The Executive Director's Blog

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

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!”.



“Habitat is about more than building houses. It’s not a house, it’s not only material things; a house cannot be built without people, without family and without community. So when they (Habitat) build a house they’re building people, they’re building lives.”

– Eji, Habitat Homeowner

Home Restoration Kickoff Event Hosts 200

About 200 residents of Kentland (Kentland/Palmer Park) participated in an information session held at the Prince George’s Ballroom, Landover last Thursday.  Presentations to describe programs to perform home repairs and weatherization of owner-occupied homes were made by Stephanie Proestel, Housing Initiative Partnership (HIP), Sarah Reddinger, Habitat for Humanity Metro Maryland, and several members of the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD).  Habitat is collaborating with HIP and DHCD to provide an array of exterior and interior repair services to residents who have household incomes below 80% of Area Median Income.  Many residents brought paperwork to sign up for various programs.

For more information on repair and weatherization services offered by Habitat for Humanity, please visit our web site at

Ramadam Iftar Celebration


ramadan2.jpgI had the distinct honor of attending the annual Ramadan Iftar celebration last week.

Hundreds of residents along with elected officials and community leaders turned out for an Iftar celebration in honor of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan at the County Executive Building in Rockville.

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett hosted the event along with the Montgomery County Muslim Council and Montgomery County Muslim Foundation.  The foundation strives to encourage and promote the resident Muslim’s community’s involvement in the county and engage Muslims in community service.  Programs include Feed the Homeless and Clothing Drive for the Needy.

Iftar is one of the religious observances of Ramadan and is often done as a community, with people gathering to break their fast together.  Iftar is taken right after sunset.

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