All posts by Teton Habitat

3 Homes Now Available

Three Habitat homes are available for purchase and we are pleased to announce that we now have a new rolling application process. You can apply all year long to be in the Habitat program but you can only apply for these homes until 5pm on August 12, 2021.

Our new website page explains the process from beginning to end. Just click on the “Homeownership” tab or the link at the bottom of this post. It will guide you step by step through the process and lead you to the application at the very end. If you have any further questions you can also attend our public information sessions. They all will be held in Hansen Hall at St. John’s Episcopal Church.

7/21/21 – 6pm to 8pm (English)

7/26/21 – 6pm to 8pm (Spanish)

7/27/21 – 6pm to 8pm (English)

8/10/21 – 6pm to 8pm (Spanish)

2 of the homes are in the Grove neighborhood. They are both end units, have a living space on the main floor and three bedrooms upstairs. They come with 2 parking spaces under the carport.

Our third home is located in Teton Village. The master bedroom is on the main floor. Two additional rooms are upstairs. This unit also has a garage and a small yard.

To apply for these homes, please follow the steps you see listed on our new Homeownership page. You may click the button below to be redirected to the page.

Available Homes:

GO TO THE HOMEOWNERSHIP PAGE

Dedication 2021

Dedication 2021

This year we decided to host the dedication celebration in stages to spread out the risk of spreading the virus . We also wanted to give more time to each of our hard-working homebuyers.  9 homes were finished on time and on budget!

May 20th we hosted tours of the Grove that were open to the public.

May 25th and 26th we held two separate home dedication ceremonies at building 12 and 11 respectively.

June 3rd marked the release of our dedication video!

We are tremendously proud of our homeowners, construction crew, ReStore team, sponsors, donors, volunteers, board, and office team for making dreams come true.

445 E. Kelly Ave

Habitat for Humanity of the Greater Teton Area is proud to announce our newest project in collaboration with the town and county. 445 E. Kelly Ave is the future home of 18 affordable units. In addition to being right next to a Mike Yokel park, the bus stop is steps away, as well as access to nature trails. Which makes this an idea space for new homes.

Our goal is to provide safe, stable, and sustainable affordable housing to individuals and families in the 30% to 80% of the Area Median Income range. This project offers the opportunity to diversify our housing supply by providing one and two-bedroom units in addition to more of our typical three-bedroom sizes.

Buildings will be built in stages of 6 units at a time. Habitat relies on volunteer labor, donated materials, corporate sponsorship, and private financial donations in order to build affordable homes for the workforce in Jackson.

Summer 2021 Homeowner Spotlight

How did you first hear about Habitat for Humanity?

I learned about Habitat through a coworker.

Can you tell us about your current housing situation?

My current housing situation is that where I live is 78 miles away from where I work.

What is your favorite task on the job site?

My favorite task on the job site was painting baseboards, shelves and window seals (everything that needed to be white!).

Do you have any stories about getting your volunteer hours finished?

Not a story but I absolutely loved working at the ReStore with Chad, Nicki, Nate, Forest and Oliver!

How will you decorate your home/make it your own?

Still undecided but I want it to be comfortable and open for entertaining friends/family.

Is there anyone you want to thank?

I want to thank Habitat for choosing me to be a part of this incredible program, my advocate Jean Day and my family for all of the support. Especially my mom and dad for taking care of Eli while I was in Jackson not only working at my full time job but when I was working to gain my sweat equity hours also!

Do any of your kids have something to say about getting their own room/a house? (If so, please let us know which child).

Eli: I am excited that I get to paint my room whatever color I want with Blackhawk and Penguin wall stickers, I’m going to get to have an air hockey table and we will be able to get a dog! I’m also excited to make new friends, go to a new school and play hockey in Jackson!

Grove Tours

Tour The Grove

Habitat for Humanity of the Greater Teton Area has been building at the Grove since 2017. This month we are celebrating the competition of our largest project to date. Join us on a walking tour of the Grove to see what hundreds of volunteers, donors, and community members can accomplish.

