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Habitat for Humanity Connects

A local program supported by TRFF

The Woods at Golden Given in Parkland, WA is Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat for Humanity’s largest neighborhood to date. Currently under construction, when complete The Woods will consist of 30 homes built in partnership with low-income families in Pierce County. The homes and neighborhood will be environmentally green, affordable and embed elements of grassroots leadership in the community’s social fabric. The leadership development aspects of The Woods are woven into a program called Habitat for Humanity Connects with grant support from The Russell Family Foundation (TRFF).

Susan Dobkins and Holly Powers, TRFF program officers, are serving on the Connects advisory group for The Woods neighborhood. Several homes have been completed in the development so far, including one on which TRFF staff volunteered this fall. There are at least 6 languages spoken among the current families, and at last count there were already a dozen children and youth. Elliot Stockstad, Family Services Director and coordinator of the Connects program, anticipates launching the leadership learning cohort of homeowners in early 2014, and he is reaching out to potential partners such as Pacific Lutheran University and Tacoma Community House. Elliot has also worked with Holly and TRFF grantee the Audubon Society, as well as local community gardening programs, to launch a Green Team to work and advise on the environmental education components of the TRFF grant at The Woods. This blending of environmental, economic, and social goals promises to be transformative.

*Photo: TRFF volunteer workday at Habitat for Humanity