10 ways you can support Habitat for Humanity during COVID-19 in helping people achieve stability and independence through homeownership
Now more than ever before, we know how important a home is. The affordable housing crisis has been amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic, and helping people and families have the chance for stability in their lives — and feel safe where they live — is vital.
We’ve partnered with Habitat for Humanity to create resources that engage your employees around learning about the importance of safe, affordable housing. We’ve compiled impactful ways that you, your teams, friends and family can help Habitat build stable and equitable housing, even while at home. This list comes from Benevity’s Missions module on building equity and affordable housing, which was developed with Habitat for Humanity.
(We've also included a campaign kit you can download to help rally your people.)
“We are eager for Habitat to fully resume our operations, not least because of the enormous housing need we face. The shortage of safe, decent and affordable housing was already at crisis levels prior to the pandemic. In the U.S., more than 18 million families were already paying half or more of their income on housing. Now, with tens of millions of people filing for unemployment, the situation is far worse. The COVID-19 pandemic is not only a public health crisis — it is a housing crisis”
— Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity International has been working to create a world where everyone has a safe, decent and affordable place to live since 1976. Since then, over 35 million people have been supported in building or improving the place they call home through Habitat programs.
Consider sharing the following list with your people to help them learn and take action:
1. Learn what makes a home a home. When you have a safe and stable home to live in, it’s easy to forget that there are families in your own community that may not have the same. Talk with your children about your home and how others may experience a different situation. Ask them to share what they value about their home, and actions that you can take to help people in your community.
Visit Habitat for Humanity’s website to find at-home volunteering activities to do with kids.
2. Hear from Habitat homeowners. Many Habitat homeowners are one of the first people in their family to own a home. Owning their own home allows them to be able to accumulate generational wealth that they otherwise might not have been able to.
Watch this video about what a home means to Habitat families.
3. See how a home makes a community. Over time, some communities face hardships and need support in returning to the thriving communities they once were. By partnering with a community and the families that live there, a greater impact can be made in building new homes, repairing existing ones and revitalizing the community as a whole.
Watch these impact stories at habitat.org:
Video: What does neighborhood revitalization look like? (2:44 minutes)
Video: Habitat for Humanity's Neighborhood Revitalization helps improve Jacksonville's New Town community (3:07 minutes)
Video: Strengthening communities in Muncie, Indiana (2:28 minutes)
4. Stay up to date on what your local Habitat for Humanity chapter is doing. Knowing what’s happening in your local community is important and taking part in activities to make it thrive, even more so. This starts with becoming informed.
Go to habitat.org and find your local Habitat for Humanity office by searching your zip code and signing up for their newsletter.
5. Unleash your inner Property Brother. Drew and Jonathan Scott, stars of the show Property Brothers, are great Habitat Humanitarians. Follow in their footsteps by fixing up your home with your own DIY projects around the house.
Watch the Scott brothers speak about their support of Habitat:
Video: The Scott Brothers: The value of home (42 seconds)
Video: The Scott Brothers: Why we love Habitat for Humanity (1:49 minutes)
Share a DIY project that you’re proud of on social media. It’s okay to flex here; this helps you and others stay inspired to build while at home!
6. Get your friends involved in supporting Habitat’s affordable housing mission. Engaging with your friends and family on social media platforms, like Facebook and Instagram, is a great way to support nonprofits like Habitat. Habitat serves families across the U.S. and around the world, and their work wouldn’t be possible without donations and their volunteers.
Ask your friends to help you raise money and awareness for Habitat for Humanity International.
7. Donate used housewares and old appliances to Habitat for Humanity ReStores. Did you know that Habitat for Humanity has retail locations that collect and resell used housewares and appliances? Learn about Habitat’s mission to keep used items out of landfills (and repurpose them to help to fill a home).
8. Build your tool kit and keep your skills sharp. While we socially distance, you can keep your skills sharp or build new ones, safely from home! Then you'll be prepared to help when the time is right. Practice your DIY and carpentry skills by watching videos or taking online tutorials. Sign up for an online course, sharpen your skills or learn a new one!
Share a project you’re proud of on social media and tag @habitat on Facebook, @habitat_org on Twitter and @habitatforhumanity on Instagram. Don’t forget to challenge your peers and teammates to share their own stories.
9. Learn how to help after a disaster strikes. Any community that has been through a major disaster knows the emotional and physical toll it takes on its members. It can be months, or even years before some families can get back into their homes.
Watch this video to see what’s done in the event of a disaster, and its impact:
Video: Habitat's work in Florida after Hurricane Irma (1:38 minutes)
Learn more about Habitat’s work around Disaster Response.
10. Learn how to prepare your home for a disaster. Preparation is key when it comes to protecting your home and your family during a disaster situation. Make sure your family has an emergency kit — it can be the difference between life and death in some situations.
Create your disaster preparedness kit by filling a backpack or other storage method with important items that might be needed during a disaster.