Handwritten notes in our archives are evidence that homelessness and a shortage of affordable housing were being widely discussed across Haywood County in 1988. A group of concerned citizens led by Walton Garrett knew it was a matter of conscience to put boots on the ground and address the problem, and so in 1990 they started Haywood Habitat for Humanity. Strong community support combined with our commitment to address a critical need as long as it exists is why this “little engine that could” is still here 30 years later to make decent affordable housing a reality for everyone. We won't give up until we're no longer needed.
We have organized an interesting 30 year Haywood Habitat timeline based on newspaper clippings, newsletters, and other information provided by our volunteers.
1988- Organizing and fundraising began for Haywood Habitat for Humanity
- Pisgah and Tuscola basketball teams brought back their best players to host an All-Star Spectacular sponsored by the Waynesville Jaycees to raise funds for Habitat
- Community wide meeting held August 16, 1988 to recruit volunteers
- Search for land to build first house begins
1990 – Haywood Habitat for Humanity receives approval as an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International
- March 14– Groundbreaking for the first Haywood Habitat home is held in Bethel
- May – Dwight Donaldson donates land in Canton for 2nd Habitat home
- October 28 – First home is dedicated with a reception at Bethel United Methodist Church
1991- Second home started in Hannah Cove in Canton
1993-First Blitz Build held in partnership with WNC United Methodist Conference builds 4th Haywood Habitat home in one week
1997-Inter-denominational Blitz Build held in Waynesville builds home in two weeks
1998 – 17th house started
2005 - First paid staff member hired
2006 – Home constructed by USDA Forest Service and Haywood Community College as part of 100th anniversary of USDA Forest Service. The home was constructed and displayed on the National Mall in Washington, DC, and then moved to Canton and reassembled on land donated by Blue Ridge Paper Products (now Evergreen Packaging).
2007- Construction on first 2 of 8 homes in Barefoot Ridge Subdivision in Clyde begins.
2011- First ReStore opens on Miller Street in downtown Waynesville
2015- ReStore and offices combine and move to new larger location on Walnut St. in Waynesville
2016- Construction begins on land donated by Sara Jane League and Gary Smith. The neighborhood, "Walton Woods", is Haywood Habitat's first all Habitat neighborhood.
2018 – Construction on 50th new home begins
2019-Plans approved for second Haywood Habitat neighborhood with 10 homes to be located in Waynesville