Jan 4, 2023 | News

Habitat Catawba Valley honors the career of Richard Greathouse and helps a Newton, NC family in need.

For the Coulter Family “Home” was a place where they raised their children, who are now grown and living on their own. Their family is close, and find joy and meaning in their service to their community.  Their home, that once brought them so much joy, needed repairs. Built in 1969, the Coulter’s purchased their home when they were younger.

We didn’t think about getting to the stage in life that we wouldn’t be able to go up and down stairs. We were young and didn’t think about long term needs we would have in our home. (Shirley Coulter, Homeowner in need)

She and her husband James hope they will be able to live in their home for years to come. Only now, health issues and the cost of medical care means some repairs on the home, that they are so proud to own, are placed on hold.  

Mrs. Coulter contacted Habitat for Humanity of Catawba Valley’s home repair program, after she “heard so many things about Habitat and how they work to serve others, to make life better and help keep you in your home for as long as possible.”  Launched in 2015, the Habitat Repairs! program fixes older, owner-occupied homes with the goal of improving health, safety, and security for low-income families, the elderly, and people with disabilities. 

The type of repairs we do are typically things that will keep the homeowner safe, warm and dry. We primarily do roof repairs, improve handicap access at the home, and some plumbing and electrical jobs. (Richard Greathouse, retired Habitat Repairs supervisor)

To honor Greathouse for his more than 30 years of service to Habitat Catawba Valley, the Coulter home repairs are funded by gifts to the Habitat Repairs! fund from family and friends. In all more than $6,000 was raised, enough to cover part of the repair costs. Foundation grants and other donations will make up the difference in cost.  


For the Coulters’, Habitat’s help means they will finally have a safe and handicap accessible bathroom and shower to accommodate the wheelchair Mrs. Coulter uses to get around her home. Additionally, Habitat volunteers and staff will remove an old carport that is unsafe and oversee some electrical repairs. The payment to cover the repair work is based upon what the family can reasonability afford to pay.  The amount of work on the Coulter’s home is typical for the Habitat Repairs! staff.

On average Habitat Catawba will complete 1 of 4 repairs per home that we serve.  Things like leaking roofs, broken heating systems, plumbing and electrical issues. Problems that by the time families seek help, they have experienced years of delayed repairs due to the high cost of fixing their homes. The positive impact for homeowners extends past the tangible work:  a new roof eliminates mold and standing water in homes; new or updated HVAC units provide heat and air conditioning where there was none; accessibility ramps improve independence; and electrical and plumbing repairs eliminate dangerous and unsafe conditions. (Mitzi Gellman, Habitat Executive Director)


The Hickory metropolitan statistical area has the oldest housing stock in North Carolina. The need continues to grow.  But, so will the Repairs! program.  In 2021, Habitat Repairs! with Richard help completed 120 home repairs and served 47 individuals all with the goal of keeping our elderly and frail Safe, Warm and Dry. We are so thankful for all of the work that you have done to help turn the Habitat Repairs! program into what it is today. THANK YOU RICHARD!

The work at the Coulter home is ongoing and will be completed in early 2023. The family is excitedly waiting for the repairs to be completed. 


To learn more about the Habitat Repairs! program, visit:


To make a financial impact and help Habitat Catawba Valley serve more people in the community, click “Donate Now” in the menu bar or visit:




About Catawba Valley Habitat for Humanity 

Seeking to put God’s love into action, Habitat for Humanity of Catawba Valley is a non-profit, ecumenical Christian housing organization dedicated to building strength, stability, and self-reliance through shelter. Since 1985, Habitat Catawba Valley has parterned with families to build or improve a place they can call home. Through financial support, volunteering, or advocating in support of affordable housing, everyone can help families achieve security they need to build solid foundations. To learn more, visit www.habitatcatawbavalley.org or call 828-328-4663×315. 

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