The Executive Director's Blog

From John Paukstis, Habitat for Humanity of Metro Maryland, Inc.

Lowe’s Neighborhood Beautification Community Celebration



On Saturday, September 10th 2016, more than 50 residents from the Riverdale community gathered at the Riverdale Heights Volunteer Fire Department to celebrate the conclusion of the Lowe’s Neighborhood Beautification Challenge, a community partnership project between Habitat for Humanity Metro Maryland, Lowe’s, and the RRC Community Association.

A neighborhood revitalization grant provided by Lowe’s allowed 40 families to receive $500 Lowe’s gift cards that each family then used to improve the exterior of their homes.  Some of the projects that were completed included house painting, installing porch railings and storm doors, landscaping, concrete walkway clean-up, and building new garage doors.

Marty Newman, the RRC Community Association’s President stated, “Our community was greatly impacted on many levels by receiving the Lowe’s grant.  First, the residents who participated in the Beautification Challenge made improvements to their homes and property; many couldn’t have done it without the money from the grant and/or the assistance from Habitat volunteers.  Second, the improvements made by these residents inspired neighbors to repair and clean their property.  Third, and most importantly, neighbors helped each other by working together, sharing tools, and providing emotional support which increased our sense of community.  We are a brighter, cleaner, and more cohesive community as a result of this grant and partnership.”

HFHMM would like to thank Lowe’s and all of the volunteers, residents, and staff who helped make this project possible.





Radio interview with news legend Paul Berry

I recently had the opportunity to be interviewed by Paul Berry for his Streetwise radio broadcast.

My interview was preceded by Paul’s interview of Abe Schuchman, Executive Director of Housing Unlimited, Inc.

You can hear both interviews on Streetwise with Paul Berry on Sunday on 1260 am between 11:00 AM and 12:00 Noon and anytime via:



County Cable Montgomery Segment

County Cable Montgomery produced the following segment on Habitat for Humanity Metro Maryland. The segment will be running for the next month on “Did You Know,” which airs on County Cable Montgomery (Channel 6 Comcast, 30 Verizon). Thanks to everyone who participated in the creation of this segment.

Lowe’s Women Build Clinic 2016

026On Friday August 19th, participants from HFHMM’s Women Build 2016 gathered at the Lowe’s Home Improvement store in Gaithersburg, Maryland. The women who attended came from throughout the community to further the skills they learned during Women Build including, cutting tile, effectively using power tools, and cutting and installing trim.

Women Build 2016 is about engaging and empowering women as they advance Habitat for Humanity Metro Maryland’s mission of affordable housing in Montgomery & Prince George’s Counties. Thank you to Lowe’s, the individuals who attended the clinic, and everyone who supported Women Build 2016.




Single Father Given Keys to Habitat for Humanity Home

greysigningOn Saturday, July 30th, 2016, Habitat for Humanity Metro Maryland, Inc. (HFHMM) hosted around 50 members of the community as they dedicated their third home in Prince George’s County.  Volunteers, community supporters, sponsors, and friends of the family, joined together to ceremoniously welcome the family into their new home. The celebration included a ribbon-cutting and allowed members of the community to tour the home and visit with the family, as well as Habitat volunteers and staff.

The new homeowner, Andrew Grey, is a single-father and published author who was born in Jamaica and currently resides with his two children in Prince George’s County, MD. When asked about his current living situation Mr. Grey said, “I want a more stable place. A place that I can call my own”.

The home, located in Landover, was a vacant and foreclosed property, which HFHMM purchased and rehabilitated.

HFHMM’s mission is to provide affordable housing solutions to low-income families living or working in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties. The new homeowner applied for the home and went through a homeownership process facilitated through HFHMM. He qualified based on his income, as HFHMM serves families making between 30 – 60% of Area Median Income (AMI), and completed all the of the homeownership requirements including, sweat-equity, homebuyer education workshops, and financial literacy classes.

Prior to the completion of the home, Andrew was asked, “What do you want people to know about your family’s story?”  He responded, “People who know my family know we are a close family – a hardworking family. The kids have not stopped asking questions about the house. When will they move in? How soon will it be? When can they see the house? They are so excited for their own rooms!”.


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