Habitat helping improve lives

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 15, 2007

Most of us are blessed. We live in a house, apartment or mobile home that’s air conditioned in the summer and heated in the winter. We take for granted a working stove, hot water or the fact that there are no holes in the flooring.

That is not true of everyone.

Around the world, about 1.6 billion people live in substandard housing and 100 million are homeless, according to the United Nations.

Email newsletter signup

If you think it’s just a problem in other countries, you’d be wrong.

In the United States alone, 95 million people, one third of the nation, have housing problems including payments too large a percentage of their income, overcrowding, poor quality shelter and homelessness, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

Habitat for Humanity has made a mission of building clean, decent, stable housing by partnering with those in need.

But building homes does more than put a roof over a person’s head.

Studies show that with stable housing:

& Families can provide stability for their child,

& Develop a sense of family pride and dignity,

& Improve the health, physical safety and security of family members, and

& Increase education and job prospects.

With that focus, Habitat – founded in 1976 – has built more than 225,000 houses around the world, providing more than 1 million people in more than 3,000 communities with safe, decent, affordable shelter.

On Saturday, the walls of Selma Habitat for Humanity’s 43rd home were raised with the help of community volunteers.

It will take $50,000 to complete the home construction, officials said, and Selma Habitat has raised approximately half that amount.

Home owners partner with Selma Habitat, put in 300 hours of “sweat equity” in their home or the homes of others, and must be able to make a down payment and pay utilities.

Helping someone in our community gain the stability and security of owning their own home helps the community at large.

To find out how you can donate your time or money,

call 872-4409.\