Habitat for Humanity of Suffolk is an affordable home ownership program for families earning between 40% and 60% of average median income. We are the only home ownership program that services this income range. We build in partnership with the local government which donates land, local businesses which fund our operations, volunteers who help build and our families that must complete 300 hours of sweat equity building their home or others that we have under construction.
Lee Silberman consistently generates revenue for organizations by using scientific methodologies to attack business problems. After earning his BS in Organic Chemistry from MIT in 3 years, he graduated with an MS from UCLA. Immediately after, he joined a 40-person, privately held textile company, and went on to learn all aspects of organizational leadership from the ground up. Silberman led the firm before, during, and after a merger, when it became one of the world’s largest decorative fabric wholesalers with a workforce of 550 employees.
Tommy brings listeners up to date with what has been happening on the show and gives insight for what the show will look like in the future. After Tommys recap he introduces his guest Lee Silberman Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director at Habitat for Humanity of Suffolk County. Lee tells his experience and how he got to the position he holds today.
Lee shares the moments that make his work worth all the labor and love. He shares how he feels after he passes the keys onto the new owners seeing their excitement and joy. Lee talks about the give and take of working in non-profit organizations. He shares how the corporate companies and other vendors are two sided as it is a relationship that is giving donations for the recognition. Tommy and Lee share that this give and take is not a bad thing as it is how companies work and function as it keeps the relationships strong.
Lees talks about the three myths of Habitat for Humanity. He explains the process to what really goes on from raising money to build a home all the way to how Habitat houses are sold. He also tells how they receive income and support as well as where that funding goes. Tommy asks Lee what the biggest struggles are and Lee shares what hurdles the company goes through and how they get over them.
Lee shares with the listeners some opportunities to get involved with Habitat for Humanity. He shares some of Habitat for Humanity of Suffolk County's events and volunteer opportunities that are coming up. Tommy offers Lee to use this platform to engage with listeners to get involved and join the work that is being done. Lee encourages business to get involved because it not only helps the cause but it gives good publicity and shows the public eye the community that will help serve them.
0:25 Good morning, everybody. It's morning right now, I don't know if it's morning when you're listening to the program. But if you're listening live, which I think you should be doing every single Friday morning at 10am, the philanthropy in focus, as you know, we're 30 some odd episodes into this program. And it was a vision. It was a dream of mine, I wanted to get out here and do this. I wanted to amplify the message for nonprofit organizations. You might say, Why, Tommy, Dan, why do you want to amplify it? Well, let me answer that question. Just in case you were asking that question. Let me answer that for you. I believe that nonprofits change our world. I believe that nonprofits are overlooked, underfunded and unrecognized. And my answer is this program, this movement, philanthropy in focus, it's a movement, I really believe it because it's not just about a weekly radio show. It's about letting people know what nonprofits are doing. It's about getting out there, doing the 60 days of service thing. I'm sure we'll talk more about that today. But I'm getting out there doing the work. I'm making an impact. And I'm trying to help other people see the vision of what nonprofits are doing all the time. I live this man, this is this is my daily thing all day long. I'm talking about making an impact and value. And I don't tell you not to brag how great I am, because I'm just the guy in an attic right now. But I tell you that because I think it's important that everybody finds their way to do service, finds their nonprofit finds their cause and I will talk a bit about 60 days of service today. I will talk a little bit about something coming up pretty soon, which is actually two things that are coming up a weekly what I call nonprofit nugget with Tommy big. That's why I'm so weekly nonprofit nugget. And then also we'll be talking about a new program that I am launching here on the network talk radio dot NYC with my friend Valerie have fun Morning Calm. That's just the teaser for right now, let's jump into today's program, today's subject matter to these leader of a nonprofit organization, because each week, that's what I do. I bring on a leader of a nonprofit organization to help them tell their story and amplify their message. And just in time, my friend goes live on the camera. We I'll tell you something. Let's talk technical difficulties before we even jump into the program. I was freaking out 35 minutes ago because I was always setting things up here in the attic, as I do on a Friday morning. I the electric shorted out because I too much. I was pulling too much juice, I guess. So everything went just like that. And I go Oh, no. And I didn't say no, you can imagine. Well, this is a this
