COASTAL HABITAT LAUNCHES 21st CONSTRUCTION SEASON + THE ORG’S PRECEDENT-SETTING PROJECT IN WALL
Responding to a need in 1994, 14 locals came together to build affordable, safe housing in Southern Monmouth County, ultimately founding Coastal Habitat for Humanity. Today, the organization has evolved into a sector-leading New Jersey charity.
“Coastal Habitat started out as a small non-profit that was willing to help one family in need at a time,” said Maureen Mulligan, executive director. “Now, we are an organization with multifaceted list of services that help many, many families every year. We have evolved into one of the leaders in the affordable housing sector throughout New Jersey, not only in Monmouth County.”
As the organization launches its 21st spring construction season, volunteers are preparing for the busiest year to-date. Plans for 2015 include more than 60 home rehabilitation projects in Asbury Park and Neptune, the rebuilding of a home in Lake Como and continuing repair of homes in Manasquan, Belmar and Shark River Hills area. This summer, volunteers will begin repairs to the two VFW halls in Asbury Park.
Coastal Habitat is also in the initial stages of building three new single-family homes on privately-donated land in Asbury Park (full story here).
“We have partnered with the City of Neptune to serve as contractor-of-record to complete rehabilitation projects for properties in serious need of repair,” said Mulligan. “In addition to our Brush With Kindness exterior clean-up program, we are helping to keep seniors in their homes with our expanded Ramps and Rails accessibility modification program.”
Since its founding two decades ago, Coastal Habitat has built 15 single-family homes, assisted 50 Superstorm Sandy-impacted families and repaired more than 100 properties in Southern Monmouth County.
With funding support from the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund, Coastal Habitat spent almost 12 months building-out a vacant structure on the Camp Evans property in Wall, creating the only volunteer housing of its kind in the country. The building began welcoming volunteers in 2014.
“We learned from Hurricane Katrina that, for the long-term, to attract volunteers to disaster areas you need adequate shelter,” said Mulligan. “Coastal Habitat led the build-out of the Camp Evans facility specifically to house up to 160 volunteers a night. Now, when people come to work with any Monmouth County charity – like the college students that were here helping Sandy families during spring break – they have a safe, comfortable place to stay.”
And the, err… foundation for the future is strong.
Coastal Habitat is celebrating its 20th Anniversary the evening of April 30 at the Manasquan Country Club. More information at CoastalHabitat.org. For more about the volunteer host site at Camp Evans, click here.