Habitat Office Building, 705 N. Walnut St.

Habitat for Humanity of Danville, Illinois (HFHD) was created on a shoestring in 1986. Prime movers included Ray Carter, Steve Stanley and Dave Garver as well as Gerald Huddleston whose 500-mile-trek fund-raiser generated $7,000 initial seed money.  Steve Stanley was the first Board president. Ron Neufeld, then comptroller, was an early Board member and his membership foreshadowed a long-standing partnership with the City of Danville. The first several builds were remodeled homes and an early grant of $10,000 from the now-defunct Evangelical United Methodist Church in partnership with Paul Wasser of the Danville Homebuilders Association yielded the first newly constructed home. Millard Fuller was instrumental in helping kick-start the fledgling organization in 1987 by attending a “choir fest” fund-raiser by several churches held at Danville High School. Millard returned in 1998 to dedicate four homes. Rand Campbell became a long-standing Board Chair; he held that office for ten years until Erich Hannah took over the helm. Generally speaking, Rand served as HFHD advocate exemplar for almost twenty years. John Graves joined in 2008 and served until December 2012 when the Board decided HFHD could no longer afford a full time Executive Director. Jennifer Dixson came on board in April, 2013 as part-time administrative manager. In the early days Mervis Industries assigned an employee to the organization for two  years who, in essence, became the first full-time director/construction manager. Materials and equipment storage was managed through the acquisition of two donated semi-trailers. Vermilion County Title provided office space through 2009 when the City of Danville donated an out-of-service fire station that provides office space for the Director as well as tool and materials storage. Engine House #2, 705 Walnut Street, built in 1898 occupies a special place in Danville history; it served as an all African-American institution until 1960 when the Fire Department was integrated. A Board subcommittee consisting primarily of Bob Andrews and Mike Cundiff spearheaded the development of a ReStore that opened August, 2010 with Bob Marble as manager. Despite humble beginnings HFHD has progressed into a small, yet vibrant organization which at this time has built almost fifty homes.