2:50 is a family show, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages. So we'll say I said oh, shucks. Although I didn't. And I said to my wife, I need help. And she hooked me back up. And then we got all the juicy of the air conditioners running because the air conditioner is running at 61 degrees in the attic is running about 106 So somewhere writing right around my desk, it's right in the in the high 80s I guess is what I'm what I'm dealing with. But we have air we have power. We have Leon camera. Lee, I, um, you know, I always do research, I always try to find out the backgrounds on my guests, and how they got where they are and the road they took and the path that they're on. I do have some background, I'm going to read it to you all lately. Silverman is is a friend of mine. He's the CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Suffolk County. And I am going to read a bit but then I'm going to let me tell the story because you know what, if somebody read a bio of coming to me, so that's my real name, in case anybody didn't know, it's not just me. But if somebody read that bio, it's just its stats, its figures. It's things we've done, but really the story come from our heart and what we've done in how we've walked the paths, there are a couple things I mean, even before, well, let me say this. Welcome to the show. I am thrilled to have you here and I have to make one other joke. Before we even get started. I kind of have a rule about having the best hair on the show. I think we're rallying and we're kind of fighting for who's got the best hair going today. If you're not looking, you know watching us on Facebook, he's got a great head of hair on him not to mention great glasses. Welcome to the show lead before I say anything else. Welcome to the show. Welcome to my attic. Thank you Tommy it's great to be here. And if there's a handicap I think I probably went on the hair since I am 66 that's fair enough. Listen, man at 43 I hope to have a great head of hair like you do but if I look at my jeans, my father I call him my old man he loves when I say that. But my father. He just turned 70 years old the other day and we were out to dinner recently for his birthday and I was joking with the waiter and it was a band at the restaurant where we were we were out at the beach where I am.
4:48 And the joke was a way to joke with the bandleader, the bandleader. I said how old is my dad's birthday? They sung like Happy Birthday by The Beatles. You know it's your birthday firefight. Right? So
5:00 Tell that guy over there, because I don't know what he turned 50 Today is my father 70 year old man getting called for 50. Now, when I'm 43, and when I go out with him, people don't believe he's my dad, they think he's my brother. So that doesn't, I certainly compliments my dad, the opposite of a compliment to me when you tell me that
5:20 looks like my brother, I tried to digress, I'll try to bring it back to the subject matter. But I love the hair and love the glasses. Welcome to the show. Let me read a bit about the bio, and let's get into the juice and the story. That's what's important to me. So, Lee earned his his bachelor's degree in organic chemistry from MIT in three years, okay, then graduated from UCLA, with his master of science, and again in chemistry, immediately moved to work for a privately held textile company with 40 employees and started learning all the aspects of that business. That company grew. There was a merger, there was a sale, private equity, the whole thing. And but all the while, in my research, it was this involvement in the nonprofit sector. So a lot of what I want to hear from from me today is because I think this is true, and either correct me if I'm wrong, or tell me I'm right, but nonprofits are businesses, right? Like this is just get right into tax filing status is the only real difference here. Yep. payroll, employees income things going out? Right? There's a lot of stuff here, programs, division silos. So talk to me a little bit. Let's tell me the story. LEED AP organic chemistry, to CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Suffolk County, we got time, let's jump into it. All right. Well, they are first of all, whereas I'm very proud of graduating MIT in three years. When people asked me what was the biggest mistake you made in your life, I would say it was graduating college in three years and not taking the full four. I was just in such a big hurry to get on with my life. And, and it took a lot of turns. I wasn't expecting so many kids out there. Yeah, take advantage stay in college for the full time.
