Giving a Hand Up, Not a Hand Out

Habitat for Humanity VIN helps low-income families build and buy simple, decent quality affordable homes through a no-interest, no-profit mortgage.

  • What an amazing start to 2017.  But before we talk about 2017, let's celebrate our successes of 2016.  Last year the goal of Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North was to build capacity and to ensure future growth through delivering on our core mission of building and selling homes to our homeowner families.  

    Well, I am proud to say that we delivered on our promises.  

    Our team worked tirelessly throughout 2016 to enhance processes, develop strategies and ensure the growth of our organization through excellence in planning and increasing our focus on the core mission. We served three families last year in Campbell River and Courtenay, and 2017 looks like it will be a year of considerable growth.

    In order to deliver on the promise of growth the first requirement is land. I am so pleased that through our Board of Directors’ unwavering support we were able to purchase two properties which will each hold multiple units. If all goes as expected, we will be building in both the city of Campbell River and Courtenay this year!


    1330 Lake Trail Road in Courtenay will provide for us the ability to build 10 homes over the next 3 years. The development permit process is well underway and we expect to put a shovel in the ground in September 2017. Stay tuned to our website as we reveal details.  

    Campbell River:

    Another wonderful piece of property supported through a Board motion was the purchase of an acre of property on 477 Hilchey Road in Campbell River. This will also be 3 year phased development, and will allow us to build 11 homes over a 3 year period.  Construction will begin this March!

    So, if you are scoring at home, these purchases will essentially double our collective homes in the next years, from 18 to 39.  Can we do it? Time will tell, but a wise person once said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

    2017 brings us new relationships and old friends.  North Island College, Rotary, CFB Comox and the collective municipalities in our affiliate region are excited to be partnering with Habitat.   It will certainly take a team to build these homes and we are so grateful to the community for their support.

    The strength of collaboration is so key to our growth. As you know, it takes money to build these homes. One side of a duplex costs approximately $150,000.00 to build on average. We benefit from donated materials, gift in kind, and the generosity of our community--but cold hard cash is still king. We are definitely excited about the municipalities support in development cost concessions and permissive tax exemptions but at the end of the day, building supplies still cost money.  

    We will continue to engage the community with events such as community dances, and raffles including our signature Pub Sheds and She Sheds, as well as WestJet tickets.

    However, the greatest potential in raising more money to build more homes and serve more families comes in the form of monthly and annual giving.

    The average Canadian gives $10- $20 monthly to any given charity.  There are over 100,000 people in our affiliate region. Can you imagine if 1000 of those people donated $20 monthly to our organization? I can imagine that and, with everyone aligned in asking, I know we can achieve it. $240,000.00 annually towards our mission of affordable homeownership. Wow. And it is within our reach.  

    We spent the bulk of 2016 in planning and strategy. The combined ReStore’s lifted sales by 13% or $170,000.00.  It was an incredible year for the ReStore teams. The Affiliate increased our overall revenue in fundraising by 64%.  We purchased enough land to deliver 21 homes in the next 3-5 years.  We are poised for a breakout this year.  

    Thank you to all of our staff, Board of Directors, donors, community supporters, and especially the tireless effort of our volunteers. We will all work together in 2017 to advance the mission of affordable housing. We all aspire every day to provide support for our own families and for the causes that truly engage us. We know that safety, security, stability and shelter grow a community.  Everyone deserves an opportunity to better their future. Thank you for helping us everyday in providing that transformational message to our valued homeowner families. Thank you for changing people’s lives and for giving our families and our community a hand up.

    - Pat McKenna
    Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North


  • Does all of this snow have you dreaming of a sunny getaway? What if we told you that you could support our affordable homeownership program for the chance to fly anywhere* with WestJet?!

    That's right...once again we are partnering with WestJet to give you the chance to win one return trip for two people anywhere that WestJet flies.

    We also have two new price points. You can purchase one ticket for $10 or get the amazing deal of three tickets for $20.

    The draw date is March 15th, so get your tickets as soon as possible!

    Raffle tickets can be purchased at the following locations or reserved online by following this link.


