The Builder
spring 2018

building the beloved community


Where are they now?

In the winter of 2016 we introduced you to Raquel and Sam and their son Samuel.  They were living in a damp, moldy basement but starting the process of becoming Habitat homeowners. That journey is now completed and they’re living in an attractive new townhouse on Governor Street in the heart of our 4th Ward Revitalization District. New houses and new homeowners like Raquel and Sam are part of the comeback underway in this struggling neighborhood.  "I am so thankful that Paterson Habitat believed in us," said Raquel. "I don't have words to express the change this has made in our lives."


why I build

I BUILD with Paterson Habitat because I grew up with insecurities in housing and believe that people should not have the state of their homes and neighborhoods determine their opportunities in life. Habitat volunteers work hard to offer access to a decent home so loving and supportive families can raise their children in as safe a place as possible --- working in partnership with the families themselves.  I have been grateful for having a loving family and good neighbors that gave me the support I needed to be the man I am today.  That gratitude is what drives me to help and support the work of Paterson Habitat.  


Spring cleaning? let us help!

Remodeling, cleaning out, down-sizing or just getting organized? The Paterson Habitat ReStore can help you declutter your home, work space or business. We put the proceeds from selling your donations to good use by building new homes in partnership with families in your community. We accept tax-deductible donations of household goods, furniture, appliances and building materials. To donate, volunteer, and shop, visit

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Meet Eliezer and Juli

Juli has a world class smile and a laugh that sounds like music. These days she has good cause to use both.

In July she and her husband Eli will welcome their first child, a boy. And the little guy will start life with an advantage unknown to Eli and Juli. He'll grow up with the security of living in a home owned by his parents.

Their new Habitat home on Hamilton Avenue in our 4th Ward Revitalization area is not only owned by Juli and Eli, they helped to build it. Like all Habitat homeowners, this young couple had to put in 400 hours of volunteer labor.

Juli and Eli didn't know the house they were working on would eventually be theirs. But they worked as if they already owned it. Someone asked Eli why he was painting the interior so meticulously.

"I have to paint this house with the same love as if it were mine," answered  Eli, works as a full-time substitute special education teacher in Paramus.  "Because I want the people who paint our house to paint with the same kind of love."

Juli feels that kind of love towards their new home.  "When you live in your own house,'" she explains, "It's like the house becomes part of your family and you take care of it."

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We're all building Dr. King's "Beloved Community"

During his all too short life, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. often referred to the "Beloved Community" --- a vision of access, equality and opportunity for all.

As America marks the 50th anniversary of Dr. King's assassination in Memphis on April 4, 1968, Habitat for Humanity is partnering with the King Center in Atlanta and renewing its pledge to make the vision of the Beloved Community into a reality.

Habitat affiliates across the country are responding to the King Center's MLK 50 Forward challenge to undertake 50 acts of kindness and service with Beloved Community projects such as new home construction, repairing existing homes and neighborhood revitalization.

With the help of our donors, volunteers and homeowner families, Paterson Habitat is pushing ahead with all those activities, especially in our 12-block 4th Ward Revitalization Area. The new houses built in that neighborhood and the new families moving into them are reviving a community while empowering individual families with the stability and security of having a decent affordable place to call home.

We're delighted to salute Dr. King's memory by continuing this work in 2018 as  part of the  Beloved Community  initiative. And we’re doing it in a neighborhood where memories of Dr. King are poignant and personal.

On March 27, 1968, just days before his fateful trip to Memphis, Dr. King spoke to an overflow crowd from the pulpit at Bethel AME Church in Paterson. The church at Governor and Auburn Streets is in our 4th Ward Revitalization Area and Bethel Pastor Rev. Allen Boyer is on the Paterson Habitat Advisory Board.

It was a half century ago, but there are still people in -Paterson who remember where they were that day and other details of Dr. King's visit.  Although there is no preserved record of his speech, it had a theme of social and economic justice.

How pleased Dr. King would be to know that right next to the church where he spoke, Paterson Habitat is building new homes in partnership with homeowner families.

"With every new home that Habitat for Humanity builds, we move one step closer to my father's vision of the Beloved Community," said Dr. Bernice A. King, daughter of Dr. King.

We can all be proud that part of the Beloved Community is under construction right here in Paterson.

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Habitat Hammers Back:
Puerto Rico

Habitat has a proud tradition of helping disaster victims as long as they need us, long after the media’s attention has shifted elsewhere. That’s why we’re participating in the Habitat Hammers Back hurricane recovery program to help families hit  by the devastating hurricanes last year in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico. Habitat’s three-phase disaster response focuses on immediate relief, community stabilization and long-term recovery.

Paterson Habitat will focus on Puerto Rico by launching a $10,000 campaign this Spring to build or repair housing on the island. The board of Paterson Habitat has jump started this campaign with a $5,000 donation toward that goal. We’d love your help with the rest.

So far over 6,000 emergency shelter kits have been distributed in Puerto Rico and Habitat International is now assessing construction priorities. Work has been delayed because power is still not fully restored to the beleaguered island. Our work is just beginning, but we will see it through to the end. Help us help those affected by the hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria in Puerto Rico.

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Travel with us to Malawi

Paterson Habitat's "Travel with a Purpose” (TWAP) program will be sending a team of volunteers back to the African nation of Malawi from Nov.  2nd to Nov. 11th, 2018.  We’ll build a home where orphans and other at-risk children can live in safety under the care of foster parents. Volunteers can provide housing for people who desperately need it, while enjoying a life-enriching experience.  Like all TWAP trips, the Malawi project will combine work, rest and cultural activities. The cost of the trip includes food and lodging, with flights scheduled and paid for independently.

If you're interested in joining our team led by experienced leaders, contact Ashley Biggs at

To see what other Travel with a Purpose opportunities are available, you can also visit

Cars for Homes

Donating your vehicle to Habitat for Humanity is a great way to support our work. Proceeds from the sale of your donated vehicle will help Habitat families build strength, stability and self-reliance in Paterson. Plus, it's fast and easy to do, and you may qualify for a tax deduction. Visit for more information.