7:01 And take full advantage of the experience because I do think I miss some things. Bye. Bye, bye by by Russian throw must have been a heck of a force load to pull that off in three years, right? I mean, credits and stuff. It was
7:17 it was quite a courseload Plus, you know, I had the high school AP exams and so forth that,
7:24 you know, helped out whatever. But
7:27 you know, it was it was tough, but enjoyed it. And I'd say looking back by just had my 45th reunion, it was a lot more fun. Looking back on it, then probably living through it. Sure.
7:40 But, so, and it certainly was never my intention to go into a family business. But when I decided to leave chemistry, my uncle offered me a job with this company that was based in Bayshore
7:53 really didn't know anything about it. I figured, okay, I'll try it, you know, see what it's like, you know,
7:59 you know, try it for a couple years. And I was there for 40 years.
8:06 So, I have the distinction of never having to apply for a job in my life. So that job with you know, because I was the nephew. And then because of my long
8:20 term involvement with Habitat sofic, when they were looking for a new CEO, and the timing was just right, I actually got this position without actually applying for it.
8:31 But in working with it with the company, we did grow from 40 employees to at its peak, 450 employees.
8:41 We were in said, we were in Bayshore and there was a time in the late 90s, when we were deciding whether or not we were going to stay in Bayshore or expand or, you know, move down south.
8:56 And when we decided to invest them stay in Bay Shore.
9:01 At the same time, we thought, Well, we've been in the community for about 20 years, we're definitely going to be here for another, you know, 10 or 20 years, maybe it's time to put some real roots in and give back.
9:12 So I had had an experience a couple of years before as a volunteer on habitat, what habitat work site for my synagogue on a what we call a mitzvah day. I enjoyed it. I became a small time donor at the time. And so when we're looking for an organization to partner with my suggested habitat, because I felt it was something our employees he got behind it was local, we can we can see exactly what we were doing.
9:46 so I reached out to the den executive director had a couple of conversations, and we entered into a long term partnership, where my company would sponsor raise money sponsor homes.
10:00 The deal was we wanted to sponsor homes that were in Islip, because that was where we were, you know, located in that town. But over the years, for a whole lot of reasons, that wasn't really possible. So we were sponsoring homes all over Suffolk County. And over a 20 year period of time, we sponsored about 15 homes. That's awesome. That's, that's, I love that. 15 homes all around sofic. I want I want to ask you about that the importance of what can you make it just in my own ignorance, lips, lips the day? Can you see the point? I'm sure what lips a day, no mitzvah.
10:37 I earned an O mitzvah. Okay. All right. All right. So so I want to talk about that, just from the perspective of
10:46 corporate social responsibility, team building, you know, finding ways to impact your community, what was it that drove you, you and your firm from a business perspective to say, you know, we really need to be involved here. And then we can talk about why habitat, but what was it that drove that conversation around the importance of, of doing service, because this is something I'm talking about all the time. So I'm very interested in this.
11:09 Well, I've something my father really instilled in May is, you know, you have I think people have means have a responsibility to help those that are, you know, less less fortunate. I come from the Jewish faith in the Jewish faith, that's a positive commandment, to to give to charity.
11:29 And as I said, when we decided to expand and really double down our presence in Bay Shore, we thought it would be good for employee morale, to to do something.
11:41 This what we did, which was our employees,
11:47 donated money out of their paycheck every week, for some as little as 50 cents, some as much as $5, or company match dollar for dollar, all of those donations, over a 20 period, 20 year period of time,
12:02 the total was about $750,000, that was given to habitat sofic. In addition to that, we raised at least another quarter of a million dollars through events, and maybe leaning on some of our vendors and so on, so forth.
