Posted on Sep 29, 2018
October 4, 2018: Colleen Devine, “Classification”, Gerry Culliton will introduce, and Bob Malcolmson will thank our speaker.

Head Table:  Our President Paul Roulston, invites, Gerry Culliton, Lisa Breault, Harry Brightwell, Norm Briscoe, Colleen Brown, Doud Brown and Tine Buechler, to join him at the head table.
 
Today at Rotary:   Today we welcomed Brian Elliot, C.E.O. of Habitat for Humanity Heartland (London-Middlesex, Elgin, Oxford and Stratford–Perth). In his introduction, Harry Brightwell explained that Brian’s background as a banker and financial planner and his strong sense of social responsibility make him well suited for this position.  
 
 
Guest Speaker Brian Elliott  CEO Habitat for Humanity Heartland introduced by Harry Brightwell.
 
Habitat’s underlying philosophy is that everyone deserves a safe and decent place to live. Building affordable homes for low-income families is achieved by mobilization of volunteers –more than 15,000 in this region- a small staff, and a dedicated Board of Directors (including Janice Castell of Stratford’s Orr Insurance). Home ownership has been proven to improve family stability and pull families out of poverty, resulting in an increase in the number of children completing post secondary education, a decrease in the use of social services and hospitals and an overall increase in the standard of living for families.  Those families also give back to the community.
 
Habitat does not give away homes; it provides interest-free mortgages to assist with purchase at fair market value. Families must qualify through CMHC’s low-income housing program. In addition to repaying the mortgage at geared-to-income rates, they also do at least 500 hours of volunteer work with Habitat. Before the home is built they must complete three education programs focused on financial literacy, how to be a good neighbour (cut your grass, shovel your walk etc.) and the benefits of being part of a community.  The costs of home construction are met through cash gifts, sponsorships, in-kind donations of material and professional help and volunteer labour.  As mortgages are repaid, the funds are recycled into new homes. Thus, more homes built and financed results in more funds to build. Construction of homes also supports the community, on average $175,000 per home is spent on local trades.  Administrative costs for Habitat come solely from Re-Store proceeds.  Volunteers participate in home building, salvage of materials from other homes, recycling and refurbishing of donated materials and as staff in the ReStore.  Stratford’s ReStore recently re-opened in its new location at 598 Lorne Avenue East. Customers have embraced the new facility, donations have doubled and purchases are up.
 
Locally, the need for affordable housing is great and Habitat has been working with the City, Economic Development, and the Chamber of Commerce to identify raw or vacant land, or properties in need of demolition.  Changes in the National Housing Act hold promise for increased funding and the potential for CMHC as a co-investor.  Most recently, Habitat completed two projects in Listowel: construction of a semi detached home and a two family fully accessible home in partnership with Community Living North Perth. With Libro sponsorship financial education programs have been expanded to include low-income families other than those selected for Habitat home ownership.
 
Rotary and Habitat have synergistic goals and a history of working well together. Rotarians have participated in home building and other volunteer activities, are donors of goods, services and cash, and patronize the ReStore.  Such contributions ensure that Habitat can continue to provide affordable housing within our community.
 
Mr. Elliot was thanked by Bert Clifford.
 
SCRIBE: Pat Shewen
 
Sue Orr winner of Catch the Ace last week receiving $1293.
 
Arlene Pol presenting $210 to club from the  St Michael’s Interact Club for Timmy’s fundraiser.  For Aquabox.
 
Gary Wreford and Rob Ritz presenting Dragon boat results to club with projected proceeds of greater than $45000. How to go Dragon Boat Committee!!
 
 
Guests:  Today we welcomed: Janice Castell  - Stratford. Ginny McDonald – Stratford, Martin Ritsma – Stratford, Redie Nevayo – Kitchener, Tesfaldet Meles – Kitchener, Dan Newmeister – Stratford.
 
Draw: The gifts today were donated by Carolyn Drummond (3 Hand made African gifts. Bag, salad tongs, walking stick) and won by Jim Young, Montana Wilson, and Roger Black.
 
 
Make-ups: No report
 
Octobers’s Attendance Committee: Peter Roach (I/C), Peter Roach, George Schroeder, Doug Thompson, Angus MacDermid, Gary Wreford, Lynn McKone, Rob Ritz
 
Novembers’s Attendance Committee: Jim Young (I/C), Marcia Matsui, Dave Skinner, Philip Schroeder, Gerry Thuss, Sue Wakelin, Clark Mitchell, Carolyn Blackburn