Ben Logan became the executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Kosciusko County in May. Photo by David Slone, Times-Union.
Ben Logan became the executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Kosciusko County in May. Photo by David Slone, Times-Union.
A class project done while a student at Grace College resulted in Ben Logan volunteering at Habitat for Humanity of Kosciusko County.

He’s now the executive director.

Originally from Marion, Logan graduated from Grace where he earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental science. He is finishing his last course this summer for Grace’s Masters in NonProfit Management program.

“I came up here to study at Grace College and found my passion for nonprofit work, found my wife (Abby) and now we live here,” he said in an interview Wednesday afternoon.

Logan’s first connection to Habitat was the Warsaw affiliate.

“It was actually with a class project with Grace for something totally unrelated, but I actually started volunteering here through that, and when a position in the store opened up for part-time help – since I was still a college student – I say, ‘Yeah, I can do that. I really like working with the people here and the volunteers here. So I started working part time in the store,” he said.

When the position for executive director opened up, he took a shot and applied.

“They thought that I apparently had the ability to learn what I need to learn, grow into this position. Obviously, I’m young and don’t really carry formal experience. But the idea is that I have longevity and an eagerness to learn,” he said.

Logan stepped into the role as executive director in late May.

He said the first month or two has been about getting to know people.

“As I step into this role, there’s people in the community that have known me in different roles, and I get a very excited opportunity to get to go see them again,” Logan said.

He said it’s a lot of relationship building, meeting with churches, current and past board members and asking questions. He has been looking at how the community interacts with Habitat, supports or could support Habitat in the future and what is the community’s vision for Habitat.

“We want to come along side that and foster that as well,” he said.

Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit organization that helps families build and improve places to call home. Habitat for Humanity of Kosciusko County typically builds two houses a year. One was just finished in North Webster, and Logan got to volunteer along side that family as a store employee, but got to hand that family their keys as the executive director.

Habitat is preparing for its next build, which will be in Warsaw, with the Salvation Army. There will be fundraising, getting permits, making the budget and having the building plans.

“We’re in the preparation process right now,” Logan said.

The fundraising campaign will be his first as executive director.

“We’re looking to raise at least $80,000 for this house. We’re hoping to raise $40,000 before the build,” he said. “We’re very cautious of construction costs right now and we want to make sure that we have a little more secured funding before we start the process.”

Even though construction costs have gone up, Logan said Habitat for Humanity doesn’t want that to stop them from their mission, “which is decent, safe, affordable housing for people,” he said. The mission statement of Habitat is, “Seeking to put God’s love into action, Habitat for Humanity of Kosciusko County brings people together to build homes, community and hope.”

Between the last director for Habitat for Humanity of Kosciusko County and Logan, there was an interim director who was “very instrumental in getting that mortgage process put through” for Habitat’s corporate office and resale store building at 3970 Corridor Drive, Warsaw.

“We went from renting this building to we now own this building, which is great. That is great stability for our offices, and, specifically, our store. We are certainly here to stay and now we’re even working through plans of how do we arrange the space. It’s a very exciting time right now. We’re very much trying to make this space our own, as well, and excited for kind of laying down roots. We were always going to stay in this community, of course, but to have a spot we can call our own and stay and know that we will be here is very reassuring,” Logan said.

The resale store is operated by Habitat and for Habitat. It takes gently-used, second-hand furniture, appliances, cabinetry, doors, windows, hardware, plumbing, “anything you would find in a typical Lowe’s kind of home improvement store,” Logan said, and then sells them at a discounted price.

“People are able to furnish and improve their homes on a budget, and any of the proceeds go back into Habitat’s mission and provides us with longevity,” he said.

The resale store is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. People can drop off any time during those days, and Habitat also has a box truck of its own to pick up larger donations. People can call the store at 574-314-6603 to arrange for a pick up and Habitat employees can help them understand what they do and don’t take.

“Obviously, we don’t take anything that is broken or needs major electrical work. We’re not here to be repairmen,” Logan said. “We typically say gently used.”

Businesses donate to Habitat for Humanity, such as JB’s Furniture, Reinholt’s and J Lane Flooring & Design.

“And, again, everything goes back to supporting Habitat’s mission. So if the store is doing well, Habitat is doing well. Inventory always changes,” Logan said.

He encouraged people to come out to the store, to the build and to talk to Habitat.

“The Habitat they may have known in the past is different now, and I wold encourage them to check us out again,” Logan concluded.