12:19 So I'm proud to say over a 20 year period of time,
12:23 we were responsible for over a million dollars going into the organization. And for the employees I always loved when we had the work days, when we you know they could go out as a house sponsor, one of the perks of being a house sponsor is you get to do the wall raise
12:40 that the first the first day, you show up, there's a concrete slab, there's lumber line all over the place. And by the time you leave at 233, in the afternoon, all of the outside walls are up and fully sheath. It's just an amazing day. It's not there. And then by the you know, by the hands of your employees, it's there. Right? That's pretty awesome. Man. That's That, to me is culture. You know, you talked about you raise the money for the organization, first of all, kudos to you and the other executive leadership of that company, instead of as your uncle's company. So I guess some of the family was mom, just because,
13:19 you know, it's doubling down in a community. First, he said you wanted to stay in Islip. And obviously, as you said, you have to expand past Islip just for a number of variety of reasons for the builds. But God the camaraderie that gets built in there, the excitement, you know, the, Wow, my company wants me to be involved, and they're going to get they're going to impact or they're going to match what I raised for this organization. And, you know, that little time, whether it be 50 cents or five bucks per paycheck, it adds up. You're talking $750,000 over these years, which is great money, but I think the experience is equally as important. Well, how do you feel about that? Like, was it rank and file employees all the way to the suits that were involved with these bills?
14:03 Well, yes, and people got involved in other ways. For a couple of years, our CFO was the treasurer of habitat.
14:13 One of our employees was a regular volunteer, doing all sorts of things. He was actually Honored One year as being Volunteer of the Year.
14:22 So there was there was quite a bit bit of involvement from the rank and file hourly workers, you know, up through the C suite. I love those types of stories I talk about you know, guys would be listening to me if you pay attention, what I'm talking about, it's a lot of Htg alliances, it's a lot about, you know, the nonprofit and the for profit getting together finding ways where what I say on this show and in the rest of my world is two plus two might equal four in a math textbook, but when it comes to networking and impact, two plus two plus two, it's some other numbers with some I say, What's that, you know, only before we're gonna go to a quick break in a second here, folks, but what is the impact? What is the ripple effect
15:00 have individual employees who may not be high wage earners, but they feel the impact of their company supporting their, their service efforts, their philanthropic efforts, because I'm arguing this fact, and I, you know, somebody is probably gonna want to take the other side of it. But I think philanthropy is not just about suits, and dresses and gowns in a full room writing big checks, it's about service work, it's about people making an impact on the local level. And I think, you know, an organization a company like yours, I just, I didn't know about it, but I see in my mind in the vision of the players going back and forth, and as you said, Your CFO was the treasurer of the board of habitat after a right Is that right? So after a number of years that the players are, you know, that Venn diagram there's that overlap of of the people and the service and everything like that. So I want to talk more about this. We're gonna take a quick break, I have about 75 more questions which we will not get to finish all of them today. But that's just that's just how my brain operates. For the best hair award and on the show ever goes to Lee Silverman so far. 30 episodes in We'll be right back. It's so many plants we focus Lee Silverman is here from Habitat for Humanity CEO of the Suffolk County Habitat for Humanity. We'll be right back in two months get
16:15 the other birth Daughter of reinventing yourself. Are you looking to create a new life's journey? Hi, I'm Devin Barbara, host of coffee talk. So every Tuesday night by 8pm Eastern on talk radio dot NYC tune in live you hear me and my guests from a variety of different backgrounds. As a former college coach and a current full time actor and owner of multiple companies. My show is as eclectic as my life. That's coffee, talkback. So every Tuesday night 8pm on talk radio.
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17:17 Are you a conscious co creator? Are you on a quest to raise your vibration and your consciousness? Sam Liebowitz your conscious consultant and on my show the conscious consultant our awakening humanity we will touch upon all these topics and more. Listen live at our new time on Thursdays at 12 noon. Eastern time. That's the conscious consultant our awakening humanity Thursdays 12 noon on talk radio dot NYC
17:53 you're listening to talk radio NYC uplift educate empower
18:18 to cut you off.
18:21 Join Tommy is
18:25 cut through all the static joins Javi is added everybody loves when I sing. That's why everybody's listening into the show. No, that's not why. But I do like to sing on the show. So here here's the thing, gang. So there's stuff that goes on behind the scenes when we go to commercial break. And my buddy Sam Liebowitz is on the other side of the glass executive producer of talk radio, NYC his whole show my buddy Sam is there. And I'm learning that Lee and Sam have decided I am a match. And I appreciate that and i i do kind of know what it means guys, so
19:01 I'm glad to be called that. But um, you guys are teaching me all new words. I got mitzvah we're trying to do and match today. Lee, you're the match. I mean, you know you're the guy who you see this. You see the alignment between service work you said, you know you grew up thinking this way and it was something that you were drawn to. I want to know about what what the impact for the employees was before we even really jump into your role at habitat. I want to I want to go back to the corporate side of things.
