The Hilton Head Regional Habitat for Humanity has hired Beaufort County Councilman Rick Caporale for a newly created position, the nonprofit organization announced Monday.
As community relations director, Caporale will work to increase awareness of the need for affordable housing and raise money to build roads and install utilities for The Glen, Hilton Head Island's first Habitat community.
Caporale served 12 years on the Beaufort County Board of Education and has represented District 1 on the County Council since 2007.
He said the new job wouldn't interfere with his responsibilities as a councilman and that he's excited to get started.
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"I've been trying to serve in some capacity here for about the last 18 years," Caporale said. "This is the most important challenge for me so far, because these homes will have the most lasting effect."
Caporale said his most pressing responsibility will be raising about $1 million needed to build roads and install utilities on the 14 acres off Marshland Road the Town of Hilton Head donated to the nonprofit group last year.
"I'm just beginning the process now," he said. "I'll be reintroducing myself to everyone in the community now, asking for their help."
Hilton Head Habitat chief executive Patricia Wirth said Caporale's position will be funded by a three-year "capacity-building" grant, totaling nearly $100,000, her organization was recently awarded by Habitat for Humanity International.
All of the grant will be used to compensate Caporale, she added.
She said Caporale's efforts would facilitate plans to begin building 19 homes on the property within two years.