Catch the Building Spirit (CtBS)

“Sharing our gifts to enable needy families to own their own homes” 

Who We Are

Catch the Building Spirit, is a partnership of Catholic and Presbyterian churches working in cooperation with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Dayton to fund and build a house for a partnering family.  A 501 © (3) Non-profit Corporation formed in Ohio in 1996.  The purpose of the Corporation is to assist low-income persons to obtain safe, affordable and quality housing.

What We Do

Since 1993 many houses have been constructed in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Dayton.  Each year over 20 Catholic parishes and 10 Presbyterian churches work together in the Dayton area to finance and build one new house.  This allows a family’s dream of owning a home to become a reality.

Why We Do It

People need a safe, stable home environment to grow in society and to become well-adjusted citizens.  As Christians, we need to alleviate the substandard housing that affects 40% of our area’s low-income urban households.  We need to stop urban decay by promoting affordable home ownership, so that families can gain financial equity.  As Christians, we need to show a strong presence in the Dayton community.   Showing the love and power of God in practical ways enables us to meet our Christian responsibilities.

When & Where We Do It

Each year, CtBS starts a new house around the Memorial Day Weekend.  Habitat for Humanity of Greater Dayton selects a suitable site for building, provides building permits, coordinates building supplies, and interviews, selects and trains candidate families.  The week before Memorial Day Weekend, CtBS starts installing the joists, sub-floor, and preparing for the house build. On the Saturday before Memorial Day through the next Friday, our Blitz week, we build all of the walls, erect the trusses, sheath the outer walls, enclose the roof, and install the windows & doors to ensure a secure house.  Work then continues for several months until the house is completed and dedicated the middle of September.

How it all works

A CtBS board of trustees provide the leadership:

  • to help raise funds from church members
  • to connect with businesses for in-kind donations of building materials and labor
  • to coordinate with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Dayton
  • to establish the building schedule
  • to provide volunteer house leaders each day

Volunteers are recruited:

  • from Catholic parishes
  • from Presbyterian churches
  • from people of all faiths

Our Strengths

  • All financial donations go toward the building of the house (no overhead costs for salaries, etc.)
  • Promoting “Economic Justice for All” we help a family to move out of poverty by owning a home.
  • We promote and nurture community building among parishes and other churches, gathering cooperatively for a unified Christian purpose.
  • We offer the opportunity for volunteers to learn new building skills and to build new relationships with others.
  • We foster the joy that comes in loving Jesus, who, according to Mother Teresa, is “disguised in the distress of the poor”.