Today I’m talking with Kathy Roum, the senior director of development and marketing with Habitat for Humanity of Omaha. We’re talking about their annual event, Brewhaha, coming up in September, check out our interview.
Lisa: I am super excited for Brewhaha! You put on one of the most fun events that exist.
Kathy: I agree! I thought I was biased, but I really think that Brewhaha is one of the most fun events that also benefits a great cause. So Brewhaha is coming up, at Stinson Park at Aksarben Village and thank you for being a co-honorary chair for it!
Lisa: No problem! I should back up, I’m excited about Brewhaha (who doesn’t love beer?) but you should tell us about Habitat for Humanity.
Kathy: Yeah! So Habitat for Humanity of Omaha started in 1984, a grass roots movement to address substandard housing in Northeast Omaha. Since that time we’ve grown significantly, the first house was a rehab that took two years to build by volunteers and donated materials. Today, this year, we’re building or renovating 42 houses, we’ve added to our programs and services we have a critical home repair program, we demolish condemned houses, and we also have a great program called Neighborhood Revitalization that really puts us in a focused area of the neighborhood to implement all of our housing solutions and completely change the landscape hope for that neighborhood.
One of the myths that exists out there is that we give homes away, we give homeless people homes. That couldn’t be further from the truth. What we do is partner with low income families (30% median income) they put down a down payment, pay property taxes and insurance just like you and I do. But there are caveats, they have to have a wiliness to partner, they complete up to 350 hours of sweat equity before they can buy their home, they complete 8 workshops of financial planning, budgeting, home maintenance, etc. They also have the ability to pay, because they do buy the home from Habitat for Humanity for the appraised price.
Lisa: So it’s a hand up, not a hand out.
Kathy: Exactly, exactly. Habitat provides them with a affordable mortgage, because families can’t go to a bank and get a conventional loan it would be too hard so that’s how Habitat steps in and helps out.
Lisa: Thats awesome, I love the way that you’re changing lives. What’s the website?
Kathy: www.HabitatOmaha.org — one of our pop up stories is about Brewhaha, there are 2 ticket prices: $50 for a regular ticket. This gets you in with brewers, vendors, dinner, and a show. For $100 you can get a ticket to the patron tent, which is the only tent that has wine. Actually, could you share about how you made networking connections when you attended Brewhaha?
Lisa: Yeah! This is a great story, I met a client at the first or second Brewhaha. She was talking about how selling a house for sale by owner was so difficult and my ears popped up and I said, ‘I’m sorry I hate to interrupt but I really think that I could help you, we should set up a meeting.’ She agreed to the meeting and I’ve worked for her several times over the last decade. She’s wonderful, I’ve seen her have triplets, she just had a new baby, and we’ve kept in touch and it started at Brewhaha!
Kathy: Nice, so it’s more than just a fundraising event! You really do meet a lot of great people there.
Lisa: Absolutely, absolutely. If you’re interested in a corporate sponsorship, those can still be had?
Kathy: Yes! We would never turn down a sponsorship, we have packages for companies and we also have ticket packages. Those packages could be used as thank you gifts to your clients or staff.
Lisa: Good idea! Thanks so much Kathy for coming in today, I appreciate all that you do for our community.
Kathy: Absolutely! We’ll see you at Brew!
For more information about Brewhaha, click here: www.HabitatOmaha.org