Throughout this year, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Plymouth will be holding several events in celebration of the affiliate’s 25th anniversary, including the annual Hearts & Hammers Gala, which will be held in person this year on Friday, Oct. 7, at the Hotel 1620 in Plymouth. All are welcome to attend.
The origins of the local chapter of this international organization dedicated to ensuring affordable housing actually date back to 1995, when two local ministers and a cranberry grower – the Rev. Bob Merritt, the Rev. Dick Coleman and Wayne Barnes – came together with a small group of committed people to help their neighbors. They had a vision of building in the Habitat model of partner homeowners working side-by-side with volunteers to construct decent, affordable housing. Initially a chapter of South Shore Habitat for Humanity, this group wanted to focus on creating affordable housing in the “Cranberry Country” of southern Plymouth County – specifically in the towns of Plymouth, Kingston, Carver, Middleborough, Lakeville and Plympton.
In 1997, the affiliate was incorporated under the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as a separate entity with its own Board of Directors and corps of dedicated volunteers. By 2000, the first partner homeowner and her two daughters occupied their home and the affiliate was on its way to building a steady stream of more homes.
In July 2007, the affiliate opened the first ReStore in Massachusetts, Habitat’s social enterprise which helps to fund the organization’s mission work. Donated, gently-used furniture, appliances and other homes goods are sold to the public at discounted prices. The ReStore relocated in 2020 to an improved location in Carver.
In 2014, the Greater Plymouth affiliate became a certified Veteran Build Affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, in order to better engage and serve the veteran community.
To date, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Plymouth has built 13 homes and has completed major rehab projects on another six. The homes have been occupied by 72 people with 58 children growing up in them. This affiliate has also completed more than 70 repair, weatherization and/or disability ramp projects through its Brush with Kindness program.
In April, the organization began a significant home renovation project in Plymouth for the family of a young woman who has suffered loss of mobility and vision due to contracting Stevens Johnson Syndrome, a rare disease caused by severe reaction to prescribed medication.
More information can be found at www.hfhplymouth.org.