Habitat for Humanity has been in the business of building homes donated to families for a number of years now, and the organization gained widespread recognition when various celebrities got involved in pushing its purpose into the mainstream consciousness, most notably former President Jimmy Carter. The concept is straightforward: build homes with donations, time, donated materials and building skill, and provide a needy family at place to call their own. Homes have long been the American Dream, and both socially and psychologically homes have contributed to stability, growth, economic improvement and safety for families generation after generation.
As described in the YouTube video, Habitat for Humanity Home Builders Blitz, the organization has also been improving the way companies and builders can contribute, particularly in developing projects that make their participation feasible time-wise. Asking people and companies to step away from their businesses for months at a time is unreasonable and unlikely. However, as shown in the video, the Blitz approach compresses activity into a one week spurt that, when highly coordinated, produces brand new homes in a matter of days. This includes local cooperation from municipalities in terms of licensing, coding and permits which are critical for a build to happen in a timely manner. And the businesses tend to be all for the idea once the paperwork barriers are removed as the work and supplies are all tax deductible as business donations. So there’s a financial incentive to help as well.
In the video, which was produced in 2013, Habitat for Humanity was building something over 200 homes nationwide for needy families. The same year the organization reached it’s 800,000th home either built, rehabilitated or renovated. In 2019, the number of new homes built since the company’s start had risen to 333. That number might not seem like a lot, but when the average home nationwide costs $200,000 to $300,000 brand new, adding 330 plus homes for free is quite an accomplishment given everything is provided for free, including all the labor to build the home correctly. Everyone from a local forklift dealer to builders to painters help out. Habitat for Humanity is now working on projects with multi-home units, hoping to expand its influence and benefit to larger neighborhood projects needed across the country. Given that the organization started in Georgia in 1983 working one home at a time, the development of Habitat for Humanity has been quite an accomplishment. And what’s even more impressive has been how consistent the builder industry has been in support, even during years when the building industry has been taking hits in depressed economies. It just goes to show how important shelter and having a home is in everyone’s minds.