Our mission is to put God's love into action, by bringing local families, individuals, businesses, and organizations together to build strength, stability, and self-reliance through shelter.
Habitat for Humanity of Southeast Ohio began in 1990 as Athens County Habitat for Humanity by a group of concerned citizens. The organization started with some repair work and began building homes soon after that. By 2000, they had grown enough to hire their first Executive Director. In 2011, our current Executive Director, Ken Oehlers, was hired and we opened our first ReStore, located in The Plains, Ohio.
In 2013, several Habitat affiliates in Southeast Ohio agreed to consolidate with us to better serve the community, establishing Habitat for Humanity of Southeast Ohio. Initially, a 6 county affiliate, (serving Athens, Hocking, Perry, Morgan, Noble, and Meigs Counties), we immediately increased our home-building capacity to 3 homes per year and hired our first professional Construction Director. The ReStore in The Plains relocated to Athens and remains there today. In 2015, Zanesville agreed to consolidate under our umbrella, expanding our service area to include Muskingum County. As part of this expansion, we opened up an additional office and ReStore in Zanesville, where it is still thriving.
In 2016, we began building 3-5 homes per year, and due to the high demand for services, we launched our Home Repair Program throughout our service area. Additionally, we began our first Land Bank partnership with the Muskingum County Land Reutilization Corporation receiving a donation of 7 lots in the City of Zanesville. We also began partnerships with Career Centers involving students who build modular or stick-built and on-site homes providing real-world educational opportunities for the construction professionals of tomorrow. In 2017, we embarked on our first Capital Campaign to build an office, warehouse, and training facility in Athens County. This successful campaign allowed us to move from our cramped 600 square feet offices to a new facility with offices, storage space, a training center, a wood shop, and warehouse space for construction tools and ReStore stock.
In 2020, Habitat for Humanity of Fairfield County agreed to come under our organization as our 8th county. This allowed us to open a third office and make significant investments in the ReStore operations already existing in Fairfield County. At this point, we had grown to build 5-6 homes annually and provide home repairs for 3-4 families per year. In 2022, we launched our most recent program, Community Renovations & Repairs. This program, a social enterprise, provides fee-based construction services to other housing non-profits within our service area and provides job training for individuals in SE Ohio who have difficulty obtaining employment.
As of 2023, thanks to our dedicated employees, volunteers, and community supporters, Habitat for Humanity of Southeast Ohio has grown to serve over 60 families annually, including building 6-8 homes per year. We are always looking for ways to help the Southeast Ohio region, which all our staff calls home, and ensure that everyone has an opportunity to live in decent, safe, and affordable housing.
Habitat for Humanity of Southeast Ohio has an open-door policy. All who believe that everyone needs a decent, affordable place to live are welcome to help with the work, regardless of race, religion, age, gender, political views, or any of the other distinctions that too often divide people. In short, Habitat welcomes volunteers and supporters from all backgrounds and serves people needing decent housing regardless of race or religion. As a matter of policy, Habitat for Humanity International and its affiliated organizations do not proselytize. This means that Habitat will not offer assistance on the expressed or implied condition that people must either adhere to or convert to a particular faith, or listen and respond to messaging designed to induce conversion to a specific religion.
Habitat for Humanity International and its affiliated organizations will not proselytize. Nor will HFH work with entities or individuals who insist on proselytizing as part of their work with HFH. This means that HFH will not offer assistance on the expressed or implied condition that people must adhere to or convert to a particular faith or listen and respond to messaging designed to induce conversion to a specific religion.