All posts by Teton Habitat

First Interstate Bank Donates $100,000 to Teton Habitat

Release Date: Wednesday, July 6th, 2023

This donation is part of First Interstate Bank’s Believe in Local program which supports Teton Habitat’s Parkside at Benson-Brown Station project.

(Jackson, WY, July 5th) – Teton Habitat is proud to announce a $100,000 gift from First Interstate for our Parkside at Benson-Brown Station affordable housing project. This donation is a part of First Interstate Bank and the First Interstate BancSystem Foundation’s Believe in Local grant. First Interstate donated $25,000 as part of a $3-to-$1 funding match from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines for a total donation of $100,000 to Parkside.

“Teton Habitat can only build truly affordable homes in Teton County through generous support from our partners like First Interstate and FHLB Des Moines. With this significant donation, Teton Habitat has raised 1⁄3 of the Parkside fundraising goal,” said Kris Greenville, Executive Director of Teton Habitat.

Parkside at Benson-Brown Station is an 18-unit housing development being built in partnership with Teton County and the Jackson/Teton County Housing Department. Parkside will be completed in three phases, with six units in each phase. This project includes a mix of 2- and 3-bedroom units to better address the diverse needs of local families and individuals earning up to 80% Area Median Income (AMI).

“Giving back to the places we cll home is central to who we are as a community bank,” said Richard Uhl, First Interstate market president in Jackson. “Our Believe in Local grant campaign captures our core values in action and is the ideal way to celebrate the nonprofit organizations that deliver the greatest positive impact. We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to further support Habitat for Humanity of the Greater Teton Area in their work to make our community a better place to live, work, and raise a family.”


About the ‘Believe in Local’ Campaign

First Interstate Bank launched the Believe in Local campaign in 2022 to celebrate the Bank’s longstanding commitment to the communities it serves. Each year, forty nonprofit organizations across the Bank’s 14-state footprint receive a $25,000 gift in support of their mission. Habitat for Humanity of the Greater Teton Area was nominated by local First Interstate employees and selected from a pool of over 500 submissions thanks to its alignment with the Bank’s philanthropic goals.


About Habitat for Humanity of the Greater Teton Area

Founded in 1995, Habitat for Humanity of the Greater Teton Area brings people together to build homes, community, and hope. Over the last 30 years, Teton Habitat has built 57 homes for individuals and families to address the housing crisis in the Teton County. Teton Habitat is the only housing organization in the County exclusively serving individuals and families earning up to 80% of AMI.


Positive Outcomes of Homeownership

It is no surprise that homeownership leads to many positive outcomes, for individuals and families. But did you know that those positive outcomes benefit our collective economic stability, civic and social engagement, reduce our environmental footprint, and more?

Teton Habitat is excited to share the following research findings about the outcomes of homeownership from Habitat for Humanity International

Through a series of evidence briefs, Habitat is bringing to light research on the impact that affordable housing has on individuals and families at home and beyond. This brief provides an overview of how families can prosper with greater access to decent, affordable housing. Check out our highlights below and download the full brief.

Research highlights

Wealth and financial stability

  • U.S. homeowners have an average net wealth that is 400% higher than that of renters with similar demographics and earnings, and home equity represents the largest proportion of wealth (34.5%) for U.S. households.
  • Research has shown a correlation between homeownership and increased wealth, with each year of homeownership tending to be associated with an additional $9,500 in net wealth, on average.
  • In 2019, net wealth was lower for lower-income ($9,300), Black ($24,100) and Hispanic/Latinx households ($36,050) than for higher-income ($1,589,300) and white households ($189,100). Home equity represented a larger share of net wealth for low-income households and Black and Hispanic/Latinx households.​​

Civic and social engagement​​​​​

  • Homeowners are more likely to vote in local elections than renters in comparable neighborhoods, and this likelihood increases with the degree of neighborhood disadvantage in low-income urban areas.​​​​​​
  • Regardless of the length of time they have owned a home, homeowners are 1.3 times more likely to become involved in a neighborhood group and to join a civic association than renters. The increased participation in neighborhood groups holds true in low-income neighborhoods as well.


  • For older single-family homes, weatherization reduces low-income households’ total energy costs by 12.4% within the first year. This is substantial given that low-income households have higher energy burdens, spending three times the share of their annual income (7.2%) on energy costs as compared with other households (2.3%).


  • Children of low-income homeowners are 11% more likely to graduate from high school and are 4.5% more likely to complete post-secondary education than children of low-income renters.
  • Homeowners can leverage their housing wealth to finance post-secondary education for their children, especially lower- and moderate-income households. For lower- and moderate-income households, a $10,000 increase in housing wealth raises the probability of college attendance by 14%.


