Habitat for Humanity of Mesa County (Habitat Mesa) was incorporated in March 1990 by a VISTA volunteer who had been working for the Colorado Coalition for the homeless. This volunteer saw the need for a community-based affordable housing program for hardworking, low to middle income families in Mesa County, and reached out to Habitat for Humanity International (Habitat). By the end of 1990, the Habitat Mesa affiliate was able to purchase 3 lots. The first house was completed and dedicated to the new Habitat Homeowner in October of 1991. As of 2019, Habitat has built 79 homes for deserving, hard-working families in Mesa County, and partners with up to 4 families in the Homeownership Program each year. In 2020, Habitat Mesa broke ground on its Phase III of the John Hoffman subdivision with another 24 homes to be built.
How Habitat builds is just as important as what it builds. Habitat's Homeownership Program is based on three simple criteria: need, willingness to partner with Habitat to build your own home, and the ability to repay a zero percent interest mortgage.
Habitat homes that are built are sold at no profit to each new homeowner and financed with afford 15-30 year, interest-free mortgages - making homeownership attainable for individuals who otherwise would not qualify for traditional financing. Habitat houses are also built with a contribution of at least five hundred volunteer hours of "sweat equity" on the part of the soon to be Habitat Homeowner(s). By investing themselves, they are building a foundation of stability, self-reliance and financial security.
Habitat Mesa also brings together people with varied skills and economic backgrounds. Working side-by-side with future homeowners, volunteers invest time, money, materials, and their expertise into building Habitat homes. This partnership between homeowners and volunteers extends beyond the immediate impact of building a house together; it establishes new relationships and an appreciation of giving back to community. Most importantly, Habitat is able to accomplish their mission through generous donations of volunteering, financial support, in-kind services, and donated materials.
Habitat Mesa has since evolved from a volunteer, non-profit organization to a staff of 11 full-time, 7 part-time and 1 contract employee and the Habitat ReStore. Opened in 2003, Habitat ReStore (a non-profit retail outlet) has been Habitat Mesa's retail home improvement store that provides financial support to cover the majority of the administrative and operating expenses.
Habitat and its affiliates have 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.