The Builder
fall 2017

more than houses

donor support has multiple impacts:

Over the course of 30 years, our donors have often mentioned the satisfaction they get from seeing their donations making an impact right here where hey can see it happen. That's great, but even our loyal supporters can’t possibly see all the impacts of the home ownership their donations make possible. Let's look at three big areas of impact.

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impact on

Homeownership provides families the stability to become self-reliant and build personal net worth.  Quality housing at an affordable cost also improves a family’s health by freeing up resources for nutritious food as well as healthcare spending.  And children of homeowners consistently do better in school and go on to higher education and better jobs.

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impact on neighborhoods

Homeowners belong to community organizations and volunteer locally.  They are often the community leaders who fight for better schools, parks and quality of life.  It’s only when residents rise up to take back their own community that you see change happen, as Paterson Habitat homeowners did in support of public library services in the 1st Ward.

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impact on
the city of Paterson

Habitat homeowners pay a mortgage that is reinvested into building new Habitat homes.  Each new home constructed means building materials and professional services purchased, adding to the local economy.  Plus over Paterson Habitat’s 30+ year history, our homes have added $25 million to the city’s tax rolls, generating almost $1 million in annual tax payments. 

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Meet Julia, Luis and Vanessa

When Julia and Luis got married 20-plus years ago, they created a blended family with six children aged 6 months to 6 years. Over the years they worked hard to make their third-floor walk-up apartment in a deteriorating building on Paterson's River Street into a decent place to raise children.

But when defective wiring ignited a fire that forced them to evacuate for the third time, they'd had enough. Now they're partnering with Paterson Habitat to build and buy a home in our 4th Ward 12-block focus area --- where new homes and homeowner families are leading a neighborhood comeback.  Julia, Luis and their youngest child Vanessa, who just graduated with honors from Montclair State University, will move into a spacious, energy efficient home.

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Celebrating 85 years of marriage, Habitat style

The Fernstrom clan of Franklin Lakes is celebrating a collective 85 years of marriage by building and partially financing a Habitat house. They launched a fundraising and building campaign to celebrate the significant wedding anniversaries of three couples within their family. Longtime Habitat supporters Barbara and George Fernstrom led the way with their 50th anniversary, followed by the 20th anniversary of their son Kurt and his wife Jennifer, and the 15th anniversary of son Gregg and his bride Kathy. Friends and relatives were invited to make donations and sign up for construction shifts to build a house on Hamilton Avenue in our 4th Ward revitalization area. It will be the home of Julia, Luis and their daughter Vanessa (see their story on this page). So happy anniversary Fernstroms, and thanks for celebrating with Habitat by building a “Fernie” House. 

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Progress measurable and immeasurable

We're ending 2017 with 287 families living in homes built and financed in partnership with Habitat. That's 1500 people served  in Paterson, plus another 2,000 globally through international tithing. Of the 75 houses we pledged to build in our 4th Ward target area, 56 are built or under construction. We're making the 1st Ward a better environment for families by reviving distressed houses and working with the community on public safety, supporting the local library and creating economic opportunity. Other forms of progress defy easy measurement, like the “Habitat kids”  growing up with the stability and safety of living in their own homes and going on to be successful adults. Thanks to our donors and volunteers, we continue to make progress towards a world where everyone has a decent place to call home.


Habitat rallying for hurricane victims

As they have done in response to so many past disasters, Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI) is raising funds to help hurricane victims.  A Hurricane Harvey & Irma fund has seen set up by HFHI specifically for the rebuilding of homes, a process that will continue long after the storm emergency is passed.  Donations can be made to Paterson Habitat and we'll pass them along to HFHI. And as we have done in past disasters, Paterson Habitat will be organizing volunteer construction crews to go to these devastated areas as soon as authorities in the flood areas are ready for our help. To find out the latest on Habitat’s response, visit and

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