Community Giving Highlights

Building Homes | HomeStreet Bank


Habitat for Humanity

Since the mid-1990s, HomeStreet Bank has maintained a strong partnership with Habitat for Humanity, a non-profit organization working within local communities to help people achieve stability and independence through safe and affordable housing and shelter. A method and mission closely aligned with the bank’s own community focus.

Andy Varyu, Development Director at Habitat for Humanity of Seattle-King County, has had a front row seat to the partnership over the past few years. “HomeStreet Bank has been one of our most caring and invested partners.” He’s helped the bank strategically place resources to have the largest strategic impact. “They’re not only financially supporting housing for low-income families, but also stepping up each year to volunteer at our Luncheon, provide technical expertise for large grants, and overall just being some of the nicest people we come across throughout the organization.”

Our Efforts with Habitat for Humanity

In the last two decades, HomeStreet Bank has donated nearly $800,000 to various Habitat chapters across our growing footprint. In most cases, the contributions have been on behalf of a HomeStreet employee who is serving on their local chapter’s board of directors or committee. Currently, this kind of long-term expertise is provided to chapters throughout the Puget Sound area, the Hawaii islands of Maui, Honolulu, and Hilo, and most recently Los Angeles.

Chief Investment Officer at HomeStreet Bank, Darrell van Amen, has donated his time and expertise to the Seattle-King County chapter. “This is my fifth year as a member of the Habitat for Humanity Board of Directors, and I continue to be impressed both with the organization and HomeStreet’s continued efforts to become involved.”

Building "Sweat Equity"

Habitat’s service structure was formed from the intention that families in need of a safe place to call home can help build it alongside their volunteer neighbors, reflecting a term called “sweat equity”. Sweat Equity is an investment by the homeowner that is as good as money, and an excellent option for someone who is not able to provide the money needed up front for a down payment.

As a non-profit, the organization uses large grants and donations to underwrite loans with 0% interest and obtains contractors to oversee long-term building projects of the homes. All other work is done through volunteers. This process has earned the organization a reputation for having incredibly efficient and impactful volunteer programming. HomeStreet Bank’s partnership with Habitat for Humanity has created countless “work” day opportunities for employees everywhere, from Idaho to Hawaii, to serve as volunteers at their local chapters build site.

In addition to volunteering at build sites, HomeStreet employees provide an extra hand at fundraising events. In March, several people from the Home Office in Seattle greeted guests and assisted in gift accounting during the King County Chapter’s Annual Benefit Luncheon.

Beyond the Build Luncheon | HomeStreet Bank

Beyond the Luncheon

Darrell and Jeanie van Amen at this year's Beyond the Luncheon.

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