What does HomeOwnership mean?
- A sense of pride
- Little hand prints in cement
- Picking out colors for a bedroom
- Planting a garden with flowers
- A backyard of your own
- A neighborhood with friends
Habitat for Humanity International is a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing effort dedicated to making decent housing a matter of conscience and action. We want to eliminate poverty housing, one family at a time! It is a “grass roots” organization where the local affiliate makes its own decisions. Each group has an all-volunteer Board of Directors drawn from all walks of life. The Alpena affiliate was organized in 1989 and built its first house that year on Alfred Street. Habitat for Humanity Northeast Michigan (HFHNEMI) built 10 houses in the first 6 years.
Each partner family is required to put in “sweat equity” hours in the construction. The cost of the house is repaid over a fixed period of time, and the payments are recycled to build more houses. Families are selected on the basis of need, willingness to “partner” with Habitat, and having the ability to make the required monthly payments, as well as the ability to afford upkeep and maintenance of a home. Habitat is a hand up, not a hand out.
However, we have a long way to go before all of God’s children have a decent place to live. Our ability to continue reaching more and more people depends on several things:
Donated materials – we receive different material donations for each house. This means that each house may have different fixtures, cabinets, etceteras. Again please understand if we cannot provide the exact product or look that was expressed.
Volunteers – many volunteers work with Habitat because they enjoy getting to know the people they help. This means that many people will want to get to know the family and hear their story. This will also means that the Partner Family will be expected to participate on the days that large groups of volunteers are working.
Publicity – Reporters and other media may want to interview the Partner Family member(s) or put a picture in the newspaper. There is a Media Waiver within the packet that must be signed to allow the use of photography in publications.
No custom homes – this means that the partner family may not have a lot of choice in what the house looks like. However, don’t be afraid to share the family’s special needs or ask for something different. Please understand if we cannot accommodate your request.
So you see, as a Habitat Partner, you are needed in many ways to help Habitat grow and reach other people who need decent, affordable homes. You are probably the most important representative for Habitat. Be prepared to welcome others and get to know them as you work together.