Habitat for Humanity building homes for Michiana families

NOW: Habitat for Humanity building homes for Michiana families

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SOUTH BEND, Ind.-- A new community project is coming to Michiana. Habitat for Humanity of St. Joseph County is back at it again, working to build new homes for families who need more affordable choices in the area to grow in. It’s a week-long project starting today, with the goal to build 12 out of the 22 homes they have planned by the end of the week. 

Not only is Habitat for Humanity working to bring new housing to people in the community though, but they’re also building something they’ve never done before; a brand-new park, serving around 80 families. They received a major donation from area Rotary Clubs in Michiana to help support their mission.  

“They wanted to help raise the money for the park and so they have sponsored 60-thousand dollars to go towards helping us put in that playground equipment and just create a really nice space for families,” Habitat for Humanity President/CEO Jim Williams said. “It just reminds us of what it takes to make a community work and for people to not just think about themselves but to thinking about others.” 

Habitat for Humanity is a dedicated non-profit organization who aims to build and create new homes for low-income families who have a dream of living and growing in their very own home. It’s not just habitat workers, but the soon-to-be homeowners themselves, along with other volunteers, who strive to make that dream happen, and build homes from the ground up while offering an affordable mortgage. 

This year’s project is called “Habitat Work Project 202: Cost to Home Build.” Part of the title, “Cost to Home Build,” references to their international 5-year “Cost of Home Advocacy Campaign,” to bring awareness and policy at a local, state and national level to increase housing affordability. 

“We estimate about 14,000 families in St. Joe County cannot be homeowners simply because they simply don’t have a vehicle to become a homeowner, there’s no way they could qualify for a mortgage. And habitat, or a program like habitat, is literally their only option. So, we are trying to draw attention to way’s we can affect policies, that we can talk to legislator's, ways that we can be innovative in the housing products that we offer, to give more people an opportunity to become a homeowner,” Williams said. 

So far, Habitat for Humanity have built about 226 homes since they started building in 1987, have mobilized 29-thousand volunteers and have served 637 families. President/CEO Jim Williams says that doing this for the people in his community, means the world to him. 

“I’ve been at habitat for 12 years and I just absolutely love what I do because I know that it really makes a difference in people’s lives, and it’s not just a short-term difference, it literally is a generational impact on families. You instinctively know how much a house means to people, and to be able to be a part of helping them become homeowners...knowing that the kids are going to grow up in a stable and safe environment, a healthy environment, it just has so many positive impacts,” Williams said. 

Here is what is scheduled during the week-long project: 

Monday, September 20: Whirlpool launches their House + Home World Tour. Mishawaka is the first stop on their worldwide tour. 

Tuesday, September 21: Spotlight on new ADA-compliant park-- the first build of its kind for Habitat for Humanity of St. Joseph County. It will provide recreational fun for 80 neighborhood families.  

Wednesday, September 22: Spotlight on Habitat for Humanity of St. Joseph County's 2021 Women Build homeowner with special guest Muffett McGraw. 

Thursday, September 23: Roof raising on the 6 new neighborhood homes. 

Friday, September 24: Closing ceremony. Attendees will hear from homeowners and Habitat for Humanity of St. Joseph County's President & CEO. 

For more information on how you can get involved or volunteer, you can go to Habitat for Humanity's website.

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