By Barry Barbe

During my first experience with Habitat for Humanity, over 20 years ago, the organization was presented as “Providing a hand up, not a hand out.”

Since 1976, Habitat for Humanity has worked around the globe providing home ownership opportunities to deserving individuals and families that are in need of just that, “A hand up.”

Locally, for over 30 years, Habitat for Humanity has been working with faith partners and community members to provide modest, safe and affordable homes to individuals who are willing to work side by side with Habitat volunteers to make their dream of home ownership a reality.

“We are not giving away free homes” is one of the first clarifications that Alyce Ayers, community relations / special events director for Habitat Prescott offers.

Originally from Pennsylvania, Alyce, like many, became associated with the organization as a volunteer. Her introduction to Habitat came while living in Tucson, Arizona, working in the legal field. As with most nonprofits, Habitat operates with a small paid staff, and a huge contingency of volunteers.

After Tucson, Alyce had a short career change working in Hawaii for a “Memory Coach” — something we can all use. “While in Tucson I was caring for my ailing mother, and I was approached by a gentleman who had heard my presentation at a Title Convention, and later, this lead to working in Hawaii for several years before returning back to Arizona, and Prescott.

“I was drawn to Habitat for the opportunity to make more than a paycheck, but make a difference in another person’s life and my community,” Alyce said.

In her position, Alyce wears many hats, and if you know Alyce, it’s usually a cowgirl hat, includes everything from fundraising through special events, legacy gifts, speaking at local civic organizations, spreading the word of the organization’s work, down to delivering lunches to volunteers on the construction site.

Alyce has a passion for community beyond Habitat, and as such also has been an ambassador for the Prescott Chamber of Commerce since 2006. “I love the Chamber Ambassadors and getting to welcome new businesses who are contributing to our community in a positive way.”

When it comes to Habitat Prescott, the organization has housed nearly 100 families and is in constant movement. Whether building homes or building relationships with new partners, Habitat works with individuals to provide homeownership by addressing the inequity for deserving individuals.<br />

“Our homeowners are carefully vetted and must meet certain criteria that include employment, and the requirement to put in volunteer hours with the organization. They also have to be able to meet the financial obligations of paying a mortgage which is held by Habitat,” Alyce explains.

For many, homeownership is unobtainable because of various reasons. In Prescott, the cost of housing alone can put that opportunity out of reach.

“Our homeowners live and work in our community, and there are several homeowners who through Habitat have been able to significantly change the living situation for themselves and their children.

“Many of our homeowners, due to circumstances beyond their control, were forced to live in less than desirable conditions, with some resorting to living in their cars, with family members, or in a garage with their young children,” Alyce continues. “Habitat provides a path toward homeownership for many who would never have that opportunity, and with it, an increased sense of confidence and consistency for their family by having a safe place to call home.”

“Even without quoting statistics or studies, the change that we see in the homeowners we work with is simply amazing. To see the change in a child, or even an adult who for the first time in their life has place to call home, their own home, is powerful and humbling,” Alyce added.

All of this takes money, and a dedicated group of individuals that have a shared vision for making a difference in the community one family at a time.

Many may know Habitat through work of former President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosyln, who have worked tirelessly side by side with volunteers to build homes with hammer in hand.

While many volunteers are retired or current tradesman, there is opportunity for anyone to contribute and be part of this worthy program.

“Folks can make a donation to our Restore Home Store, volunteer at the Restore, provide meals for construction teams, make a financial donation, or help put stamps on mailers. There is a place and a need for everyone who believes in the vision of Habitat,” Alyce said.

Habitat for Humanity, Prescott, “A Hand Up, not a Hand Out. Making a difference one home, one family at a time.”

For more information, visit online, on Facebook, or visit the Restore at 1061 Commerce Drive. Call 928-771-1777.

Barry Barbe owns the El Gato Azul and Torme restaurants in Prescott, and is the energy and insight behind the Prescott Palette. His radio show, the Prescott Palette, is on KQNA 1130AM, Saturdays at noon. Email:

Use our search bar to find listings of businesses near you.

Looking for a local event near you? We got you!

Discover Events in Prescott

We're here to help you book an event, buy ticket online or make a reservation.