  • Decreasing housing costs for cost-burdened households (those spending more than half of their household expenditures on housing) releases resources to spend on nutritious food and healthcare and limits overcrowding to minimize the spread of respiratory infectious diseases.


Would you like the opportunity to be a homeowner in the Greater Teton Area? Learn more here. Would you like to support the mission of Teton Habitat? Donate here. 


Article Source:

Teton Habitat Director Speaks up For Affordable Housing

Teton Habitat is exceptionally proud to have board members who stand up for affordable housing in our community. Recently, Board Member Christina Feuz told Teton County Commissioners to “stop asking whether or not Habitat for Humanity can perform. We’re tried and true,” regarding the scalability of building homes in Northern South Park. 

Find the full article, Can county guarantee affordable South Park homes? from Jackson Hole News & Guide HERE.

5 Reasons to Volunteer with Teton Habitat

Volunteering is a selfless act that allows individuals to make a positive impact on their communities and the lives of others. Teton Habitat offers a unique opportunity for volunteers to contribute to a worthy cause—building truly affordable homes for families in need in our community. Below are five reasons why you should consider volunteering with us. 

  • Making a Tangible Difference in People’s Lives:

By participating in building projects, you directly contribute to constructing homes that will improve the lives of individuals and communities. According to a survey conducted by Habitat for Humanity International, 89% of homeowners reported better family health, and 79% reported improved academic performance of their children after moving into a Habitat home [1]. Your involvement can create a lasting impact and help break the cycle of poverty.

  • Developing Valuable Skills:

Volunteering with Teton Habitat offers a unique opportunity to learn and develop valuable skills. From basic construction techniques to more advanced carpentry, plumbing, and electrical skills, volunteers can gain hands-on experience under the guidance of skilled professionals. These skills can be applied not only in future volunteering endeavors but also in personal projects or even potential career opportunities in the construction industry [2]. Volunteering for Teton Habitat provides a platform for continuous learning and personal growth.

  • Building Stronger Communities:

Habitat for Humanity’s mission extends beyond constructing homes; it aims to build stronger communities. By volunteering, you become part of a collaborative effort to create sustainable neighborhoods in the Greater Teton Area where families can thrive. Teton Habitat’s focus on engaging the local community fosters a sense of unity and connection. Through shared experiences, you will meet people from diverse backgrounds, forming lasting friendships and deepening your understanding of social issues.

  • Empowering Homeowners:

Habitat for Humanity’s unique approach empowers future homeowners by involving them in the building process. Sweat equity is a core principle, requiring homeowners to contribute a specified number of hours toward the construction of their own home or other Habitat projects. By volunteering, you directly support and interact with these families, offering encouragement and assisting them in achieving their dreams of homeownership. Witnessing their journey and the transformative power of having a stable home can be an incredibly rewarding experience.

  • Engaging in Meaningful Volunteering Opportunities:

Volunteering for Teton Habitat goes beyond merely donating money. It offers a chance to actively participate and engage in meaningful hands-on work. Whether you have construction experience or are a complete novice, there are various tasks to suit your skills and abilities. From laying foundations and installing roofs to painting walls and landscaping, each task contributes to the overall goal of creating safe and affordable housing. By joining the team for a day or a year, you become part of a global network of volunteers striving for positive change.


Get involved today and become part of the Teton Habitat family! Click HERE to volunteer on the construction site at 445 E Kelly. Have questions? Give our Volunteer Manager, Laneisha Pickens, a call: 307-734-0828 ext. 102.




  1. Habitat for Humanity International. (2021). 2020 Habitat for Humanity Homeowner Survey. Retrieved from


  1. Hickey, C. (2019, February 26). Why Volunteering in Construction Can Boost Your Career. Construction Junkie. Retrieved from



Teton Habitat Announces the 2023 Dream Builder’s Luncheon

Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Teton Habitat is excited to announce the annual Dream Builder’s Luncheon on Wednesday, June 21, 2023 on the lawn at Calico Restaurant. From Executive Director Kris Greenville, “This is Teton Habitat’s largest fundraising event of the year, and this year our goal is to raise $375,000. This amount is the total cost of construction for one unit in the 18-unit Parkside project in east Jackson.”


Parkside at Benson-Brown Station will be an 18-unit housing development built in partnership with Teton County and the Jackson/Teton County Housing Department. Parkside will be completed in three phases, with six units in each phase. This project includes a mix of 2- and 3-bedroom townhomes to better address the diverse needs of local families and individuals earning up to 80% AMI. With your support, Parkside homes will help working individuals and families achieve strength, stability, and self-reliance through affordable homeownership.