19:29 What was it like for the employees that what was the day the race day? What did you say when the walls went up that first day?
19:36 Well, the the wall race day is a great day we always say it's one of the two best days in the habitat world The day we raise the walls and then the second best day is was the day we hand over the keys for the new homeowner.
19:48 But we had a core group of of employees who who always look forward to doing the you know the build days.
19:56 Oftentimes, you know it would be on a Saturday
20:00 Occasionally, we would do it during the week. And we would, you know, of course, give the employees the pay time
20:06 out to do the build.
20:08 We had, you know, in addition to our warehouse and office operation in
20:15 in Bayshore, we had a showroom in Syosset and another one in New York City. And some of those employees would also come out to help, you know, get the bill. And it was, you know, it's a good thing we had, you know, at our sales meetings,
20:29 we would introduce, oftentimes, we would introduce our the families who were, you know, either were too soon to be the homeowners, you know, of our homes. And that was always a very touching moment, when they could
20:42 get on stage and thank the people who were really responsible for them having all that's incredible. I, you know, that's incredible for the family to experience. But
20:53 there's so much more to be said, by rolling up your sleeves. And I've done a build day. And I'd say, regretfully, is only one day that I've done and I want to do more, and I want to talk to you about that. But I didn't want to be out in Freeport one day, but you know, to get out there and you might, Hello, folks, you might not know, I'm not a construction worker?
21:15 Or do you need to be to come out and build sites? You don't? Right? I mean, you have like legitimate general contractors, and you got everybody there, right? The plumbers are there when appropriate, the carpenters are there, the Masons are there, right? So those of us were bodies that they can teach how to do something for a day, right? It's not.
21:32 So I now have so many ideas in my head, but I want you to tell me about that. As far as from a volunteer perspective, but
21:39 you know, you have that family come in, whether it be at a sales meeting, or or at that day, they're given the keys, and some of your folks are there, God to tears, and let's be rolling down people's faces, like you, you know, you as an individual employee, you know, in the textile business have made an impact on this family over here. Like that's, culturally, when I think of companies and, and, and I mentioned the term Corporate Social Responsibility earlier.
22:06 I don't want to sound pessimistic, but I think some companies now do things because it looks good. And it's, it's the way to, you know,
22:15 I don't want to beat up on big companies, but we just feel like there's nothing wrong with companies doing things because it looks good. I'll give you another
22:22 very quick lesson in Judaism, there's a philosopher back in the Middle Ages, my monitors who came up with the giving ladder,
22:30 which I will, which I talk about, sometimes when I do groups, and, you know, one of the steps in the giving ladder is giving because it you know, it makes you look good. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with that, you know, you'd look at all the people who endow University, you know, you, we wouldn't have a university system, the way we have in this country, that people didn't give money to put their names.
22:52 name on the building, it's a big thing, right? So. So there's absolutely nothing wrong if that's the if that's the motivation.