Tours will take place from 2 – 6 pm on May 20th. Please sign up in advance. We are restricting the group size to 5 people per tour. Please wear a mask and bring lots of questions. Parking is going to be located at the north end of the library’s parking lot in the spaces closest to the chain-link fence.

Please email our Community Engagement Manager at nick.staron@tetonhabitat.org if you have any questions!

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP

Women Build 2021

Women Build is an international effort encouraging women to build on the job site and get involved with housing advocacy. Usually, we have a week-long build event on the job site. Due to COVID 19, we are trying something new.

We are celebrating by highlighting three women who are working to build a brighter community. We will post their interviews on this site and our social media platforms.

You can also build along with us from home. Our construction crew has built bird feeders that can be assembled at home with our easy video and print instructions.

Here is the first of our video celebrations. This one highlights our Construction Supervisor Kaeli McClenahan.

Next up is Anika Youcha. She is an artist, mother, and future Habitat homebuyer.

And for our Friday, March 12th release, Augusta Friendsmith stopped by to tell us a little bit about being an all-star volunteer.

Bird Feeder Project

Bird Feeder Project

SOLD OUT! The bird feeders are sold out. THANK YOU for your interest and participation. For those of you who reserved your bird feeder, please pick them up at the ReStore between March 2nd and 6th during our normal hours of operation. 

Women Build is an international effort to empower women to work on the job site. This year we are encouraging people to build along with us at home during the week of March 8th. If you placed a reservation for a bird feeder, please pick it up in the ReStore between March 2nd and 6th from 10am to 5pm.

Below are the two links to watch an instructional video about assembly of the bird feeders or you can download the written instructions.

Written Instructions

Annual Denim Drive

Annual Denim Drive

Do you have a dusty old pair of jeans or a 1980’s Canadian Tuxedo that is past its prime? Well, until February 16th, 2021 we are collecting denim products in the ReStore that will be donated to Blue Jeans Go Green. They clean and shred all of the denim and turn it into sustainable insulation material. It is a part of our goal to help create more sustainable housing.

They’ve helped us out by providing multiple homes worth of insulation so lets give back while cleaning our closets!

Teton Habitat Releases Community Need Survey

Habitat for Humanity of the Greater Teton Area (Teton Habitat) is asking community members to participate in our Community Need Survey in order to collect data on diverse housing needs within different segments of our community. The results from this survey will help guide future programs and homeownership opportunities that Habitat offers to the community.

The survey is completely anonymous and contains questions specifically on household make up (income, household size, time in the area, etc.), ownership and location (where you work and live, current house conditions, etc.), and Habitat program awareness (current and future programs). The questions intend to identify gap in our community needs that are not being addressed by current services. The information collected will only be used for internal data collection. All members of the community are being asked to participate. We will be collecting data through mid-December.

“The data gathered in the Community Need Survey will inform all aspects of our organization so that we remain relevant to our community’s housing needs,” says Wendy Martinez, Homeowner Services Manager. “This is crucial internal information that will determine things such as bedrooms size, design of homes, and future programs offered.”

About the Community Need Survey

Click here to take the survey in English

Click here to take the survey in Spanish

 Feel free to spread the word! Thank you in advanced for your time and thoughtfulness in answering our questionnaire

Cushman Named AARP Wyoming Andrus Award Winner for 2020

Written and published by Tom Lacock on October 20, 2020

There are several excuses Don Cushman of Thayne could use to avoid volunteering with Habitat for Humanity – he is nearly 60 miles away from a build site, he is 77 years old, and his knee doesn’t work quite like it used to.

Despite all that, Don has not shied away from helping others, having volunteered over 2,000 hours (the equivalent of 83 days) over the last 15 years with Habitat for Humanity in Teton County. During that time, he has taken part in 45 home builds for 51 families. Those homes would go on to house over 150 children.

