Wednesday, October 24, 2018 – Hamilton, ON – On Monday, October 15th, construction staff were surprised to discover Habitat Hamilton’s warehouse door wide open, with tools and supplies strewn about. The warehouse was broken into over the weekend: compressors, saws, nail guns, cordless drills as well as copper pipe were just some of the high-ticketed items stolen from the site. Habitat Hamilton approximates the loss at more than $10,000.
Unfortunately, the charity is no stranger to theft, dealing with numerous break-ins at its social enterprise, the Hamilton ReStore, where cash and scrap metal was stolen and a vehicle was vandalized, on more than one occasion.
“We work hard to ensure that our sites are properly protected, and we’ve taken additional measures to mitigate a similar situation from reoccurring. We’re disheartened by what has happened. It’s taken us years to build our inventory of tools and material. Many of the tools stolen are subject to depreciation in our insurance claim, which will add to the delays and challenges we’re already facing, due to the theft we experienced over the weekend,” says Sean Ferris, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity Hamilton.
Habitat Hamilton is currently building a pre-fabricated steel frame home in Hamilton’s downtown core, on Wilson Street. The organization is also going through site plan approvals and the permitting process for four additional units it hopes to break ground on, by the end of this year.
“We have a lot of families depending on us to stick to our deadlines and to get their new homes built. Many of the families we work with are living in overcrowded and unsafe conditions and everyday we spend trying to recoup what was stolen, is another day future Habitat homeowners need to wait before they can transition into safe, decent and affordable housing,” says Tom Vert, Board Chair of Habitat for Humanity Hamilton.
Beyond its mission to build homes and help families, Habitat Hamilton also provides experiential learning opportunities to secondary students, throughout the community, through its Youth Build Program. Unfortunately, the theft Habitat Hamilton experienced at its warehouse will affect their ability to provide a meaningful experience for students enrolled in both school boards’ OYAP co-op programs, until tools can be replaced.
“We have anywhere from five to 15 students on site, on any given school day. And regardless of how many students we have on site, we want them all to have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience, becoming comfortable using various tools. Unfortunately, the recent warehouse break-in risks our ability to fulfill that commitment,” says Ron Stevens, Construction Manager of Habitat Hamilton.
Habitat for Humanity Hamilton is currently requesting support from the community—welcoming the donation of new or slightly used tools as well as monetary contributions that can help the organization recoup its loses. To learn more about how you can support, please contact Habitat for Humanity Hamilton for more information.
About Habitat for Humanity Hamilton
Founded in 1991, Habitat for Humanity Hamilton is an independent, not-for-profit housing program that works to break the cycle of poverty by building affordable housing and promoting homeownership. Habitat Hamilton has accommodated 25 habitat homeowners locally since its incorporation and is one of Habitat Canada’s fastest growing affiliates, with several builds and developments currently underway. Habitat Hamilton’s mission is to mobilize volunteers and community partners in order to break the cycle of poverty throughout Hamilton and the surrounding region. For more information, please visit www.habitathamilton.ca.
For more information, please contact:
Sean Ferris, Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity Hamilton
Phone: 905-560-6707 ext. 108