Cenvar Gives

Cenvar Gives - Central Valley Habitat For Humanity

Stephen Vernon
November 30, 2023

Cenvar Gives - Central Valley Habitat For Humanity

A few weeks ago, Tim Godshall, the Project Coordinator for Central Valley Habitat for Humanity, was out at a property in Rockingham County, VA where one of the Habitat projects was underway. Though they haven't finished their house yet, the owners were carefully seeding grass in what will be their new yard. The family of four, originally from Eritrea, will eventually call this 3-bedroom, single-family ranch-style house their new home in January.

Godshall says the project is moving along well, with siding added just the other day, and a new roof thanks to the efforts of Ben Phenicie and his Cenvar Roofing crew based out of the city of Harrisonburg, VA. “Whenever you visit a job and the shingles are on, that’s always a good feeling, a sign of relief,” Godshall says about the roof.

Habitat For Humanity Application

As an affiliate of the national Habitat for Humanity organization, the Central Valley chapter focuses on making home ownership accessible for those who wouldn’t typically qualify for a mortgage but have enough income to contribute toward sustaining the home.

Applicants for a Harrisonburg Habitat for Humanity home must take certain classes through the organization, undergo a credit check and application process, and participate in what Habitat for Humanity calls “sweat equity,” where each adult receiving a home must complete 200 volunteer hours with the organization. Individuals can volunteer with the work on their own home, on another Habitat project, or can opt to volunteer at the local Habitat for Humanity ReStore, which sells used building materials, furniture, and home goods.

With a combination of sweat equity hours, volunteers from local community service organizations and churches, and the generous donations of local contractors, “our goal is to keep the cost of the house down to keep it more affordable for the family,” Godshall explains.

Before image of a roof installation | Cenvar Roofing
New Roof Before Shingles

Cenvar Roofing - Harrisonburg, Virginia

This is now the third Habitat house that Phenicie and the Harrisonburg, VA crew in the Shenandoah Valley have worked on in partnership with Central Valley.

“It was almost two and half years ago, when the director of Habitat contacted me, actually for something else,” Phenicie remembers, “and I told him that we were always looking for a way to give back to the local, small town community.” Since then, the Harrisonburg team has partnered with Central Valley to provide roughly one new roof or roof replacement each year. “This is our Cenvar Gives annual project,” Phenicie states simply.

“They weren’t even going to ask us for materials, just the labor, but I told them we could provide the whole thing (labor and materials),” Phenicie says. In addition, the Harrisonburg team has contributed to several Habitat fundraisers.

New Roof After Shingles | Cenvar Roofing
New Roof After Shingles

A Roofing Company Near You Making an Impact

The homeowners fled their home country of Eritrea as refugees over five years ago. From Eritrea they escaped to Sudan and then Kenya before finally making their way to the United States, via a sponsored refugee program in Bridgewater. After years of upheaval in their home country and through hard work at a local distribution center, the family’s perseverance has paid off. Like the grass seeds they have so carefully planted in their new yard, the new Habitat house brings hope and new opportunity.

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