    The ReStore, 1725B Willow Street


    The ReStore, 1755 – 13 Street
    The Mustard Lady & More, (Downtown) 510 Duncan Ave.
    Chatters Salon, #5 – 3195 Cliffe Ave (Walmart Plaza)
    The Mortgage Centre, 211B 750 Comox Rd.


    Blinds & Bubbles Boutique, 221C Church Street
    The Mortgage Centre, #108 – 2100 Guthrie Rd.

    *Blackout dates and restrictions do apply. No cash value. Valid for one year after draw date.

  • Groundbreaking Ceremony

    Wednesday, February 15th | 10:00am 477 Hilchey Road, Campbell River

    Join us as we break ground on our latest construction project, located at 477 Hilchey Road in Campbell River. This groundbreaking ceremony will kick off construction of the first duplex in what will eventually be an eleven-unit complex. This duplex is part of the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project, in which Habitat affiliates across the country have committed to build 150 homes to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday.

    We are inviting everyone from the community to join Habitat volunteers and staff, The City of Campbell River Council and his Worship Mayor Andy Adams, and the future homeowner families in celebrating this exciting project! Snacks and coffee will be served. RSVP through Facebook.

    Build Information Session

    Thursday, February 16th | 6:00pm at the Campbell River ReStore (1725B Willow Street)

    Do you want the opportunity to help a family in need, learn new skills, and make a lasting impact on your community? Whether you are a construction professional or have never picked up a hammer in your life, we can use your help!

    We have build volunteer opportunities for individuals, companies, faith groups, clubs, and more.

    Join us for this build volunteer open house and we will answer all of your questions. RSVP through Facebook.




  • by  Jocelyn Doll - Campbell River Mirror
    Campbell River posted Jan 31, 2017 at 12:00 PM

    Cross posted from the Campbell River Mirror

    The volunteers at Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North will be doing a construction dance in a more confined space for part of the upcoming builds.

    Volunteer Paul Ryniak is part of the creation and will be supervising the new prefabrication shop.

    Habitat has rented a space in the same building as the Restore and Ryniak has set it up and a frame has been built so that volunteers can come in and build walls for the projects.

    “We will get our volunteers to cut certain lengths [of boards] and then basically they just put it in the slots,” Ryniak said.

    Holes for wiring will be drilled on-site and doors and windows will be cut into the walls as per the plans they are provided with. Instead of hammers they will be using air nailers in order to preserve the welds on the frame.

    The walls will be stored at the warehouse until they are transported to the build site.

    Ryniak said he is hoping that the timing works out that while the bottom floor is being raised there will be enough time for the team to construct the walls for the second floor. The goal is to build a wall every hour.

    “Instead of shooting for five, the first time we are going to shoot for four a day and that way we can make sure the quality control is there,” he said.

    Ryniak has been volunteering with Habitat for three years.

    “I’m not a professional builder but I can do the process, so everything has been given to me,” he said.

    Before moving to Campbell River Ryniak taught industrial arts to junior high students. Before that he worked as an architectural engineer model maker.

    “I didn’t make the design, but I worked from someone else’s drawing and that is what I will be doing here,” he said.

    Ryniak is hopeful that the prefab shop will increase efficiency and allow for more quality control.

    “It’s exciting,” he said. “When you look at the whole thing, why wouldn’t it come out perfect?”

    Schedule Yourself for a Volunteer Shift

  • On Thursday January 19th, students from Queneesh Elementary School came to the Comox Valley ReStore on a field trip to experience what it was like to volunteer there for a day.

    This field trip came about as part of the Genworth Meaning of Home contest. In addition to writing about what home meant to them, the students were given this opportunity to go “behind the scenes” and participate at the ReStore.

    The ReStore, our social enterprise, is a used furniture, appliances and building supplies store supported by a large team of volunteers. Profits from the ReStore support Habitat for Humanity.

    The students were placed into groups to experience different aspects of the ReStore. They completed various tasks such as:

    • touring the ReStore and learning how Habitat works
    • sorting, weighing, and packaging fasteners
    • merchandising shelves and learning about our product offerings

    We had a ton of fun showing these eager young students around, and we have plans to engage them with other Habitat activities throughout the year!

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