Have you ever asked yourself…..
Where does my donation go and what good does it do?
HfHGV relies heavily on donations from the community, from volunteers and from several foundations. But….what does all of this do?
Well….the easy answer is that it builds houses for qualified families. It helps us do critical repairs on houses for families so they can remain in their homes….(Critical repair families have a pay-back program just like our homeowners so we have some recycling of funds to continue our programs.)
And…while that sounds good and we can take pride in giving someone a helping hand up….
It does not tell the story of the real impact that your donation has on the children, parents, and the community. So let me share with you what really happens when we build a house for a family…or provide critical repair for a homeowner.
The face of the matter is that the children experience a significant positive change in their behavior, academic performance, and parents experience less stress, greater positive interaction with their children and the community in which they live when they live in decent affordable housing. (MacArthur Foundation study on How Housing Matters)
What would you experience if at the end of the your day you came home to a house that was rat infested, unheated during the winter, substandard wiring, decaying walls; drugs sold outside your house, fights taking place among adults over insignificant issues, or you had to spend more than 30% of your take home pay on paying the rent…maybe more like 80%?
Most of us would be working very hard to get out of that housing unit. We would do almost anything to improve the quality of the housing for our children, right? Some parents do…they sell drugs; get into more trouble all in an attempt to improve their lives.
Other parents pick up a part-time job or two, pay the cost of a babysitter and even with the additional income, they barely make it to the next paycheck.
Here’s where you donations make a significant difference. Because of our helping hand up programs, we are able to place these hard working families into a decent affordable house. They pay 30% of their take home pay for housing; they don’t have to worry about lack of heat, water, hot water, rat infestations, being evicted, fights with landlords or neighbors over inadequate basic needs. Suddenly you see a change in the child’s behavior….all in a positive direction.
Children who live in decent affordable housing not only pick up the less stressful behavior of their parent(s), they also begin attending school regularly…academics improve in the core subjects, their sense of self-worth improves – interaction with other children is more positive and not filled with aggression, lying and deceitfulness. Adolescents show improvements in core academic subjects; they begin changing their behavior to more healthful activities.
The local community takes on a more “personally responsibly” behavior from these homeowners.
When we place a Habitat Family in a home they add value to the immediate neighborhood because of this personal responsibility, but even more, they are adding an average of $1,500 a year to support the town, city or county through taxes. They have, on average, $300 more a month to spend on food, extracurricular activities for their children…or buy better quality food, clothing or get the health care needed. All of which makes them less dependent upon society and a reduction in long term costs that results from dysfunctional children growing into adults.
So….your donation builds more than a house…it improves the lives of children and that improves the quality of life in your community. So thank you for your donations and support to build houses, to build dreams and to build communities
The Real Impact That Your Donation Has
Have you ever asked yourself…..