Because of his hard work and willingness to lend a hand, Cushman has been named AARP Wyoming’s Andrus Award Winner for 2020. Cushman edged out the other finalist, Wyoming First Lady Jennie Gordon, in an online vote for the award, and will be presented with the state’s premiere community service award for those age 50 and over.

“I am quite honored, actually,” Cushman says of his win. “I found out there was a round of voting going on online and I was one of the finalists. Then, it became fun because I saw people voting for me and I wondered how different people found out about this. It was people voting for me that I had not talked to in a long time. It has been a wonderful reunion.”

For the last three years, AARP Wyoming has named two or three finalists for the state award, then asked the public to vote for their favorite by “liking,” and “sharing,” a post featuring each finalist. This year, Cushman’s video received 197 likes, 79 shares and 15 comments, and was viewed nearly 6,000 times. Gordon’s video was also a powerhouse, receiving 48 likes, another 40 shares and was viewed nearly 8,000 times.

About the Award

The Andrus Award, named after AARP founder, Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus, recognizes individuals who are sharing their experience, talent, and skills to enrich their communities in ways that are consistent with AARP’s mission, vision, and commitment to volunteer service.

Only one volunteer per state (or couple performing service together) can receive the award each year and the recipient must live in the awarding state. The award winner is required to be at least 50 years old, and the achievements, accomplishments, or service on which the nomination is based must reflect AARP’s vision and mission. This is not a posthumous award.

From Tubas to Tetons

Cushman is a native of the cornfields of West Central Indiana, who attended Indiana University and earned two degrees in music education. After teaching music in the suburbs of Chicago for three years, he completed a doctorate in instructional technology in 1971 and started working at Indiana Central University (now the University of Indianapolis). After working at ICU for seven years, in 1983 he took a sabbatical to study schools who were using computers in the classroom. His studies took him to Oregon, Alaska, and Jackson, Wyoming.

He returned to Wyoming in the winter of 1983-84 and became a park ranger in Grand Teton National Park, a job he enjoyed for 10 years before becoming a park ranger at the National Elk Refuge for the final 10 years of his career. He also engaged in the community by starting and conducting the Jackson Hole Community Band for 17 years (he still plays), conducting church choirs in Jackson, leading community fundraisers for the Rotary Club in Jackson to combat polio, and teaching for Central Wyoming College at its Jackson campus for 11 years.

“It’s been a rich life,” Cushman says.

A Commitment To Volunteer

After retiring 15 years ago, Cushman took a trip to Mississippi with the Presbytery of Wyoming to help repair homes damaged by Hurricane Katrina. That experience led Cushman to make a commitment to work more consistently with Habitat for Humanity in Teton County. Cushman began driving the 55 miles each way, often twice-a-week (4,500 miles) to build sites in Teton County, which has culminated in its current effort, a five-year, six-building expansion called The Grove, which will provide affordable housing for 24 families concluding next spring.

“It has been a real trip to meet the people who will be the future homeowners for the work we are doing,” Cushman says. “They work their tails off and getting to know these people, who are real human beings with a real need to support themselves and their families, has been amazing. These are people trying to get themselves out of absolute dumps of homes and it is good to see them literally get a new lease on life.”

No Signs of Slowing Down

Since starting with Teton Habitat, Cushman has let very little get in the way of his volunteering. A knee surgery last year resulted in five weeks off the jobsite, but he is back and the knee is better than ever.

“I once heard a pastor say, ‘Now, let’s put some muscle behind our prayers,’ and that is how I perceive this award now,” Cushman says. “A lot of people can throw $5 into the pot and we need to have those dollars to make this program and Jennie Gordon’s programs go. But what is impressive to the future homeowners we work with is to see the volunteers come in and help.”

The Andrus Award is not the first time Cushman has been honored for his work with Teton Habitat. He has been named the Turnkey Award – given to the volunteer with the highest number of volunteer hours on a project – numerous times, and was named Habitat’s Lee Kuntz Volunteer of The Year Award winner for the Rocky Mountain Region in 2016.

