Why Dirty Work Loves Habitat for Humanity

Posted: June 20, 2013 in Dirty Work Services
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At Dirty Work, we’re proud to support Habitat for HumanityImage

Founded in 1976, Habitat for Humanity volunteers believe that everyone should have a decent, affordable place to live. To help, the nonprofit uses volunteer labor and donations to build or repair homes for low-income families.

For a family to receive a Habitat home, they must demonstrate financial need and be willing to pay with “sweat equity.” Sweat equity refers to the fact that all families are expected to assist Habitat for Humanity for 400-500 hours on building someone else’s home before they can receive their own home. After meeting all the criteria, the family will then receive their new home with a zero percent mortgage rate. All of the mortgage money will then go towards helping build more Habitat homes.

And why is Habitat for Humanity’s mission so important?

Because the world, including the United States of America, faces a serious shortage of affordable housing.

The Habitat website lists the following statistics:

  • 827.6 million people live in urban slums around the world
  • 1 billion people will live in an urban slum by 2020
  • 48.5 million people live in poverty in the United States

This lack of affordable, safe housing across the globe leads to millions of death each year, including the deaths of more than 1.8 million children worldwide. HIV/AIDs, tuberculosis, diarrhea and malaria flourish in urban slums. In areas lacking proper sanitization and clean water, all of these diseases can represent a death sentence.

A recent study even found that children living in Habitat for Humanity homes in Malawi were 44% less likely to contract malaria, respiratory or gastrointestinal diseases compared to children who were living in traditional homes.

Habitat homes create a sense of stability for families. This sense of stability creates a sense of dignity and pride. The combination of an increase in healthy conditions, physical safety and security with the pride and dignity homeownership installs leads to an increase in educational opportunities and job prospects for Habitat for Humanity home recipients.

In this way, Habitat for Humanity is able to create a ripple effect –  by helping one family, they help an entire community.

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