I recently had the opportunity to go to a Habitat for Humanity breakfast. I was among 18 other Loveland churches. While there, I heard from multiple people on the purpose of Habitat for Humanity, statistics, a homeowner, and how to help. I was so surprised at how easy the opportunities were to volunteer and give back to such a wonderful organization.
So for those of you who do not know what Habitat is, its a wonderful non-profit located all over the United States and around the globe. They work in communities to bring affordable and decent housing to all. They work with local contractors and local governments on permits, housing supplies, building, etc. Volunteers can then go and help with the building process, donations can be made, and they even have a local Re-Store that sells used goods and 25% of the profit goes towards housing materials.
In Loveland alone, we learned that from 2013-2017, housing costs have gone up 44% and are still on the rise. Unfortunately, income levels have only risen 6% during that time frame and we are now seeing a huge gap in affordable housing. Our local Habitat is noticing that families are moving in together under one roof to just provide a safe place to live for their families. They have over 100 applications and a massive need for the Loveland community.
The homeowner who was able to attend the breakfast told us her story. It didn't involve extreme poverty like one might think. Instead, she simply told us of the struggles she faced as a single parent and how her son's medical needs kept her bouncing from job to job and therefore from house to house. She didn't think she qualified for a Habitat house but when she applied, she was accepted. She shared what homeowners are required to do as part of the process - attend several classes, volunteer, and be a good member of the community. She cried telling us that for the first time ever, she was able to own a home and know she wasn't going to have to move again. Her son was able to paint his walls, they were able to get a pet, one they wouldn't have to eventually take to the pound, and how they could finally settle. It was so beautiful and inspiring to hear how this non-profit has helped families all over the world and give them a safe home to call theirs.
So, how can you help?
Its so easy. Our Loveland Habitat gave us a few ways to volunteer.
-Volunteer at the Re-Store.
-Donate items to the Re-Store.
-Shop at the Re-Store.
-Volunteer to help build a house.
-Sponsor a home-owner event.
-Invite a Habitat employee to your church or community to talk.
You can learn more on their website about all the opportunities! http://lovelandhabitat.org
As a Loveland church, we have been asked to help raise a part of their $20,000 2019 goal. With 19 churches represented at the meeting, they were hoping that each of us could do our part in trying to reach that goal. So this year, lets try to help Habitat reach that goal and give back to our community and give them a home!