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Haywood Habitat for Humanity, an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, was formed in 1990.  Since then, our non-profit ministry has served over 50 families in the county.
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Our mission: To build safe, decent, affordable homes in partnership with people in need.

Our Values: Haywood Habitat for Humanity has an open-door policy.  All who desire to be a part of this work are welcome, regardless of religious preference or background.  We build with people in need regardless of race or religion, and we welcome volunteers from all walks of life.

Executive Director-Jamye Cooper

Jamye joined Haywood Habitat as executive director in August 2014.  She brings 25 years of professional experience in all aspects of nonprofit organizations from small to larger, more complex organizations based in the DC metro area, Western North Carolina, and South Carolina.  A graduate of East Carolina University with a degree in Accounting, Cooper has served in senior non-profit management positions with Dining for Women, UNC Asheville, Folkmoot USA, Daniel Boone Boy Scout Council, and other smaller organizations.  The mother of 3 is an active volunteer in the community and lives in Canton, NC.  On joining Haywood Habitat, Cooper said, " It personally gratifying to professionally align with my belief that having a safe and stable home is foundational. Access to affordable housing directly impacts health, education and employement.  Home is where everything starts."

Construction Supervisor- Joey Massie

Joey joined Haywood Habitat in spring 2011. He has 35 years experience as an independent building contractor within Haywood County. Through training and research, Joey is adding his expertise to building the most energy-efficient houses in the county. He leads volunteer crews on the building sites and is involved in all facets of meeting Haywood Habitat’s goal of building  quality homes for God’s people in need.

michelle 3 640x640ReStore Manager-Michelle Smith

Michelle joined Haywood Habitat as our ReStore Manager in June 2013. She served in the Coast Guard before moving to Haywood county in 1998.  After a career in law enforcement and retail management, Michelle pursued her passion in non-profit with Haywood Habitat.  "I love reatil work and fundraising," says Smith, "and this job is a perfect fit for me."

P7105090Administrative Assistant/Volunteer Coordinator-Kim Alvarez

Kim joined Haywood Habitat in April 2012, and is the first friendly voice you hear when you call our office.   Her extensive experience in the construction industry as an office manager is invaluable to Haywood Habitat. Kim has a degree in business management and is also certified in several healthcare occupations.  A Florida native, Kim is the mother of two and lives in Waynesville. 

walter 3 640x640ReStore Staff - Walter Christian

Walter joined Haywood Habitat May 2011.  He has a strong belief in Habitat and shares that with customers and volunteers.  His knowledge of building materials and their uses along with his cheerful attitude are always appreciated by our customers.  

20140822_131116 640x640ReStore Driver/Dispatcher - Tim Cox

Tim joined Haywood Habitat in April 2014.  A Marine veteran, he worked in corrections for the State of Ohio and owned his own landscaping and lawncare business before joining Habitat.  Tim received the Red Cross Hero Award in 2013.  He is a great asset to our ReStore team.

Board of Directors

A local Board of Directors leads Haywood Habitat for Humanity.  As a working board, our Directors serve a two-year term and are actively involved in committee leadership and development of policy for the affiliate.


Laura Leatherwood, President
Katy McLean Gould, Vice President
Lorinda Whaley, Secretary
Suzanne Gernandt, Treasurer
Kent Stewart, Immed. Past Pres.


Andy Bailey
Amy Spivey
Joe Sam Queen
Bill Snyder
Diana MacCarger
Chris Lorish
Walton Garrett, Ex Officio
Jay Somers, Ex Officio


Mike McConnell, Ex Officio Legal Counsel

Mike Simonson, Family Selection

Lorinda Whaley, Faith Community Relations

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

  • What does Haywood Habitat do for our community?
Habitat builds communities by providing new, decent, affordable housing.  Tax dollars are saved each time a family moves beyond subsidized housing.  In addition, tax dollars collected from Habitat homeowners go back into community services and improvements.

  • Do you give houses away?
Habitat is not a giveaway program.  Each house is sold to our partner families with a no-profit and no-interest loan.

  • Who funds Haywood Habitat houses?
Individuals, businesses, faith communities, civic organizations, and foundation grants fund and build Habitat houses.  In addition, mortgage payments from our homeowners go back into our program to fund future home construction.

  • Is Haywood Habitat a Christian organization?
Habitat for Humanity is an ecumenical housing ministry.  Founded upon Christian ideals, we partner with and welcome all faiths as we work together in eliminating poverty housing.

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