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Building a Community Together

About Habitat for Humanity of Wicomico County

We believe that everyone deserves a decent place to live, and our commitment to this belief has fostered a community of volunteers, donors, and homeowners who share in the vision of a world where everyone has a safe and affordable place to call home.
A Legacy of Hope and Homes for our Community

Building a Community Together: About Habitat for Humanity of Wicomico County

At the heart of Wicomico County, Habitat for Humanity stands as a beacon of hope, transforming lives through the power of home. Since 1987, our mission has been unwavering: to bring people together to build homes, communities, and hope. We believe that everyone deserves a decent place to live, and our commitment to this belief has fostered a community of volunteers, donors, and homeowners who share in the vision of a world where everyone has a safe and affordable place to call home.

Our Vision

A world where everyone has a decent place to live.

Our Mission Statement

Seeking to put God’s love into action, Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities and hope.

Our Journey: From Dreams to Reality

Our journey began with a small group of dedicated individuals who believed in the power of community to enact change. Over the years, we have grown, thanks to the relentless support and hard work of countless volunteers and the generosity of our donors. Each nail driven and wall raised tells a story of hope, perseverance, and the collective effort to make a difference in the lives of those in need.

Our Impact: More Than Just Houses

At Habitat for Humanity of Wicomico County, we do more than just build houses—we build futures. Our programs are designed to empower families, providing them with the tools and resources to achieve self-reliance through homeownership. By working hand in hand with future homeowners, we’re not just constructing buildings; we’re laying the foundations for brighter futures, stronger families, and a more cohesive community.

Join Us: Be a Part of the Change

We invite you to join us on this journey of transformation. Whether you swing a hammer, advocate for affordable housing, or contribute financially, your support makes a real difference. Together, we can continue to build on our legacy of hope, making Wicomico County a place where everyone has the opportunity to thrive in a safe, secure, and stable home.

Our History

The Story of Habitat for Humanity of Wicomico County

From our humble beginnings in 1986, inspired by the vision of Habitat International’s founders, to the vibrant community force we are today, Habitat for Humanity of Wicomico County has been driven by a singular mission: to build not just homes, but hope.

A Dream Takes Root in Salisbury

In May, 1986, Alice and Walden Howard, friends of Habitat International’s founders Millard and Linda Fuller, moved to Salisbury with the express purpose of starting a Habitat affiliate in the area. They chose Salisbury because with its Zoo, its Civic Center and its university, it appeared to be a community with civic pride and philanthropic involvement.

The Millers immediately met community leaders, from all walks of life, who confirmed the need for simple, decent, affordable housing in Wicomico County. The Millers joined a city wide Task Force on Affordable Housing that identified the need for decent low income housing as the area’s primary social problem.

Nine months later, the Millers held the first public meeting at Trinity United Methodist church and 75 people showed up. The response was so overwhelmingly positive, that they formed a Board of Directors and began to look for land on which to build.

A lot was found, local businesses donated materials, volunteers donated labor and construction began. A Family Selection Committee was formed and a family with four children who was living in an abandoned house in the county was chosen as the first Wicomico County Habitat homeowners.

In October, 1987, Board members drove to Syracuse, New York, where the Habitat for Humanity, International Board was meeting on Habitat’s eleventh anniversary. There, Habitat for Humanity of Wicomico County was officially welcomed as Habitat Affiliate Number 218, the second affiliate in the State of Maryland.

During the next six years, Habitat completed a total of ten homes, built by local volunteers and church mission groups. Investments came from local community leaders and from the Faith community. Houses were built in lots scattered throughout the county.

In 1993, the Wiesner Family donated eight lots in a subdivision in the county and Habitat received $405,000 Federal Community Development Block Grant funding to acquire another 12 lots. Habitat’s focus changed from building scattered homes, to building neighborhoods and, for 11 years, Habitat built homes in the Kirkwood neighborhood.

In 2004 Habitat was approached by Barrie Tilghman, the then mayor of Salisbury, and invited to collaborate with the city in revitalizing the Church Street neighborhood, a core city neighborhood plagued with urban problems such as drugs, prostitution and crime.

Building More Than Homes

In 2006, the first Habitat home owner moved into a house in Church Street and in the ensuing 4 years, Habitat built nine homes, is currently renovating two more. The current 16 Habitat homeowners (as of 2018) have done much to stabilize this neighborhood and have inspired other investors to rehabilitate and build homes.

In 2010-2011, Habitat built two more homes in the Kirkwood neighborhood for families who need accessible, one story housing.

In 2010, with the help of the Palmer Foundation, the Henson Foundation and other donors, Habitat opened its ReStore purchased a building that now housed the affiliate and the ReStore up until April 2024. In October 2022, Wicomico Habitat had the opportunity to purchase a building in Fruitland, MD, which would be renovated over the next year and a half to become thew new administrative offices and a second ReStore location. The administrative offices officially opened in May 2024, with the Fruitland ReStore following with a grand opening in July 2024. The Salisbury ReStore currently generates $600,000 a year to support the affiliate’s administrative budget so that all funds raised can go directly to building. With the addition of the second ReStore, and the expansion of the Salisbury ReStore into the old administrative offices, ReStore revenue is expected to grow to $1,000,000, greatly increasing our ability to serve more families.

The Board has established a development committee whose task is to identify and cultivate major donors at the $500 level with the goal of strengthening the affiliate’s funding base.

By 2018, with over 30 years of service to the community, Habitat has built 66 houses, 15,000 volunteers, invested $9 million dollars in the community – forever changing the lives of 270 people. Now and in the near future, the affiliate is planning build or rehab 10 more houses in the Church Street Neighborhood for low income families while expanding its Neighborhood Revitalization Program to improve existing homes for low income families and addressing the “Aging in Place” issues of homeowners in Wicomico and Somerset Counties.

A Legacy of Hope and Homes

With over nearly four decades of service, the impact of Habitat for Humanity of Wicomico County is seen in the smiles of families in their new homes, in the revitalized neighborhoods, and in the heart of every volunteer and supporter who has joined us on this journey.

As we continue to write our story, we invite you to become a part of our history. Whether through volunteering, donating, or spreading the word, your support helps us turn the dream of affordable housing into a reality for families in Wicomico County.