Wells Fargo Volunteers Join Forces To Build 27 Homes in Charlotte With Habitat for Humanity

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Dec 13, 2023

VOLUNTEERING & GIVING December 8, 2023 Wells Fargo volunteers join forces to build 27 homes in Charlotte with Habitat for Humanity The 2023 Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project was hosted by country music stars Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood.

NORTHAMPTON, MA / ACCESSWIRE / December 13, 2023 / Nine years ago, May heard about a nonprofit organization that helps people in their communities - and around the world - build and improve affordable places to call home.

A native of New York living in North Carolina, May applied for a home with Habitat for Humanity because she wanted something to pass down to her three children. She was unfortunately denied.

For almost a decade, May focused on paying off her debts and later enrolled in a financial literacy program offered by Habitat. Then in 2021, she was selected to purchase a home through the Habitat for Humanity homeownership program. She immediately began working on her "sweat equity hours" and completing the necessary steps to homeownership.

In addition to making a small down payment and monthly mortgage payments, Habitat homeowners must put in 300 sweat equity hours which may also include volunteering on a build site or taking financial literacy classes.

"I cried," May said of the moment she was accepted. "And then I just kept having to look at the letter because I'm like ‘no, this ain't happening.' And I cried the whole entire time. I went to bed crying."

In October, May and thousands of volunteers worked for five days, building 27 homes during Habitat's Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project.

The 2023 build, hosted by Habitat humanitarians and country music stars Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood, took place in Charlotte, North Carolina, in a large-scale affordable housing neighborhood.

"We picked Charlotte because it's emblematic of the affordability crisis in our country and in Charlotte," said Habitat for Humanity International CEO Johnathan Reckford. "In the last five years, housing prices have almost doubled, and they were already a stretch for low-income families before then."

Wells Fargo's 30-year partnership with Habitat for Humanity dates back to 1993 in Des Moines, Iowa, where employees volunteered to build a home for a family of five. Since 2010, the company has donated more than $129 million to help build and repair thousands of new homes across the country.

"Our partnership with Wells Fargo, I cannot overstate how important it is," said Laura Belcher, president and CEO of Habitat for Humanity of the Charlotte region. "What I really appreciate about our partnership with Wells Fargo is that it's not a one and done thing. This has been many years in the making and the Wells Fargo team has always shown up with a strong group with lots of volunteer effort and consistent interaction."

Tim Ryan, commercial mortgage services director at Wells Fargo, has been a Habitat volunteer for more than 30 years. This, however, was his first Carter Work Project.

"The energy here … just seeing all these people and all these homes going up is just phenomenal," he said. "I sit behind a desk every day and I'm on calls with clients and things like that. To be able to get out and swing a hammer and work with other individuals from our organization is really fun to me."

The Meadows at Plato Price in Charlotte is named after the Plato Price School. The school served a once-thriving African American neighborhood abandoned in the 1960s when desegregation took hold. It's part of a shift in Habitat's strategy from building individual affordable homes to developing affordable communities.

"When we're done, there will be 39 families that live here," Belcher said. "Not only are we building the homes, but we had to do the infrastructure. We put in the sewer, the streets, and the sidewalks. So, we're really creating a sense of neighborhood, and it's a big change for us."

While volunteering alongside other Habitat homeowners during the Carter Work Project, May and her three children have gotten to know their future neighbors.

"Going through this program, we've been in the same places a couple of times and we're all friends now," May said. "This is an extended family. It's amazing and a blessing."


May and her three children will soon be moving into their new home at The Meadows at Plato Price in Charlotte, North Carolina. May is receiving a "right-sized mortgage" from Habitat for Humanity to purchase her first home.

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SOURCE: Wells Fargo

View the original press release on accesswire.com