You are here

Asheville, North Carolina

October 13, 2012 to October 20, 2012

Come join us for a working fall vacation in the mountains of North Carolina, help build a safe, sustainable home and learn some new skills. No previous experience is needed, just willing hands and a willing heart. Make new friends, enjoy our beautiful mountains during leaf season and know that you will forever change the lives of a family.

About Asheville, NC
Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity is located in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina. Buncombe County, while mostly rural, boasts of a vibrant downtown with delicious restaurants, active art scene and numerous festivals and activities for tourists and locals alike. There is an abundance of outdoor activities, including hiking, biking, white water rafting and climbing. The lack of affordable housing in Buncombe County is identified as one of our community’s most serious problems by many diverse sources, including the City of Asheville’s Community Development Department, the Department of Social Services, and the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce. Buncombe County is estimated to have approximately 2,000 substandard housing units within a total population of 238,300. Furthermore, the National Center for Housing Policy identifies Buncombe County as one of the nation’s counties where even police officers, teachers and firefighters cannot afford to buy a median-priced home due to the disparity between incomes and housing costs.

It is this critical need for decent, affordable housing that is addressed by Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity’s mission, work and purpose. AAHH provides an innovative solution to our community’s affordable housing crisis by moving low-income families into safe, affordable homes. This creates and transfers generational wealth for college tuition, business opportunities and long-term medical and disability care.

About Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity
AAHH is a nonprofit ministry that fosters community by partnering with qualified families and individuals to build new houses and preserve existing homes in Buncombe County. Our vision is a community where every family has a safe and decent home. Founded in 1983, AAHH was the first affiliate established in NC. AAHH has built 228 houses for almost 1,000 adults and children and builds at the rate of 13-15 new houses each year. Each house is built with volunteer labor and sold to qualified applicants at cost and with no-interest mortgages. Habitat builds simple, decent two, three, and four-bedroom houses that are Energy Star rated and meet NC Silver Level Healthy Built standards. Approved applicants must demonstrate a need for safe and decent housing, have income below 70 percent of the AMI, and be willing to invest at least 200 “sweat equity” hours to build their homes.
With a solid track record of fiscal responsibility, AAHH has several sustainable funding sources:
The Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity ReStore opened in 1990 and generates AAHH’s largest source of sustainable funding. The Habitat ReStore also keeps 1,100 tons of usable materials from going to the landfill.
AAHH’s returning homeowner mortgage payments generate $687,775 annually and are recycled to build more homes.

As one of 50 affiliates selected nationwide by Habitat International, AAHH introduced its Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative (NRI) program in 2010. AAHH partners with approved low-income homeowners to remedy substandard housing conditions utilizing volunteer labor and interest-free loans.

Types of construction for volunteers
Volunteers will be building new construction homes. AAHH homes are one story, wood frame houses between 900 and just under 1500 square feet. The houses are HealthyBuild certified and Energy Star rated. They are built in the arts and crafts style. Volunteers will help with all aspects of new construction: digging foundations, framing, roofing, installing windows and doors, vinyl siding, insulation and painting. All tools and construction and deconstruction site materials will be provided by the affiliate. SIHH has Supervisors on staff to supervise all projects.

Standard itinerary
Saturday: Arrival and rest day
Sunday: Activity (ex. Sightseeing, hiking and dinner at a local restaurant)
Monday: AAHH orientation and breakfast; volunteer at new home construction site; group dinner.
Tuesday: Volunteer at new home construction site; walk at North Carolina Arboretum; group dinner.
Wednesday: Volunteer at home repair project; tour and shop AAHH ReStore; group dinner.
Thursday: Volunteer at home repair project; group dinner with partner family.
Friday: Volunteer at new home construction site; attend a wall raising event; farewell celebration luncheon; dinner at local downtown restaurant and watch or participate in the downtown drum circle.
Saturday: Depart.

Volunteers will stay at a local camp. The camp will have dorm rooms for men and women and a common room with a kitchen for preparing meals. Camp amenities can be utilized by the team. These amenities may include: hiking, canoeing or gym facilities.

Program cost
(For more details about what is included in this cost, visit Global Village program cost.)

Build a better world: Take the Global Village Challenge
Habitat for Humanity International is challenging Global Village volunteers to make an even greater impact on the global issue of poverty housing. We are asking all GV teams to help us raise an additional $1.1 million in the coming year to support Habitat’s building projects worldwide. Take up the challenge! Join us in sharing our story and building a better world!

Team leader
Gary Haberlan lives in Steamboat Springs, Colorado where he is employed part-time as a pharmacist at the Yampa Valley Medical Center. Gary is married to his wife (Dot) and has a daughter (Katie) and two golden retrievers to complete the family unit. Gary has participated in several previous Habitat builds in Colorado, Mississippi, South Dakota, South Carolina and the Dominican Republic. He will be looking to find a group of positive, flexible and dedicated individuals who value combining hard work with a relaxed post work environment. This will be the first Global Village team to visit Asheville along with Gary’s first team leader opportunity. Let’s make them both a positive experience. Gary can be contacted at

To apply for a GV trip, please follow the Application Instructions.

Back to Trip Schedule Page