Habitat on move – Boosting local affiliates

By Todd Cohen

APEX, N.C. — Georgia-based Habitat for Humanity International is expanding staff for nine regional offices that serve 1,600 U.S. affiliates, including a regional office relocated last year to the Triangle from Easley, S.C.

The Central Atlantic Regional Support Center — serving affiliates in the Carolinas, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, the District of Columbia and Bermuda – has built a seven-person staff in Apex.

The office is headed by Rick Beech, former executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Wake County and most recently missions pastor at New Horizons Fellowship in Apex.

The group also has hired John Bell, former director of development for Durham’s Habitat affiliate, as resource development manager.

In addition to raising money for the region’s 214 affiliates and 80 campus chapters, the office will train affiliates and chapters on board development, fundraising, construction, selection of families to live in the houses, and legal and accounting issues.

The staff also recruits religious groups to work with Habitat, and coordinates campus chapters and Americorps volunteers.

“We’re going to provide as much support as we can to grow those organizations so they can be as excellent as they can be,” Bell says.

Working through its affiliates and their volunteers, Habitat has built 100,000 homes throughout the world — and aims to build 200,000 by 2005, housing its billionth resident.

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