Who We Are
Founded in 1991, Beaches Habitat for Humanity is a Christian housing organization dedicated to the vision that everyone needs a decent place to live. As an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, we partner with families and individuals in the Jacksonville Beaches community to build or improve a place they can call home. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage. Recognizing the importance of education in empowering people to build strength, stability and independence, Beaches Habitat also offers college scholarships, after-school tutoring, and incentives for academic excellence to our homeowners and their families. Through financial support, volunteering or adding a voice to support affordable housing, everyone can help families to build better lives for themselves. Through shelter, we empower.
Beaches Habitat for Humanity is your local Habitat for Humanity organization that acts in partnership with and on behalf of Habitat for Humanity International. We coordinate all aspects of Habitat home building in the Jacksonville Beaches community.
Habitat for Humanity is a global nonprofit housing organization working in nearly 1,400 communities across the United States and in approximately 70 countries around the world. Habitat’s vision is of a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Habitat works toward our vision by building strength, stability and self-reliance in partnership with people and families in need of a decent and affordable home.
All Are Welcome
Beaches Habitat for Humanity has an open-door policy: All who believe that everyone needs a decent, affordable place to live are welcome to help with the work, regardless of race, religion, age, gender, political views or any of the other distinctions that too often divide people. In short, Habitat welcomes volunteers and supporters from all backgrounds and also serves people in need of decent housing regardless of race or religion. As a matter of policy, Habitat for Humanity International and its affiliated organizations do not proselytize. This means that Habitat will not offer assistance on the expressed or implied condition that people must either adhere to or convert to a particular faith, or listen and respond to messaging designed to induce conversion to a particular faith.
Tithe & Global Mission
Beaches Habitat for Humanity is not only building homes in Atlantic Beach but around the world as well. Through the Habitat for Humanity tithe program, Beaches Habitat for Humanity is an active participant in Habitat’s global ministry while also impacting the need in our own community. We are currently supporting Habitat for Humanity Zambia in honor of the late community hero, Dr. Richard Christensen. In years past, we have contributed to Habitat for Humanity affiliates in Nepal, Lesotho, Haiti and Costa Rica. In 2016, we celebrated our largest tithe donation in the history of Beaches Habitat for Humanity!
Beaches Habitat for Humanity is founded by a group of volunteers with the mission of building simple, decent affordable housing in the Jacksonville beaches. Our first home is located on Francis Avenue, just up the road from our current office. Founding member Archie Jenkins says, “It was definitely slow going at first – pour the slab, take some time off to raise money, build some walls, fundraise some more…”
Beaches Habitat’s first home is completed for Brandon and Phyllis Terrell. The occasion is celebrated with what has become a traditional home dedication. The ceremony typically features blessings from religious leaders close to the new homeowners, an inspirational song, comments from Beaches Habitat staff and comments from the home sponsor.
Long time supporters Miyuki and Herb Scheidel announce their endowment of a $1.2 million scholarship fund for the children of Beaches Habitat homeowners. In turn, the state of Florida matched their contribution with $750,000, affording every child of a Beaches Habitat homeowner the opportunity to attend the University of North Florida at no cost.
Beaches Habitat wins the Jimmy Carter Award for building the most homes per capita in the southeast region of the United States (Florida, Georgia, Alabama and Puerto Rico). Though the award is no longer given, Beaches Habitat continues to have a significant impact on the Jacksonville Beaches community
Beaches Habitat expands beyond new home construction for the first time, completing it's first owner occupied repair in South Jacksonville Beach. In the years since, Beaches Habitat has continued to complete owner occupied repairs as well as full rehabs when resources allow.
Beaches Habitat completes construction of its first subdivision, Cabo Blanco. A Mayport neighborhood of 16 homes, Cabo Blanco is also the site of Beaches Habitat’s first duplex.
Beaches Habitat is awarded the 2004 Affiliate of the Year in the Southeast Region. The honor is given to local Habitat organizations for increasing capacity in production, operations and programs.
Ponte Vedra Beach resident Jane Wright decides to bring the national Women Build program to the Jacksonville Beaches. The program allows women to work in home construction in a more comfortable, all-female environment. In fall 2009, the Women Build group began construction on their ninth and tenth homes in the Jacksonville Beaches.
Beaches Habitat dedicates a new Education addition thanks to funding from Miyuki and Herb Scheidel. Built by Habitat volunteers and designed by an AmeriCorps member, the Education wing features a computer lab, meeting room, office and four tutoring spaces. The area is used for our after-school tutoring program, which today partners more than 20 community volunteers with more than 50 area youth to participate in group activities, and work on homework and reading skills.
Beaches Habitat's education program is selected for the Clarence Jordan Award for creativity and innovation in their affiliate operations. The award honors the legacy of Clarence Jordan, the founder of Koinonia Farm, a religious community in southwest Georgia, where the idea for Habitat for Humanity was born. Award recipients are selected by affiliate voting.
Beaches Habitat celebrates its 200th and 201st homes in the Jacksonville Beaches with a traditional house dedication as well as a “History in the Making” themed Beach Bash event. “The ‘History in the Making’ theme was a logical choice for our annual event when you consider the significance of the occasion – having built 200 homes in a community of 50,000 is a feat unparalleled in Habitat affiliates throughout the nation,” said then-Executive Director Ralph Marcello.
Thanks largely to the generosity of Nancy McDonald, Beaches Habitat relocates its administrative to a newly renovated office space. The Francis Avenue office, owned by the City of Atlantic Beach, undergoes major renovation to adapt the space for the ever-growing education programs.
Beaches Habitat begins construction on a town home community on Mayport Road. Formerly the site of the Palms Apartments, the property was vacant and blighted from the time the buildings were condemned in 2005.
Beaches Habitat celebrates the completion of the 300th new home at a dedication ceremony in OceanGate. Twelve homes were dedicated that afternoon, bringing the number of homes in OceanGate to 33 completed.
Beaches Habitat is selected as an Affiliate of Distinction. The Affiliates of Distinction program was a two year formal program for affiliates that meet or exceed a number of key indicator best practice standards and represent a broad spectrum of our affiliate network — the “best of the best.” The distinction, given on a biennial basis, was established in 2013 to collect, showcase, and recognize the exemplary efforts of Habitat affiliates.