Most people have heard the name “Habitat for Humanity” before. It is a pretty common name in our society. But a lot of people may wonder what they do, and what Habitat for Humanity projects are. Well, they are a fantastic organization, and one definitely worth learning about.
The world we live in can seem pretty daunting and scary right now. Many people don’t have access to a home, can’t afford to own one, or may be at risk of losing their home. For all of these people, life can be very difficult. Not having shelter is devastating— most people consider it to be an essential part of a human’s survival. This is why Habitat for Humanity projects strive to make sure that everyone has access to a home.
Habitat for Humanity, also known as Habitat, is an organization that helps families in need to attain homeownership in a way that helps them get back on their feet and take an active role in their future. Operating in every single U.S. state and countries all over the globe, Habitat does a lot of good work providing people with homes.
So it might be worth taking some time to learn about Habitat; who they are, what Habitat for Humanity projects are, and how you can help out.
Who they are
Habitat for Humanity is a Christian organization that was founded in 1976 by couple Millard and Linda Fuller. Since then, they have worked to provide houses to families in need without allowing proselytizing.
Proselytizing is, in basic terms, persuading someone else to join your religion. If a doctor only offered to care for a patient if they converted to Judaism, that would be proselytizing. And Habitat strives to ensure that that never occurs. They do not practice it themselves, and they don’t allow their partners to do so either.
Though Habitat is a Christian organization, it is not their goal to force others to join their beliefs. Instead, they want to spread the love and joy of their God by helping out in the way that they can. Habitat for Humanity projects are open to all, regardless of race or religion.
Habitat builds homes for families in every state in the US, and many countries abroad. They work with their staff, local groups, volunteers, and the families to build homes that recipients can then pay off at an affordable rate.
And Habitat doesn’t just build new homes. They also do home remodeling and renovations. But when it comes to Habitat for Humanity projects, the basics are this: they provide people in need with a place to live and feel safe and at home.
What they do
As you now know, Habitat provides homes for people and families in need. But what they do is much deeper than that. They provide opportunities for thousands of people to get back on their feet, give back to their community, and even help out in other parts of the world.
Some people may be wondering exactly how Habitat provides help, and who qualifies for Habitat for Humanity projects. So it’s something worth taking a look at.
The process starts with an application. This application can be found online or at a local Habitat office. Anyone in need of a home can apply, regardless of their race or religion.
Applications are then reviewed, and applicants selected based on three criteria: need, willingness to work with Habitat, and ability to pay off the mortgage in the future.
But if the mortgage part scares you, don’t give up just yet. Yes, Habitat houses do have a mortgage. But this mortgage is designed to fit your needs so that you can pay it off in a way that is affordable to you. So if you need a home but can’t afford to buy one, it doesn’t hurt to apply.
Applicants don’t just get new homes, though. They are also given financial education to help them manage their money in the future, and get back on track to becoming a homeowner. Habitat can teach people how to do tax research, manage their money, pay off a mortgage, and more. Every step of the program is designed to help the applicant in whatever way possible.
And again, selection for Habitat for Humanity projects is not based on race or religion. Habitat does not support proselytizing, and they are happy to help folks of all backgrounds and needs.
Once all of this has been completed, there comes the most fun and difficult task: building the home! Many people don’t understand how this process works, but it isn’t all that complicated.
Habitat works with a variety of sources to build their homes. First, they have their own staff and long-term volunteers that can help out. They also pull volunteers from local groups or even the neighborhood who wish to help out. And, previous Habitat families can help out as well.
Most importantly, there is the recipient. Habitat for Humanity projects are always assisted by the person receiving them. This means that the person in need can help build or renovate their own home!
This is a process that Habitat refers to as “sweat equity.” It is a way for the recipient to help pay for what Habitat is doing for them, and to take an active role in their future. It can also teach them valuable new skills, such as how to do window installations.
And of course, with Habitat’s extensive network of volunteers and resources, they can cover every aspect of building a home. From roof installation services to siding services, Habitat can find someone to do every job needed.
The process of building for Habitat for Humanity projects takes a whole village— and that is the whole idea. Habitat emphasizes the idea that we must all come together as a community to help each other and to help end the problem of homelessness. In some cases, they may even reach out to local businesses offering siding services.
After the project is complete, Habitat families have a new home that they can live in, a new place to start their lives from, and a plan to affordably pay off that home. Plus, they may have a new skill set that includes things like roof repair services and plumbing maintenance.
