Monday, July 13, 2009

Habitat For Humanity, a North City Experience.

Sunday Morning, at 7:45 AM, over 100 volunteers descended on the Jeff VanderLou neighborhood in North City to help create affordable housing. Sure, it might have started off a little Jesus-y, and ended in a crazy rainstorm, but Habitat is definitely bringing hope to the neighborhood.

It is pretty well accepted that government subsidized housing projects have some serious shortcomings, but it is often unclear how to provide housing for those who don't have adequate financial resources. While working along side home buyers, who were helping in the construction of their, and other, homes, it is easy to see why Habitat for Humanity is a favorite non-profit for so many.

First, there is a tangible outcome. In fact, you might be hard-pressed to find another non-profit whose outcomes are more tangible than creating permanent housing for individuals and families.

Second, there is the impact of providing a sense of ownership to a home buyer who actually buys the house, and provides some of the labor (and gets to see the actual amount of labor it takes to create the house). While working with several of the home buyers, we were able to see just how serious and invested they are in the process.

Third, hopefully is that the process creates something that in intangible, a sense of community. The home buyers (who, come to think of it, were all women) are ideally able to use the experience of building the houses to form a bond that leads to a stronger community.

If it turns out that community is the end result, I can forgive the invocation of Jesus at an interfaith gathering.

We were here:

View Larger Map

No comments: