-time Business Manager, Part-time bookkeeper

2020 – 3 houses built by the Treacy Foundation, a generous anonymous donor, and Bob & Audrey Jurovich. Habitat MYV and the ReStore hosted the 1st Family Fun Day & Playhouse raffle. Paid Staff: Executive Director, Construction Supervisor, ReStore Manager, Homebuyer Services Specialist, Volunteer Coordinator, Part-time Business Manager, Part-time bookkeeper

2021 – 3 houses built by Wells Fargo, Habitat donors, First Interstate Bank, and a generous anonymous donor. Paid Staff: Executive Director, Construction Supervisor, ReStore Manager, Homebuyer Services Specialist, Volunteer Coordinator, Part-time bookkeeper


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Habitat For Humanity Mid-Yellowstone Valley | Billings Montana

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