23:00 I appreciate you saying that, because in my head, I had, I don't want to say I had a problem with it. But I, you know, when you go, when you walk through Northshore, university, hospital, whatever it may be, we see the wings and the names all over these buildings. Yeah, I'm also one of my hats that I wear. I'm the co chair of the Pog industrial associations committee of sonicwall, social responsibility committee, along with Paul factor of Long Island cares. And this is one of the things that we talked about in trying to get, you know, companies involved is important. You know, everyone thinks that the non as a nonprofit, we always have our hands out. And we're always asking, excuse me asking for something without necessarily wanting to give something back in return. And that's very short sighted for nonprofit, you know, if, if you want to have a good collaboration with a corporate sponsor, there has to be something in it for that corporate, you know, for that Corporation, yeah, there's a few who will just give, because it's the right thing to do. But most needs something in return. And there's nothing wrong with that. So we'll, we'll give them publicity, we'll give them off, you know, we'll give them you know, opportunities, maybe it's PR, maybe, you know, for a wall raise, there's usually, you know, news day or, you know, one of the other organizations, and there's no there's absolutely nothing wrong with you know, nothing wrong with that. I'm, as you said at the very beginning, a nonprofit as a business like any other business, the only thing that distinguishes a nonprofit from a for profit, is we do not pay taxes on our profits. So our supporters are like our, our, you know, equivalent to like a vendor in a, you know, a typical relationship. And, you know, the vendor customer relationship, it's two sided. And the same thing between a donor and a nonprofit. Yeah, you know, thank you for pointing all that out and even give me more clarity on it, which is something I guess is, you know, deeper rooted in my own psyche about that piece there because I'll tell you a conversation I had a number of years ago and in a group we had a friend of mine cancer, Ed
25:00:00 Some of you may know cancer mainstreaming? associates accounting, a lot of work in the nonprofit founder of Long Island. Imagine working with city manager awards, which you've probably heard me talking about before. But we were in a meeting and I sit across the room, Ken is sitting on a panel, I said, Ken, you know, we're talking about this, we were talking about the strategic relationships between for profits and businesses. And, and I this is like, maybe three, four years ago, and I had this mentality where so yeah, but Ken, it's not supposed to be quid pro quo. Right. And we were talking to something in the effect of what you just talked about Lee, where it was like, Well, you know, we have these three sponsorships at the golf outing, and you get this, you get the T sign, you get the four, whatever the thing is, right. And, and Ken was like, Well, you know, what, Tommy? And if I'm quoting him wrong, I apologize. But it's not that, well, it kind of hits, it's got to be both parties got it, when and not like, like the for profit should be so honored to pay to get the T sign. But it should be something like, well, what is good for you, Mr. And Mrs. for profit? And how can we align? And that's what I'm hearing from you, Lee, it's that alliance of what's good for you? Well, let's try to work that out. So you get you for profit, get the exposure you're looking for, or the connections you're looking for. And we, as the nonprofit received the money that we need to do programming or make payroll, or whatever it is, is that is that what you're saying? Like, there's got to be something there?
26:20:00 Absolutely, I mean, like, even in with my company, you know, the over the 40 year period of time, so we did it for a couple reasons. So one was employee morale, so something that we're getting, you know, that we're getting for it. But the other is, you know, we put the habitat logo on our, you know, on our letterhead on our envelopes. So part of it was to advertise for Habitat. But another part of it was so that our customers and our vendors knew that we were aligned with this type of organization. So hopefully that made them feel better about us. Yeah, baby would give us some business versus someone else, because they said, Oh, you know, they're they're a big charitable supporter. They're a good corporate citizen, look what they're doing right, or the other part, which I think is a bonuses, they might say, oh, wow, let's do something together. Let's get involved and help you support habitat, which, probably through 40 years, you were able to go to some vendors and ask for that sort of support. Right? Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. That's really that's really exciting stuff. How do you go from?
27:22:00 How do you go from CEO of the for profit? We were involved with this organization, habitat. And when I look back from 2012, I believe, you know, you had some exposure, but it sounds like the organization and the business were involved much longer than that. Talk to me about
27:39:00 how were you just didn't even have to interview as we said, we're gonna go to break in like a minute. So let's, let's tease them. Let's tease them a little bit. Let's get them going. And then we'll drag them all back together the rest of the story, but how did it? How does that sort of start that story form? All right, I was on the board of directors for about 20 years, I was chairman the board for five and a half. And then when I aged off the board in June of 2018, I assumed I was never coming back.
28:04:00 And then two things happen at the same time. One is my company was sold and all the senior executives were fired the day resolved. And the second is for various reasons, the board wanted to replace the current CEO of the affiliate.
28:18:00 Through a series of coincidences, we reconnected and I was offered the position.