Despite being 77 years old, he says he refuses to slow down.

“Last year tennis player Roger Federer was interviewed after winning a tournament at age 38 and someone asked him how he regarded his success at his advanced age. He said, ‘I don’t look at what’s left, I look at what’s next,” and that is how I look at it.”

2020 Finalists 

The other finalist  was Wyoming First Lady Jennie Gordon who was nominated by Laramie County resident Sharon Fain. In her nomination, Fain lifted up Gordon’s work on The Wyoming Hunger Initiative, which created a framework to support existing non-profits who are working to eliminate hunger in Wyoming, and during COVID-19 developed a website that let citizens know of free food resources in each Wyoming County.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Initiative started a COVID-19 Task Force, before taking in private funds and turned those dollars into action. The Initiative allocated $50,000 for infrastructure grants to anti-hunger efforts in March, then another $40,000 per month from April through August to ensure every county received funding to replenish food pantries. The group then worked with Wyoming Food Bank of the Rockies to financially support mobile food pantries that reached all 23 counties

“First Lady Gordon is a force and knew the success of the Wyoming Hunger Initiative would be based on a set of extraordinary volunteers and organizations across our great state,” Fain says. “She is a true leader and her mission to end hunger in the state of Wyoming has engaged new partners and supporters who share her vision.”

In addition to the work of the Wyoming Hunger Initiative, Gordon partnered with the Wyoming Department of Health’s Aging Division to solicit, collect, and distribute hand-written cards for the state’s older adults who were homebound. That drive resulted in around 6,000 cards.

“Don is the definition of dedicated volunteer. His positivity and commitment to Teton Habitat is contagious!” Elizabeth Ferguson, Community Engagement Manger, Teton Habitat

Past Winners

  • The 2019 Andrus Award winners, Karen and Walter Jones, spend their retirement years volunteering with the National Park Service in Grand Teton National Park. For four months out of the year, the Jones’ live in their camper and devote their time to ensuring that the visitors of the park have a fulfilling and educational visit. Their duties with the park include talks about bear safety, animal information, and cultural history. They can be found answering questions at the desk or out on the hiking trails.
  • When the rules committee was making up those rules, it almost seems they had 2018 Andrus Award Winner, Kay Bjorklund of Thermopolis, in mind. Kay, age 95, remains a Chamber of Commerce Ambassador, welcoming new businesses to Thermopolis, as well as program director for her Kiwanis Club, lining up speakers for the club’s twice-monthly meetings. One week a month you can find Kay delivering Meals on Wheels to Thermopolis residents. Each weekend she is acting activities director for The Pioneer Home, where she lines up Wii Bowling tournaments and shuffleboard. Kay would also mention she carries a 231 average on Wii bowling. If that isn’t enough, she also volunteers one day a week in the gift shop of the hospital in Thermopolis, and works with the doorstep ministry of her church.
  • Clayton and Gloria Jensen were honored as winners of the 2017 Andrus Award by AARP Wyoming. The Jensens are the coaches at the Casper Boxing Club in Casper where they have gained a reputation for changing the lives of at-risk young men and women. The mission of Casper Boxing Club is to promote sportsmanship, responsibility, integrity, loyalty, and individuality through education, dedication, desire, and a commitment to maximize excellence. The program seeks to use the mind and body as a catalyst to bring about change, creating an environment to reach youth who others may have written off as unreachable.

To nominate or for more information

For more information on the process, contact Tanya Johnson, AARP Wyoming’s Associate State Director for Outreach and Local Advocacy, at 307-214-7965 or tajohnson@aarp.org.

 

Building strength, stability, and self-reliance!
Habitat for Humanity of the Greater Teton Area (Teton Habitat)
elizabeth@tetonhabitat.org | 307-734-0828
850 W. Broadway | P.O. Box 4194
Jackson Hole, WY 83001
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