Coronavirus Update – June 1, 2020

Even in times of crisis, our work is so desperately needed — because everyone in this world should have a decent place to live. We must continue to stay together because when the urgency has lifted, the need for affordable housing will remain. Our generous supporters have helped sustain our work with families for nearly 30 years, and we will weather this unprecedented challenge together.

It is our collective responsibility to stand in solidarity to do all we can to ensure the health and well-being of our neighbors. Like many other organizations, we have implemented changes for the safety of our staff, AmeriCorps members, homeowner families, and community members.

For department/program updates, follow the links below:

Administrative Office

The lobby of the Beaches Habitat office at 797 Mayport Road is open for visitors. Much of our staff continues to work virtually, so please call before visiting. All visitors will be asked to wear a mask.

We can be reached by phone and email during our normal office hours, Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

If you have questions, please call us at (904) 241-1222 or email us at info@beacheshabitat.org

Construction Sites

Our construction team continues to accomplish what they can without the assistance of volunteers. We are in the process of implementing new procedures to slowly bring volunteers back to the program. Read the full update.

Homeownership Program

At this time, we have suspended all Sweat Equity activities for individuals and families in our Homeownership Program. In an effort to promote the health and safety of program participants and our staff, we will not have any Sweat Equity opportunities on the construction site.

If you have questions or concerns about your Sweat Equity hours please contact Joyce Freeman, Family Services Director, homes@beacheshabitat.org or (904) 595-5797.

We are not accepting applications for homeownership at this time. Individuals and families who are interested in applying should visit www.beacheshabitat.org/get-help to add their email address to our notification list. We will notify those on the list when we are accepting applications again.

Current Beaches Habitat homeowners who incur financial hardships during this time and are concerned about making their mortgage payments are encouraged to reach out to Debbie Jones, COO & CFO, at finance@beacheshabitat.org or (904) 595-5792 or Joyce Freeman at homes@beacheshabitat.org or (904) 595-5797.

Education Program

After School Program
Our education staff continues to work remotely. In alignment with school closures for the remainder of the academic year, our tutoring and afterschool program will remain closed as well. The spring field trip to the Cummer Museum and the end of year field trip have been canceled. We await news from Duval County Public Schools for information about the fall. Anyone with questions or concerns may contact our Education Director, Sue Goebertus, at (904) 343-3026. We wish our families well and look forward to being with them again!

Prep Club/Take Stock in Children
We are so very proud of our Prep Club students that have tackled something that has never been done before, distance learning! Congratulations to all of our graduating seniors this year!
If you have a rising 6th grader and would like them to participate in the Prep Club please email, beachesprepclub@gmail.com

All Prep Club activities and events have been postponed until further notice. Rewards for Middle and High School students will be issued directly into their savings plans, with (1) withdrawal per quarter allowed, instead of a check, due to Covid-19; please be sure that they are open and active. We are currently collecting grades for 3rd quarter.

Take Stock in Children (TSIC) mentors are still meeting virtually through Zoom, please contact us if you have not heard from your mentor for any reason. Support is so important during difficult times.

Fundraising and Special Events

Even though our doors have been closed, our mission lives on because of you. We are praying for your health and safety during this public health crisis and appreciate your continued support. If you are able and feel compelled to help us build back when we reopen, please consider making a contribution. Currently, there are 10 Beaches Habitat for Humanity families who are waiting for their dream of homeownership to come true. As a result of this global pandemic, everyone has been forced to consider the fundamental importance of having safe, decent, and affordable shelter. That need is now greater than ever. You can make a difference.

SAVE THE DATE! Beach Bash 2020 is on Saturday, October 24th at 6pm. This year’s event is presented by Fields Auto and will be held at the Jaguar and Land Rover auto dealership. We are very excited about our new venue and hope you will join us for an exciting evening that celebrates and supports affordable housing in the Jacksonville Beaches.

Habitat for Humanity good health guidelines: Stay home if you feel unwell; cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze; wash your hands frequently or use alcohol-based (at least 60%) hand sanitizer; avoid hugs and handshakes - use alternative ways of greeting people; avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; seek medical care early if you have a fever, a cough, and difficulty breathing; follow advice given by your health care provider on how to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.

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