28:24:00 So that was kind of a that was quicker than I thought it was going to be.
28:29:00 So we're gonna go we're gonna take a quick break, guys, we're going to come back we're going to talk now we're going to dive into habitat, generally, but then more specifically, Suffolk County. I'll tell you a little bit about habitat when we come back and then we're going to take it away with talks. We're going to talk programs, we're gonna talk anecdotes, we're going to talk stories, we're gonna talk about the impact they're making locally here in Salt Lake in on Suffolk County. And I also want to start with what I call the three myths of habitat, the three myths of habitat. That's a great teaser, back in a minute and a half guy
28:59:00 uninformed about menopause and how it impacts on your life. Hi, I'm Pat Duckworth women's health strategist and host of the hot women rock radio show. empowering women leaders of menopause. Join me every Thursday at 10am Eastern Time. 3pm UK time on talk radio dot NYC for interviews with inspirational women who will share their top tips to rock your world.
29:29:00 Hey buddy, it's Tommy gate and nonprofit sector connected coming at you from my attic. Each week here on talk radio dot NYC I host a program philanthropy focused nonprofits impact us each and every day. And it's my focus to help them amplify their message and tell their story. Listen each week at 10am eastern standard time until 11am eastern standard time right here on talk radio dot NYC
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31:15:00 good time
31:20:00 join Tommy.
31:24:00 Static join mediatic every Friday morning at 10am Eastern time. And then after the show we turn this into a podcast like we turn it into like like I have like a big bucket and we like churn it I've been telling people we turn it into a podcast like I like I feel like Hamlet like the witches double double toil and trouble and like I'm in there mix up the podcast anyway. Not Hamilton Macbeth. Thank you see, look at it. I don't know why Shakespeare so I learned about commodities the giving ladder you'll hook me up with Macbeth. I said Hamlet twice this week because I told that story earlier this week. So
31:58:00 I'm learning a lot from you. And I am apparently I'm a mensch everybody maybe I'll change the show. I don't know what rhymes with Mitch mentioned a bench I know that got that like
32:08:00 that. Like the elf on the shelf. Maybe a shout out to Steve for I'm sure he's getting a kick out of this. The Friday show comes on after mine. Always Friday. All right. So Habitat for Humanity really started in 1976. I'm reading this right off of Wikipedia. Alright, gang by Millard and Linda Fuller. And really the the the mission statement is seeking to put God's love into action. Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities and hope. And I have the CEO of the affiliate for Suffolk County. We've been talking already couple segments in the books already. But Lee, you wanted to talk about the three myths of Habitat for Humanity. Why don't you take it let's start from there. Okay, so Myth number one, Jimmy Carter did not start the organization. As you just said it was built in full before he and his wife Jamie, President Carter is just our most famous volunteer.
33:04:00 The second myth of habitat is that we use volunteers to build our houses people donate materials, and therefore it doesn't cost us anything to build a house in Suffolk County, we need to fundraise $250,000 for each house that we build. Last year we built eight this year we're planning to build nine so you know you can do the math as to how much money we need to raise. And then the third method habitat is that we give our houses away. We sell the houses we habitat is a hand up not a handout. We sell our houses at full market value the houses in Suffolk County. Currently, most of our houses appraise around $350,000.
33:48:00 But we do make the house affordable the down HUD definition of affordable housing is it shouldn't spend more than 30% of your income on mortgage taxes and
33:59:00 insurance. We're the only organization in the country that offers home ownership possibilities for people earning as little as 40% of average median income. So in Suffolk County, our typical homeowners are earning somewhere between 50,070 $1,000 a year.
34:18:00 And the way we make the house affordable is first of all, instead of a downpayment, our partner families have to do 300 hours of sweat equity.
