Learning From South Phoenix

Habitat for Humanity

                 Habitat for Humanity is a international, nonprofit agency that has one goal, to eliminate poverty housing. Since being founded in 1976, Habitat for Humanity International has built more than 120,000 homes in 83 countries and the number is still growing. Our class was given the opportunity in helping build one of these special homes.    

            Habitat is affordable housing that is very much needed throughout the world. Without affordable housing many families are stuck living in overcrowded, poor living conditions or excessive household expenses. Family that live in Habitat for Humanity home may be families who are purchasing their very first homes and do not qualify for traditional home loans. Families must meet certain requirements to qualify for a Habitat home, (ex; good credit, two-year stable income, need for adequate housing). Another requirement is that the family must complete 400 hours of volunteer work building their home as well as other homes. The habitat homes include 3-4 bedrooms, kitchen, living and dining room, some appliances, and two bathrooms, as well as a shed built in the backyard. Each model had four different elevations and various exterior paint combinations. All homes also include the front landscaping complete.

            Habitat for Humanity homes have been in Arizona for many years and have 15 affiliates throughout Arizona. However, Arizona is especially known for the “South Ranch” project, a planned development of 195 homes with a community center, a children’s playground and homeowner’s association. It was the very first Habitat for Humanity community in the world, but certainly not the last! Villas Esperanza (Village of Hope) began construction in 1992, another community consisting of  92 homes as well as a children’s park, community center and also HOA. Our class help build a home in the exciting new development. 

            Arriving early in the morning on February 6th, 2004, I had no idea on what to expect. Our class was brought over to a home that was framed and needed the edging on the rook completed as well as the painted of the nails on the outside surface. I was relieved to be given the task of measuring and cutting the wood. But there was one problem, I had never used a power saw before, that problem was quickly eliminated with the help of another volunteer, Mr. Carter (not the President), he showed me how to measure properly and get the job done. The morning flew by so quickly! I  really enjoyed watching everyone at work and seeing that we were all having fun. Before we left the sight a couple of other classmates and I all wrote a little message to the family who will soon call the framed house, home, letting them know we wish them the best of luck with their new home. We spent to afternoon listening to the history of Habitat of Humanity!! It was a great day!

            Without Habitat for Humanity many families would still be living in poverty housing. Habitat for Humanity has made the dream of home ownership come true for deserving low income families!



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