Jeff Hamilton received a statewide 2011 Habitat for Humanity of Ohio award for Volunteer of the Year at the 2012 Dinner and Awards Program in Columbus on Friday night. Ryan Miller, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Ohio, gave the award to one volunteer serving an area under 100,000 and one volunteer serving an area over 100,000. Karl Bergman of Cincinnati received the award for a Habitat volunteer serving an area over 100,000.
Jeff Hamilton is a retired schoolteacher and contractor who joined Scioto County Habitat for Humanity in 2006. Jeff Hamilton received the award for leading volunteers to build two Habitat houses in 2011, a first for the all-volunteer affiliate. This permitted SCHFH to serve two new families, both single mothers with children. Though building a Habitat house is a team project, it was Hamilton’s efforts that made the two house completions in one year a reality.
The keynote address at the awards program was given by Sharon Petrie, formerly of Scotland, who is the National Director for Habitat for Humanity in Mozambique. Petrie explained 60 percent of those in Mozambique live in poverty. 42 percent have no water, 31 percent have no toilet. Petrie explained how Habitat provides a two-room, 18-square-meter home, mosquito nets, safe water, pit latrine and help preserving property rights to vulnerable groups and abandoned child headed families for about $4,000. The funding for international Habitat projects comes from the tithe paid by local Habitats in support of Habitat’s mission worldwide to end poverty housing.
Scioto County Habitat works to end poverty housing by working in partnership with the future family in constructing decent, affordable energy effecient housing. The homeowner family is given an interest-free mortgage with terms to meet their income. The latest Habitat construction project is at 315 Lincoln St. in West Portsmouth. This build is dedicated to Dr. Thomas Swope, who served on the Habitat board until the time of his death. For more information about Scioto County Habitat, call 353-4993 or visit sciotohabitat.org.