Recently my husband and I jumped at the chance to be part of our local Family Selection Committee for Habitat for Humanity. This committee is in charge of interviewing and helping pick the next family to receive a habitat house.
This week has been filled with information nights and our first chance to meet the interested families. Although, turn out is not what we expected. It was lower than the numbers last year. With all of the depressing news out there I thought there would be record crowds.
Habitat looks for three criteria, 1. Need 2. Willingness to Partner 3. Ability to Pay and each applicant must meet each of those. Need means they live in unacceptable housing or have too many people sharing a space. Willingness to partner ensures that the future homeowner is willing to spend 350 “sweat equity” hours during the duration of their home build. A portion of the hours are actually spent building their house and the remaining are education classes. Ability to pay requires that they be able to afford their home and make in between a range of total income. Of course each person that came had a need and each had a heartbreaking story, but some of them made too much or too little money. It was really sad having to turn someone away because they didn’t make enough money.
I am so excited to start this journey with a family. I want everyone I interviewed to get a house, but of course that can’t happen. I met a single mother of 5 whose home was shot at by drive by and a bullet came right about her daughter’s bed. Another house is infiltrated with roaches and without any weather proofing or insulation. As the process continues we will narrow the families more and even conduct home visits to better determine who most qualifies for a new home. I like to think we are going to be a part of a family’s life changing experience. During these crazy times right now, it’s great knowing that volunteering our time is much more valuable than any donation.
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