Beth Lyons of Duxbury is South Shore Habitat for Humanity’s new executive director. She had served as interim executive director since March 2020. Before joining South Shore Habitat in 2017, she spent more than 30 years working in the nonprofit sector.
What brought you to Duxbury? How long have you lived here, and what do you enjoy most about the town?
My husband and I moved to Duxbury in 1987. At that time we were looking for a small town with a good school system, a place to raise our children. We fell in love with the town, the people and of course the beach.
How did you end up in your current role, and how are you enjoying it so far?
After many years working with nonprofits throughout the country, I had the opportunity in 2017 to join the Development Team at South Shore Habitat for Humanity. In March, with the departure of the Executive Director, I was approached by the Board of Directors to fill the position on an interim basis. After a few months in this role, I was asked to take the position permanently. I can honestly say I am never bored. There is always something new to learn, people to meet and opportunities to create more affordable housing.
What’s one part of your job that’s very gratifying and one part that’s very challenging?
By far my favorite part of the job is meeting donors, volunteers and working with our family partners. I am fortunate to have a job that allows me to make a difference in the lives of others. There are many challenging aspects of the position. With so many charities to support, affordable housing is often not on the top of people’s list to donate. There are many misconceptions about Habitat, how the program works and why the need for affordable housing is so critical. We are fortunate to live in a town that recognizes the importance of affordable housing and its contribution to the economic vitality of the community. Duxbury currently has seven Habitat homes, three that were completed last year.
How has the pandemic affected what you do personally and the organization as a whole?
My interim role began in mid-March, the start of the pandemic. This created many new challenges and the need to reimagine how we worked. As a volunteer-based organization, it was critical that we find safe ways to re-engage volunteers. With new protocols in place, I am happy to report we have resumed construction on our home in Easton and will be welcoming back volunteers to build with us in September.
How can people get involved? What’s the best way to contribute at the moment?
Anyone, any age, can help South Shore Habitat. Whether it’s building with us, working in our office, selling lemonade to raise money, participating in one of our signature events or making a financial contribution, any and all support is welcome. We invite anyone interested in learning more and how they can “change lives and build homes” to give us a call or visit our website at sshabitat.org.