They didn’t know it back in 2006, but their first meeting working on a Habitat community in Snoqualmie Ridge set the framework for Doug and Kristina Copley’s enduring relationship. Now, as leaders of the Construction and Repairs departments at Habitat for Humanity Seattle-King County, Doug and Kristina work together as a couple as they pursue the same mission: lifting up their communities through their respective Habitat appointments.
These two hardworking individuals have dedicated themselves to hands-on construction at countless home developments, including Habitat’s Snoqualmie Ridge, Patterson Park, and Issaquah Highlands just to name a few.
After five years doing onsite, hands-on work, Kristina was compelled by an emerging movement throughout Habitat affiliates to help existing homeowners with their home repair needs. Outside of building new homes, the organization recognized that people also needed assistance to remain in their homes through repair and maintenance, especially seniors.
Habitat International’s Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative was initially created in response to the recession, and it’s remained a critical program ever since. Kristina expressed an interest in that department, and helped the Habitat SKC affiliate develop the program. From her post as assistant site manager in 2012, she ascended to repair program manager, and to her present role, Repair Program Director, which started last year oversee Home Preservation and Aging in Place services (click the link for more information).
Doug served as a New Construction Site Manager for about 16 years until he took on the Director of Construction role last year. Some of his credits include such Habitat SKC communities as Issaquah Highlands, La Fortuna, Lake City, and Sammamish. Generally, projects share two site managers for various phases. Today, Doug oversees all projects that are volunteer-focused and following the traditional Habitat model. He draws motivation from the positive experiences of what he calls a very rewarding job.
Kristina comes from parents who own and run a paint store together; they modeled for her what it’s like to work with a spouse. It’s also a fitting primer for a professional who would end up advocating for Habitat’s home repair program!
Although Habitat isn’t a family business, it has the same kind of reward, knowing that Doug and I are on the same journey.”Kristina Copley
Doug added that working at Habitat shed light on the reality of homeownership. When it was time for the couple to buy their first home together in 2015, what was their pick? A fixer-upper! It certainly helps that performing home repairs and understanding the needs of aging in place come second nature to these two. Between Habitat careers, working on their own home, gardening, and spending time in the mountains, Doug and Kristina forge ahead with boundless optimism and compassion.
“I believe in the mission and our program: Everyone deserves the opportunity of homeownership,” Doug said. “It’s nice to be able to share that passion with the person whom you’re closest, and I appreciate that we spend a lot of time together, finding deeper meaning in the work.”