April 17, 2024

Habitat for Humanity Update

Written by: Ed Grable, Go Local Director

Working with Tom from Habitat for Humanity recently, he reminded me of a common misconception about their organization. Many people believe Habitat for Humanity gives away houses once they are built, but this is not entirely true. While they do build houses, the process for obtaining one is quite rigorous. Habitat provides mentorship and financial coaching through its Financial Opportunities Center Team to help prepare applicants for homeownership. Participants in the program understand that they will have a home loan to pay back, so they are set up for success. The coaches are available to anyone who needs them and can help with budgeting, financial management, and improving anyone's financial situation.

The future homeowners are also required to contribute "sweat equity," which means they must spend a certain number of hours helping build their homes. From pouring the foundation to driving the last nail, they are involved in the entire process. Habitat for Humanity in Findlay aims to build two houses a year, and skilled build leaders oversee an army of volunteers who do most of the work. No prior experience or knowledge is necessary, just a desire to serve. If you are interested in volunteering for the next build on May 7, please let me know.

Gateway Church has sent several teams to help with a number of builds over the past several years. Here’s a little about the most recent family that a house is going up for. Talisha Balicki and her two daughters will reside in Home #58 on Logan Avenue. Talisha is a single mother currently working as a state-tested nurse aide at the Heritage. She began her journey with Habitat in 2021, frustrated with not having a stable place to raise her daughters. “Home means putting down roots. It's a place to build memories, a place to gather no matter what age,” said Talisha. It's somewhere you’re comfortable and accepted and can always be yourself. Home is a place where my kids can always come.” (from Habitat for Humanity’s website)

In addition to its homebuilding program, Habitat for Humanity has two other initiatives worth mentioning. They receive and sell used home items through their Restore program, which includes items such as doors, windows, light fixtures, furniture, and bathroom vanities. If you're looking for something for a project or just something new, come check them out. They are always looking for volunteers to help organize and stock shelves, so if you're interested, call their office, and they will get you started.

Finally, Habitat provides critical home repairs for those in need. If there is a repair that needs to be done, you can request help from Habitat, and they will send a team of staff and volunteers to complete the project. This service is not free, and those receiving help must commit to paying the agreed-upon amount. There is an opportunity to volunteer and help Habitat with the many critical needs requests they receive each year. If you want to volunteer, check out the Restore, or get help with your finances, please visit their website.

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