34:28:00 200 hours of that is construction. The other 100 hours are homeownership classes, maintenance classes, doing some volunteer work, things like that. If you think about it, you know family earning $50,000 a year is never going to be able to save 15 or $20,000 for a down payment in a traditional home. Affordable homeownership program. So we eliminate that issue. And then
34:56:00 our homeowners get a mortgage through Sony May. We're fortunate
35:00:00 New York is one of the few states that has a Affordable Housing Corporation that, that loans, they're given, they qualify for a 2% 30 year mortgage, most of our homeowners will qualify for a mortgage of around $100,000. Keep it we won't bore you with the math, but again, we've we engineer everything so that so 30% is the maximum they're paying for the mortgage, the taxes, you know, and insurance, are they putting either with through Sony may just not we don't to get too technical for everybody here. But is there a down payment? Are they is it? Nope, 00. Okay, big deal? Yes. And it's a special program they have for Habitat.
35:43:00 And then the difference. So we have, let's say we sell a house with 350,000, we have, let's say $100,000. With the grants that we get from various federal and state entities, the homeowner qualifies for mortgage for $150,000, then that other 100,000 plus or minus between the hard cash that comes at the table, and the selling price of the house, we put a soft second mortgage on the house. And that's our essentially downpayment subsidy.
36:13:00 Car currently, that's off Second, it gets forgiven over the lifetime of the home. But it also prevents the house flipping because now if they were to sell the house, we get that, you know, we get that back.
36:28:00 What do you find? I mean,
36:31:00 the first
36:33:00 eight houses in 2029? Is the intention of the goal, the objective and 21 is correct. for it. Yeah, we should do nine houses this year. So
36:44:00 what what is the the biggest challenge? You know, is it a monetary cuz it cost you a quarter of a million bucks to make this happen? Right. So for each of these homes, is that the biggest hurdle? To be honest, our biggest hurdle really is getting land because of the high costs of land and Suffolk County, we cannot afford to buy land. So we depend on the county to donate land that they've taken over from
37:12:00 non payment of taxes and so forth.
37:16:00 And to be quite honest, the legislature has been very stingy over the last couple of years. And that's a big long term issue for us. So everybody watching this broadcast, and when they listen to the podcast, if they can, you know, send a letter of support to their local county legislator telling them they need to revitalize the 72 H program. That would be hugely helpful right now. And right now on the two year inventory of land, but I'm not sure what we're going to do in the third year. So Alright, if they go to your website, this revitalise, he said, 72. h, so I have that correct. So is there something that somebody can get? Or is there somebody on your team, because look, here's the thing, let's be honest about people, like people listen to us, and you don't want I want to help out, I want to be involved, but I can't write a cheque. But I can definitely send a letter to my legislator, my Congress person. So that's a phenomenal idea. And we're redoing our website, and I will make sure that that gets added to the website. If I can rip down something real quick and print it out on maybe my own personal letterhead or sign it and send it in. It's a lot easier than me trying to figure out how to write the look like that's a great, that's a great idea.
38:21:00 But yeah, and then of course, money is always a challenge. Yeah, we aren't.
38:27:00 You know, they said we have to fundraise a quarter of a million dollars for each house.
38:34:00 Now, about a third of that we do get grants, as I said from various federal and state agencies and the rest we have to come up with. We have our restore in Ronkonkoma. Tell me about that program. So the Restore, we get donated building materials from various contractors, wholesalers retailers around Long Island. We got a lot of use furnitures especially now with everybody with the hot real estate market and all of the moving going on.
39:03:00 When people are doing renovations, we love to get their kitchen cabinets their bathroom vanities, working appliances, and so forth. And all of this we sell in our restore the profits of the Restore underwrite most of the administrative costs of our agency.
39:20:00 Currently, we are the reuse repurpose partner for the town of Southampton. We're all residents of Southampton are encouraged to donate to, to our restore. We have a truck that is at their transfers facility one day a week.
39:39:00 I have the paperwork on my desk to become the official reuse re partner with the town of Brookhaven. So that program will start soon. I have verbal commitments from to other towns to do the same thing. So I want to pause you for one second. I want to give people some that would give me great information. So how do we find this lenient? Tommy Well, let me answer that for you. So
40:00:00 Store is sofic restore online.com. That's the website. habitat