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KLCC's Oregon Rainmakers: Habitat for Humanity of Central Lane County Executive Director, John Barnum

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John Barnum

Oregon Rainmakers

A conversation with John Barnum, Executive Director for Habitat for Humanity of Central Lane County and Michael Dunne

John Barnum, the Executive Director for Habitat for Humanity of Central Lane County, spent much of his career at for-profit companies, pretty far away from nonprofit leadership.

“My life’s arc has been mostly in the for-profit world,” says Barnum. “Later in life, I was invited to join the board of directors of a nonprofit and I really enjoyed it, to the point that I found my heart was much more in the nonprofit world than the for-profit one.”

And so it was, the Barnum decided to make the switch and join with Habitat for Humanity.

Habitat for Humanity of Central Lane County has been in operation for more than 30 years and its mission is to provide people with an affordable place to live. Working with individuals and families, volunteers and dedicated supporters, Habitat build homes with volunteers for low-income families, who also participate in the home construction. After the house is built the families purchase their home with a low-interest, no-profit loan.

“The housing crisis is not just unique to us,” says Barnum. “And while Habitat does not provide emergency shelter, we are part of the solution. As people progress through some of the community organizations that provide shelter, our hope is that their interaction with us will be the fulfilled goal toward ultimate home ownership.”

Habitat’s newest development, Fischer Village in Springfield, is their most ambitious project yet, and it will provide 6 tandem homes to bring affordable housing to 12 families.

“Our goal moving forward is to build more homes and build them faster and more efficiently,” says Barnum.

Michael Dunne is the host of KLCC's Oregon Rainmakers podcast. Do you have a suggestion for an Oregon Rainmaker's guest or topic? Email Michael at mdunne@klcc.org.