COMMUNITY GEMS: Habitat volunteer: ‘If you’re helping people, God’s got you in the right spot’

Frank Gorman organizes critical home repairs for Habitat for Humanity of Greater Dayton

Frank Gorman retired from Habitat for Humanity in 2018, but the work was already in his blood. Now he is an unpaid volunteer for the local affiliate that he once led.

Gorman, 69, served as executive director for Habitat for Humanity of Greater Dayton from 2001 to 2006 before taking on other positions with Habitat’s statewide and international organizations.

Now he works about four days each week as a volunteer, largely related to Habitat’s home repair program for older adults with a low monthly income. That includes conducting site visits, helping families fill out applications and lining up contractors and volunteer groups. The hands-on work is among his most rewarding responsibilities.

“It is a ministry,” Gorman said. “It ties me back to my Christian faith and the fact without works your faith really is dead.”

Gorman has organized at least 75 critical home repairs, said David Mauch, the development director at the Greater Dayton affiliate, which includes Montgomery, Greene and Clark counties.



Mauch, who nominated Gorman as a Dayton Daily News Community Gem, said that Habitat has offered Gorman a paid position, but he prefers to work as a volunteer. Dozens of older adults are safer in their homes because of Gorman, Mauch said.

“He doesn’t do anything for himself, he just does it for other people,” Mauch said. “He just always wants to help.”

Gorman’s volunteerism has enabled Habitat to extend its work and help even more people, Mauch said. His skills range from hands-on duties to paperwork to building relationships with those the organization is assisting.

Although he had already retired, Gorman after the 2019 Memorial Day tornadoes helped to find funding sources to assist families affected by the disaster. Those efforts resulted in Habitat rebuilding one house, completing a major rehabilitation of another and repairing about another 40 homes.

The critical home repair projects he is involved in now include roof repairs, interior damage caused by leaks, home modifications due to health issues and the installation of mobility ramps.

“It just runs the gamut of anything you can think of that needs repaired, said Gorman, of Beavercreek.

Mauch said that Gorman’s work resulted in him being named the Greater Dayton affiliate’s volunteer of the year last year. The organization then surprised Gorman by naming the award after him.

“It’s the least we could do for him,” Mauch said.

Gorman, like many of Habitat’s volunteers, doesn’t seek recognition, Mauch said. However, he believes Gorman has been such a steady presence as a way to give back to the community and maintain a connection to an organization that has meant so much to him.

Gorman started out as a Habitat volunteer following his retirement from the U.S. Air Force in 1998 after 22 years on active duty. Those drawn to Habitat see the impact they have on the families they help, and he encourages others who are retired or who want to engage in their community to check out the organization.

“If you’re in the right place helping people, God’s got you in the right spot,” Gorman said.

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