If it seems that Habitat for Humanity has changed so much since your college days, you’re not far off the mark. The organization has evolved over the years from simply providing disaster relief housing to being a full-fledged community service organization. To celebrate their 40th anniversary, the organization is hosting a national day of service in which volunteers will build a Habitat house. Not only are Habitat for Humanity houses cheap, they’re also pretty impressive looking too. Habitat for Humanity builds an average of 11 to 14 houses per year – although you probably won’t see most of them in the city. And they’re also a really good investment. “Every time we build a house, we save over $80,000 in the following 12 months,” reported an African Regional Executive for Habitat for Humanity.
Habitat for Humanity operates around the world, building homes that impact communities and help build better lives for the people who live in them. The nonprofit provides affordable housing for low-income families and operates in 50 states, as well as dozens of cities abroad. If you haven’t yet joined Habitat, you can learn a little more about its missions, operations and successes.
1. Habitat Builds Affordable Housing
Habitat for Humanity works to reduce the number of people in need of emergency housing by offering affordable mortgages to low-income families. The homes it builds are typically completed with volunteer labor. Since its founding in 1976, Habitat for Humanity has provided affordable housing for more than 650,000 families for home security. Habitat no longer receives government funding for its work, but relies solely on its grants and donations to continue operating. The organization also makes money through donations of construction materials, corporate sponsorships and community service hours.
2. ReStore Provides Furniture and Other Disposable Goods
Habitat for Humanity works with local home builders to help them reduce construction waste by donating building materials for reuse. Habitat’s ReStore sells the donated materials, and all net proceeds from the sale go directly to the organization. Since the ReStore opened in 1986, hundreds of thousands of refurbished and new homes have been built using donated construction materials. Much of the materials used to build the homes are American made, and many of the homes were constructed with labor from Habitat for Humanity volunteers, staff and ReStore customers.
3. Grassroots Activism
Habitat for Humanity has long been active in grassroots activism. The organization has been involved in a variety of issues, including housing that’s affordable and fair to women and children, housing that protects children from child poverty, affordable housing for victims of domestic violence and affordable housing for the homeless.
4. Working With Local Businesses
Habitat for Humanity works closely with local businesses to raise money and increase awareness of housing issues in their communities. The organization maintains a listing of successful campaigns and events that it organizes with local business partners.