OUR STORYLearn more about Habitat for Humanity of Flathead Valley.
ABOUTFrom humble beginnings in 1989, the vision of a few volunteers, Habitat for Humanity of Flathead Valley was established as a new Affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International. Since then, it has grown to be one of the largest Montana Habitat Affiliates with 62 completed homes to date. These homes represent 69 families, 96 adults, and 143 children. In the early years, many of the volunteers were from construction companies who gave of their time and expertise. Today, the construction of each house is made a reality with the help of devoted donors and local volunteers. Groups of volunteers come from all over the US and Canada. 1,500+ volunteers help in the construction of each home that is built! Individuals, families, businesses, organization, churches – residents inside and outside of the Flathead support us with their time, donated in-kind resources, and financial support. With the rapid population growth since the late 90’s, the need for affordable housing today has hit a new high. Wages have not risen at the same level as home and property values. With the lack of affordable rental units being built and the limitation of family income, inadequate and substandard dwellings in the Valley continue to be common place today.
In the spring of 2001, Habitat for Humanity of Flathead Valley opened the Kalispell ReStore. Patterned from the successes of similar operations of other affiliates, it became a significant financial bridge to support the costs of construction of homes for partner families. By 2007, the Kalispell ReStore had outgrown its donated space in the Kalispell Medical Supply building. The move to a standalone building on Highway 2 in 2008 was an immediate success. The Kalispell ReStore’s increased community awareness has had a major impact on revenue and the recycling of building materials which would otherwise have been sent to the land fill. The Kalispell ReStore continues to be a major factor in the sustainability of the Affiliate and in 2018 was voted the “Best Home Improvement Store” in the Flathead!
In the early years, the organization celebrated the construction of one home per year. This was a major accomplishment given the limited resources and many challenges faced. In most cases, single lot sites were used to construct a sound yet affordable 3- or 4-bedroom house that became a home when the family walked through the door. Over the years, donated land and funding has allowed Habitat of Flathead Valley to continue to purchase lots and build in Whitefish, Columbia Falls, Lakeside, Somers, and Kalispell. The Affiliate is building 2 – 4 homes per year. Currently, we are constructing 5 homes in Lakeside.
The organizations have and continues to transition to accommodate the growth of Flathead county and the need for affordable, healthy workforce housing. In the years ahead, we are committed, with the help and support of our community, YOU, to do more than ever before!