By: Jonathan Reckford, CEO – Habitat for Humanity International and Margaret Kato, Executive Director – Genesee County Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity is propelled by a vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live. We devote ourselves to creating that world because we believe everyone — every single one of us, regardless of who we are or where we come from — deserves a decent life and deserves the opportunity for a better future.
Believing is not enough. And so we build.
We build houses — and through those houses, the strength, stability and self-reliance that families need in order to achieve a better life. That better life is our primary goal. And so when we build houses, we also build bridges between people of diverse backgrounds, we build paths to more connected communities, we build ways for all people to come together and share in the creation of a new world.
Believing is not enough. And so we build.
*The following is a blog excerpt from the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Click here for the full blog article.
When a catastrophe like Hurricane Harvey happens, your world can be turned upside down. During these tough times, it may be difficult to know who to trust and where to look for guidance and assistance, as well as what financial steps to take as you begin recovering. These are a few organizations that can help immediately after a natural disaster:
Start thinking about your financial obligations once you have addressed your most urgent needs, especially if you have experienced damage to your home or property. We have five steps you can take to help you secure your home and finances:
Warning: Be aware of scams
While many people pull together during times of crisis, there is also an increased risk for scams and fraud. To avoid scams, you need to ask questions—lots of them. Questions will help you determine if something is too good to be true. If the person trying to sell you a product or service can’t or won’t answer your questions, this is a red flag that you might want to look for someone else to do business with.
Thanks once again to several Ethan Allen stores for donating home goods to our ReStore this Summer. In addition to their large donation we just unloaded two trucks worth of goods from Baker College of Flint. Thanks to these organizations for not only helping the Habitat ReStore maintain useful donations but also by keeping items out of the landfill.
As Summer turns to Fall you may want to think about cleaning your outdoor shed or garage one last time to remove those large items so that you can make room for your snow shovel or vehicle before Old Man Winter hits. If you no longer want that patio furniture, slightly used lawnmower or weed whip then now is the time to schedule a free pickup of three or more large items that won’t fit in your vehicle. We’ll be glad to pick them up and put them in ours. And remember all donations are tax deductible.
You may have seen our ReStore has sent out a monthly email blast that is chocked full of the latest items being donated along with discounted items and special coupons. Be sure to click the sign up button so you won’t miss out on fabulous deals. Stop by the ReStore this week and see what’s new and waiting just for you.
From September 11th through September 15th over 200 GM employees from Customer Care and Aftersales (CCA) rolled up their sleeves and got to work at eight different Genesee County Habitat for Humanity work sites throughout Genesee County. In partnership with Habitat staff, the GM Cares team completed shed builds for five different Habitat homes, two veteran repair projects, removed over 14 tons of debris from our duplex project at 603 W Court St., wrapped-up a full-gut home rehab for a disabled veteran, removed brush and debris from along the Flint River Trail, made improvements to our ReStore, and… well, you get the idea by now. Not only does GM care, but GM WORKS! The impact of all this work will reverberate well into the future giving us a great boost into 2018. We are so grateful for all our GM volunteers. Over the past year we have hosted volunteers from CCA, Tool & Die, and Flint Engine Operations. GM volunteers are always hardworking and come with a heart to help. Last week was GM Cares Week but GM truly does care year-round.
As Summer is upon us and the weather is warming the ReStore has been busy gathering and stocking up on new and gently used merchandise. Our community has really stepped up and has been donating to our mission to keep useable home goods out of the landfill. This year alone over 400,00 pounds have been diverted from the landfill. Your household goods can be recycled back into the community and sold at the ReStore to raise funds and help build houses in Genesee County. Please stop by to see what we have to help with your summer DIY projects and help Genesee County Habitat for Humanity build homes, communities, and hope.
Say hello to our LISC AmeriCorps member, Jasmine Tincoff! Jasmine is our Financial Coaching Liaison and started with us in November. Jasmine helps residents/community members change financial/homeownership behavior, build assets, and become financially stable.
“My time with Habitat has been an amazing experience. Habitat plays such a huge role in the community, and it is an honor to be able to be a part of the team during my service term.”
Summer means our volunteer season is in full swing. We owe a BIG THANK YOU to those that helped with our most recent events – both the Habitat Olympics and Women Build Week were a smashing success! We were able to raise over $18,000 from Habitat Olympics this year! We couldn’t have done it without our sponsors, participants, and volunteers. Congrats to College Hunks for taking home the Gold two years in a row! During Women Build Week we had 100 women on the worksite in four days! The list of tasks we were able to complete at one of our homes on Hill Rd is too long to list here!
That’s just the beginning of our summer! We still need volunteer groups to join us on work sites throughout Genesee County.
Please contact me if you have any interest in volunteering! Greg Hull, Volunteer Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org 810-766-9089 ext. 210.
The Critical Home Repair Program team is working hard to help homeowners in the City of Flint improve their homes.
To date, we have served 231 people, including 111 families, 41 disabled individuals, 9 veterans, 114 dependents and 44 people over 65.
We have 14 projects started as a part of our Full Code Rehab program. Thanks to funding from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, we will be competing a minimum of 30 full code updates through this program this year!
The Critical Home Repair program has even gained national attention thanks to NFL Quarterback Brandon Carr. Through the support of the United Way of Genesee County, Genesee County Habitat’s Water Assurance Program will be featured in a video by NFL Films. Check in with us on Facebook and Twitter in the coming weeks for pictures and video.
and from floral gardens planted to honor the memory and legacy of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to the demolition of blighted commercial structures within busy neighborhood corridors, Habitat is partnering with community members all over Flint to wrestle beauty from blight and build strong and stable communities by investing in catalytic, resident led neighborhood projects.
The program, which provides staff support for project planning and implementation, as well as funding to help get the project started, is funded thanks to generous support from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. As part of the program, groups commit 10% of their project's cost in sweat equity, and while working with Habitat groups receive access to training in action planning, impact evaluation, and best practices in community revitalization from certified Habitat staff.
Visit our website here for more information about the FlintBRAND program.
Together we're building strong communities!
Genesee County Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit Christian housing ministry that works to build a world where everyone has a decent place to live.