And, perhaps most influential, Habitat families now have access to a network of people that they can volunteer with in the future. If they are able to, they can help someone else get the same opportunity they did.
It’s the idea of the butterfly effect: doing a good deed for one person, or family, leads to a ripple effect of more and more good deeds. That is how Habitat has grown so much over the years. Every house they build not only means someone has a home, but there are more people willing and able to help solve this problem.
Habitat for Humanity projects don’t just include home building and renovations. They also provide education about the problem of housing, and what can be done to help solve it.
Habitat Learns is an online education portal run by Habitat for Humanity to help with just this. Much of it is free to anyone who is interested.
This program doesn’t just teach people about window cleaning and architectural metalwork. It focuses on educating people about housing problems around the world, how many people don’t have homes, and the causes of the issue.
Habitat Learns also educates interested people on what can be done to solve this issue. It has all sorts of solutions, from ways you can help from your home to volunteering opportunities all around the globe. Habitat is dedicated to ending the problem of homelessness, and part of this means educating as many people as possible about the problem.
Of course, the best way to help solve the issue of lack of housing is to take an active role. This can range from fixing a home air conditioner to getting involved in your local community.This is where working with Habitat for Humanity comes in.
Working with Habitat
Habitat for Humanity projects wouldn’t be possible without all of the volunteers that help make them happen. If you really want to help solve this issue, working with Habitat may be the best way to do so. And luckily, they have a lot of opportunities for you to give back.
Habitat does offer full-time careers, so if you have the time and want to put in the dedication, you can work with them all the time. Habitat jobs carry many benefits for workers, not to mention the non-financial pros.
Those who work for Habitat can have opportunities to travel all over the world. They can make helping others their full-time job. And, most importantly, they can do as much as they can to give back.
Of course, some people don’t want to make this a full-time gig, or aren’t able to. For that, Habitat has volunteer opportunities to fit the needs of anyone who truly wants to give back. You can volunteer in your area or anywhere around the world to help with Habitat for Humanity projects.
Volunteers don’t just have to help with building, either. Yes, they could be home builders or asphalt contractors. But they can also help shop, find materials, organize workers, or do other tasks that are necessary for a Habitat project to be finished. Whatever your availability and skillset, Habitat has a way for you to help.
There are also multiple Habitat for Humanity projects that work with specific groups of people. For example, they have youth programs, where young people can get involved, give back to their community, and receive housing.
Habitat also has a Veterans Build program. This is a program designed specifically to build homes for veterans and their families in need. This group of people can already have tough lives, and Habitat strives to ensure that they have a shelter to stay in. And, these programs can help veterans find jobs or volunteer opportunities that work for them.
Then there is Women Build, which has the same idea but for women. It focuses on helping women in need, and on providing opportunities to women. It is a chance for women to take an active role in their futures, give back to their community, and truly empower themselves by helping both themselves and others.
Lastly, for those who simply aren’t able to volunteer or want to give back differently, Habitat will always accept donations. An average home renovation costs around $15,000, according to data from Houzz. And home building costs even more. So they can always use help with funding their projects.
Donating to Habitat is a great way for you to support their efforts if you aren’t able to, or don’t want to, put in time and manual labor. As Habitat themself says, “you can help a family help themselves.” And, you can donate on a regular basis or just once. Either way, you know that your donation is helping to provide a home to someone in need, and giving dozens of others opportunities to give back.
A habitat for us all
Hopefully, there will come a day when Habitat for Humanity projects are no longer needed, and no person has to worry about having a safe home to live in. But until that day, Habitat’s work remains vital.
This world can sometimes seem cruel, and this year has been worse than many others, thanks to the pandemic. But even through all of that, Habitat has continued to provide homes to those in need, and opportunities for others — from politicians to asphalt contractors — to get involved.
So, in summary, Habitat for Humanity provides homes to those in need. It lets these people take an active role in building their homes and shaping their future. It provides volunteer and work opportunities to thousands of people. And it works in every U.S. state, and in countries all over the globe, to help end the issue of homelessness.
If you want to give back, Habitat gives you many ways to do so. You can check out Habitat Learns, which will help educate you about the issue. You can volunteer with them to help build homes. Or, you can work for them full-time, or just donate money. Whatever you choose, you know that your efforts are helping to provide housing to people in need and to get more people involved in solving this issue. And most importantly, you are spreading some positivity in this increasingly negative world.