At F.C. Tucker we talk a lot about “paying our civic rent,” so for the month of November, we would like to express our gratitude to the many organizations and individuals who serve their communities tirelessly and make Indiana a better place to live and work. We obviously can’t highlight everyone, but we would like to salute these 30 organizations that are making a difference.
30 Days of Thanksgiving – Day 3: Habitat for Humanity
This next nonprofit is a household name and they have a significant presence in the Indianapolis area – Habitat for Humanity.
Habitat for Humanity’s goal is, “a world where everyone has a decent place to live.” Indiana is not untouched by housing inequality. Over half of renters in Indiana cannot afford the fair market rate. The research shows that when families do not have affordable housing, their children have less stability and the family experiences poorer health and security. This is where Habitat for Humanity steps in. They believe that creating affordable housing will help bring, “people together to build homes, communities, and hope.”
In 1976 Habitat for Humanity International was founded with the goal of providing “partnership housing.” Founders Millard and Linda Fuller believed that those in need and volunteers could work side-by-side to build affordable housing. In 1987, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Indianapolis affiliate was founded. Since 1976, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Indianapolis has assisted more than 875 families around the world, including 600 in Indianapolis. In fact, 81 homeowners have already paid off their mortgage!
Habitat for Humanity provides affordable, safe housing through several channels. One of their most well-known channels is the Habitat homeowners program. In this program, volunteers and homeowners work side by side to rehab donated homes or build new homes on donated land. Habitat homeowners are required to, “pay a modest down payment, invest 300 hours of “sweat equity, which involves construction of their home, and are responsible for 0% interest monthly mortgage payments and home maintenance.” Financial counseling and homeownership education programming is also provided to ensure future success for homeowners. Habitat for Humanity also partners with low-income households to complete home repairs such as insulation and roofing.
How does Habitat for Humanity accomplish all of this? The nonprofit relies heavily on its volunteers, with more than 6,000 volunteers donating their time and talent in just 2016 alone. Habitat for Humanity also organizes annual “themed” builds to mobilize different groups. These include: Women Build, Interfaith Build, Ag Builds at the State Fair, Global Village, Board Build and Tiger Build. Additionally, none of this would be possible without monetary, land, and home donations. If you are interested in volunteering or donating, please visit the Habitat for Humanity of Greater Indianapolis’ website.
If you were not already convinced of Habitat for Humanity’s significant impact, listen to the testimony of Jasmine Minor, a 2015 Habitat Homeowner. “It’s a new beginning. It means consistent payments and no worries about moving from place to place. With a stable home, I can focus on other things, like paying off my student debt. It’s a step forward.”