Founded in 1995, Teton Habitat has built homes for individuals and families to address the housing crisis in the Greater Teton Area. Teton Habitat is the only housing organization in Teton County exclusively serving individuals and families earning up to 80% of AMI. In Teton County, 80% AMI for a family of four is up to $89,400.

Tickets are available for purchase at . The Teton Habitat team is also looking for Catalyst sponsors to help raise $200,000 prior to the event.


Please contact Jason Bruni at for more information or to make a donation.


Partner Spotlight: Wells Fargo Builds

Did you know Wells Fargo helps build Habitat homes across the United States?

In the last two years, Wells Fargo has Wells Fargo helped Habitat for Humanity build, renovate and repair more than 770 homes across the United States through the Wells Fargo Builds℠ program. Additionally, Wells Fargo has committed $7.75 million in grant funding for local Habitat affiliates to increase the supply of affordable homes nationwide.

Right here in Teton County, we are so grateful for the support of Wells Fargo throughout our development of The Grove, during which time Teton Habitat was awarded over $800,000 in grants to build truly affordable housing in our community.
Just last month, we were thrilled to welcome our local Wells Fargo branch to our newest build site, Parkside at Benson & Brown Station.

Thanks to Wells Fargo Builds and the support of our local branch, 3 Habitat homebuyers are one step closer to strength, stability, and empowerment through shelter.


Homeowner Spotlight: Tait Graham


How did you first hear about Habitat for Humanity?

I heard about Habitat for Humanity when my friend Jim Wolfgang was chosen for a home about 10 years ago.

Can you tell us about your current housing situation?

It is difficult. I live with my daughter and our dog Cookies in employee housing in the basement of the building I work in. My rent is 50% of what Community Entry Services, my employer, pays me. The biggest problem is the flooding. Every March or April when the snow starts to melt the groundwater raises and our apartment floods. Then the snow from the parking lot and roof melts and makes the problem much worse. By May, there is usually two inches of water in my daughter’s room and my carpet is completely soaked. Two years ago, I woke up to water pouring from the ceiling onto my bed, desk, and in my closet. It was coming through the seams in the sheetrock. The ceiling nearly collapsed from the weight of the trapped water. My daughter’s room and the bathroom were also flooding from the ceiling.

By July, it’s usually dry after Servpro comes and installs two huge loud dehumidifiers but the horrible smell persists into August. At that point, we have to move everything into the kitchen so they can replace the sheetrock and carpet in the bedrooms and bathroom. Last year that took a week. We have done this for 5 years. My employer Community Entry Services has tried to fix it but apparently, there is nothing that can be done. I still felt grateful for consistent housing after moving so often before we got this apartment.

What is your favorite task on the job site?

I really like doing siding and flooring. It is great to see the progress. It is also fun to use saws and nail guns and it feels so much like building something. Siding was especially fun on the scaffolding when the weather is warm.

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

When Covid hit, I was worried about completing my friends and family portion of my volunteer hours. I had a lot of family planning on coming throughout the summer and they were not able to. In general, it was difficult to ask anyone to put themselves or family at risk by volunteering. (Editors note: the risk here is in reference to the pandemic) By the time we were shut down for a second time, my friends and family hours were completed. It really was unbelievable and such a relief. Wonderful people like Don Cushman, Matt Hare, and Augusta Friedsmith had made large contributions to my hours through their hard work. I have completed all my volunteer hours and now the hours I will earn before closing can be donated to my neighbors and I am grateful for that opportunity.

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

I haven’t had the time to give that very much thought. I have agreed to give my daughter complete control in that department. People are so generous with furniture and other items that I am not worried about furnishing our home at all. I am very relieved to have saved enough for the appliances that Habitat has arranged.

 Is there anyone you want to thank?

It’s so hard to even know where to start. Unfortunately, I’m sure I will forget someone that has been crucial to this miracle. It has been such a fun time building my neighbors and my home with everybody from Habitat and the volunteers. I am so grateful for this home and it makes me so happy to see how happy my daughter is. Specifically, I would like to thank- Don Cushman, Kaeli McClenahan, Kai and Simone, Brandon West, Peter Wood, Nick, Tony Cross, Olga Salmina, Matt Hare, Wendy Martinez, Nick ‘Styx’ Staron, Kris Greenville, Augusta Friendsmith, Elizabeth Ferguson, Jackson Hole High School Honor Society and my nephew Robby Gilmore. I would also like to thank all the sponsors, builders and I am unendingly grateful to the Board of Habitat for Humanity of the Greater Teton Area. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

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.  Nine 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.