Volunteer Profile: Habitat for Humanity Omaha

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Habitat for Humanity was started by Millard Fuller on a farm in Georgia, but has grown to become an international collection of affiliates sharing a mission to end poverty housing and address other housing needs in the communities where they serve. It’s not uncommon for Habitat affiliates to share information on their methods and programs. NOAHH has hosted many other affiliates, especially since Hurricane Katrina, including our friends at Asheville Habitat for Humanity, who helped us by sponsoring homes, and our friends with Habitat for Humanity Canada. Recently, staff from Habitat for Humanity Omaha spent a week in the city, helping NOAHH build and bringing back some ideas to their home city.

Dave Hinrichsen, Rehab Construction Superintendent at Habitat Omaha, said, “I have been working with several non-profits after disasters for years, some have been Habitat related. I just started taking Habitat staff on these trips the last two years. It’s a way to get a different perspective on what other affiliates are doing and learn new items that can help us be a better worker or affiliate. [New Orleans] is where I was taking a team this month so we invited some staff to go. It’s part of our staff development plan.”

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He said they were especially interested in the Habitat Urban Garden program, which, with their significant number of lots, could help them save and significantly help the Omaha communities they serve.

“The mission is the same everywhere. The differences are culture, scope of the work, [executive director] leadership and techniques of home building,” he said. “How you do things. We are all so different it just gives me a better understanding of the Habitat affiliates so we can be more well rounded in our approach.”

But the most important part of any affiliate is always the same: helping people achieve their dreams of homeownership. No matter if we use different building methods or face different challenges, the end result is affordable housing for hard working families.

“I enjoy helping people in need,” Hinrichsen said.