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Thomas Gipson

Thomas Gipson Homes, Inc.
Purpose Prize Fellow 2008

Tapping professional homebuilders to build Habitat for Humanity Homes in Five Days.

As CEO of Thomas Gipson Homes and a member of Friends of Habitat of Raleigh in North Carolina, Gipson was tasked with finding a way to get professional homebuilders more involved in Habitat for Humanity’s work to increase the number of homes available to families in need. They came to the right person. With his expertise in homebuilding and connections with other companies, Gipson launched Home Builders Blitz in 2002 to build homes in five days with professional staff. The goal of the Homebuilder Blitz was to build extra homes above and beyond those built through the standard Habitat model of semi-skilled and unskilled volunteers building homes. Gipson set up a program that in its ease made it easy to say yes. Homebuilders were asked to take a “one week Habitat vacation” from their regular work and — with the help of trade partners, subs and suppliers — build a house at no cost or low cost in five days. In November of 2002, 11 Raleigh homebuilders started with foundations on Monday morning and by Friday afternoon had given $50,000 gifts to their community. Approximately 30,000 homebuilders, subcontractors, and suppliers have used their special talents and expertise to make a gift to their communities valued at more than $40 million. More importantly more than 2000 children now live in safe decent homes and their lives have been changed forever. “Providing a meaningful way for people in our industry to give back to their communities has made this effort particularly pleasing.”