Our First House - 1989
On October 1, 1988 Habitat for Humanity of Cape Cod was founded as an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International. Dick and Phoebe Soule of Orleans first brought the idea of a Habitat affiliate to Cape Cod. Our first home was dedicated in Wellfleet in November 1989. Since that time, we have built at least one home in every town on Cape Cod and all 15 towns have donated at least one land parcel. From day one, we have tithed 10% of our unrestricted donations to build Habitat homes in developing nations.
In our earliest years, finding land and building homes presented enormous challenges. Initially an entirely volunteer-run organization, those first struggles were clearly a labor of love for our founders. In 1994 we were able to hire our first, part-time, director. By 1998, as a ten-year-old organization, we had completed fifteen homes. The next fifteen homes were completed in just five years, and fifteen more were completed just three years later. Much of the credit for this growth goes to our loyal and dedicated volunteer leadership. In addition, key community partnerships and favorable housing policy changes over the years enabled us to find land that would not otherwise have been available to us.
In 2003, we launched our first subdivision: 10 Habitat homes within a 16-home development in Hyannis. And in 2009, we went green with a LEED-Gold certified subdivision in Harwich – including solar panels. Another important green initiative was the opening of our first ReStore in 2011. September 2013 saw us partnering with the Homebuilders and Remodelers Association of Cape Cod for Blitz Build 2013 – one home built in one week – which has now become a biennial event (check out Blitz Build 2019).
We are grateful to our many steadfast and generous supporters, volunteers and partners. It is only because of our many Habitat friends that we can now plan to raise walls on ten new homes or more in a single year. However, we think of our most important accomplishments as those that are beyond counting: families thriving; home buyers and volunteers learning new skills together; new friendships and connections forged. With your active support, we can continue our mission of building homes, hope, lives, and community.