Habitat for Humanity East Central Ohio believes in a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Since 1988, Habitat for Humanity has built and preserved over 570 homes throughout East Central Ohio, helping thousands of people build strength, stability, and self-reliance. Families who partner with Habitat for Humanity invest hundreds of hours of sweat equity to build their homes and the homes of others. They complete courses on financial literacy, home maintenance, and personal development to be the most successful and most confident homeowners they can be. In the end, families purchase their homes with an affordable 0% interest mortgage.

While Habitat for Humanity builds homes that help families break the cycle of generational poverty, Habitat also builds bridges between people from all walks of life. The power of partnership and the promise of dignity is at the core of Habitat for Humanity. Habitat brings people together in the spirit of what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called the Beloved Community, a land of access, equality, and opportunity for all—because empowered people can empower whole communities.

In 2016, Habitat for Humanity launched a holistic neighborhood revitalization effort called The Renewal Project: Northeast Canton, a four-year, $3.5 million plan that was designed to reinvigorate one Northeast Canton neighborhood while helping more families and children discover the power of decent shelter. Through The Renewal Project, Habitat brought community partners together to build new homes, preserve existing homes, complete critical home repairs to help elderly residents age in place, and instill community pride through neighborhood beautification projects. In this neighborhood today, owner occupancy has increased, property values have increased, and blight has decreased.

Now, Habitat for Humanity East Central Ohio is expanding its neighborhood revitalization efforts to more communities: The Lathrop, Hartford, and Belden neighborhoods in Southeast Canton and the Tremont corridor in Southwest Massillon. Over the next several years, these revitalization efforts will invest $5.5 million in the Stark County community and offer approximately 15,000 volunteers the opportunity to make a personal and tangible investment with Habitat.

Strengthening Stark and Habitat for Humanity have partnered together and are looking toward the future to make an even greater impact in Renewal Project neighborhoods. Together, Strengthening Stark and Habitat for Humanity will:

• Engage businesses, churches, and community organizations through volunteer opportunities in Renewal Project areas;
• Secure joint funding, such as federal grants;
• Create placemaking landmarks at the entrances of Renewal Project neighborhoods with the Quality Places Committee;
• Identify local contractors who are interested in partnering with Habitat with an intentional focus on Stark County’s minority businesses through the Minority Action Committee;
• Utilize Stark Career Connect to help Renewal Project residents find employment and utilize the upskill training available through Stark State College to help residents secure higher paying jobs.

To learn more about The Renewal Project or Habitat for Humanity East Central Ohio, visit habitateco.org or call 330-915-5888.