BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — After 27 years of service to the Greenwich United Way, Greenwich resident Stuart Adelberg has accepted a new challenge by taking the helm of the Bridgeport-based Habitat for Humanity of Coastal Fairfield County.
Adelberg, who was recently appointed as the CEO of the organization, told The Daily Voice last week that of all the social issues he had worked on in the past, “Invariably, housing ended up at the top of the list.”
While at the United Way, Adelberg supervised and wrote its Workforce/Moderate Income Housing Study.
Adelberg said the hands-on nature of the job attracted him to the position at Habitat for Humanity of Coastal Fairfield County, which since 1985 has built over 190 homes for more than 850 low-income family members in the region that spans from Stratford to Greenwich.
“We develop very close relationships with the families we’re working with,” he told The Daily Voice. “I love being able to see first-hand the difference that we’re making.”
The most rewarding part of his job so far is interacting with the people who have received help from the organization, Adelberg said.
“There is nothing like hearing directly from family and the seeing joy on their faces” when they move into their new houses, he said.
They also feel a sense of pride, according to Adelberg. A family doesn't simply apply for a house and move in — each one puts in at least 500 hours of “sweat equity” into their house.
“It’s not a hand out,” he said. “It’s what we call a hand up.”
But the toughest part of his job is not being able to help every family, he said.
In his new position, Adelberg said he would like to increase Habitat’s housing capacity and broaden the organization’s regional reach.
Adelberg's long tenure at Greenwich United Way started in 1988 as the director of marketing and information technology. He then moved up to director of community planning and agency relations.
In 1996, he was promoted to senior vice president at both the Greenwich and Stamford branches of the United Way. Since 1999, he has served as the president and CEO of the Greenwich United Way.
Adelberg replaced Bruce Berzin, Habitat CFC’s former president. Berzin retired in April after eight years of holding a number of leadership roles at Habitat CFC.
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