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SouthTech Spotlight: Habitat for Humanity Sarasota

Our mission at SouthTech is to help our clients reach their business goals using technology as a driver. It’s not just about the technology, but how that technology changes the way our clients work and, in turn, changes how they shape the community.

Habitat for Humanity is a staple in the community, bringing people together to build homes and hope. We’re honored to partner with Habitat for Humanity Sarasota to provide the services they need to run efficiently.

You may recall, we caught up with Angie last year to hear how PowerView® Voice has created a more efficient work environment for their Call Center. You can learn more about that from the video below.

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Another recent example that comes to mind: they moved the location of their server, requiring a complete rewiring of the whole building. We worked closely with Jim Keperling, Habitat for Humanity’s principle IT contact, to facilitate the rewiring with as little interruption as possible.

“They were very responsive and timed it nicely with minimal disruptions. Very pleased overall, as usual.”

Every four to five years, the organization comes up with a new strategic plan to try to significantly increase the number of families served (and by “served,” they mean building a home and moving the family in). Right now, they’re doing 9-10 houses per year. They’re looking to bump that up to 24 houses per year in the next five years. In order to do so, they’ll have to move faster.

“Right now, the build takes about 6-8 months. We have to get that compressed to four months,” said Keperling.

In the past six months, Habitat for Humanity Sarasota has seen an enormous increase in applications due to the switch to an electronic process. This has helped streamline homeowner intake.

“It’s about a one-year process to qualify,” said Keperling.

After placing a down payment on the house, the family is required 300-500 hours of sweat equity, first on other homes and then eventually on their own. This typically takes nine months to a year. Once the house is built and the sweat equity is performed, Habitat for Humanity sells the family the house at 0% interest.

All in all, they serve as a fundraiser, contractor and mortgage lender.

“We wear a lot of hats.”

Sweat equity hours can also be performed in the ReStore. (The one located here in Sarasota is the largest in the state.) ReStores take donated items and sell them to “treasure hunters” as a form of fundraising.

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The Call Center, powered by PowerView® Voice, takes calls for ReStore donations, facilitating pickups and assisting with any questions donors may have. A fleet of trucks goes out Monday-Saturday to pick up larger donated items, with three to four going out per day.

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“This contributes to our mission.”

The store is packed with amazing finds for reasonable prices, and it’s all for a good cause.

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“We’re amazed at the sales we see from merchandise. Nothing sticks around too long. It’s all about treasure and discovery.”

We’re IT navigators who are passionate about technology, but it’s really about so much more than that. We’re passionate about how that technology helps our clients propel forward, reach new heights and truly make a difference in the community.

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