ATLANTA, June 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- As people around the world continue to grapple with the public health crisis and the economic impact of COVID-19, the importance of a safe and decent place to call home has rarely been more pronounced.
Since 1976, Habitat for Humanity has helped families around the world secure safe, affordable and decent housing, build community, and forge a path toward greater stability. Now, in these challenging times, Habitat is confronting the global housing need that has grown exponentially over the past months through its first-of-its-kind Homes, Communities, Hope + You global campaign.
The multimillion-dollar campaign, led by Atlanta-based Habitat for Humanity International and executed by hundreds of federated Habitat organizations across the United States and around the world, will raise funds to address housing issues that have been exposed and exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The housing crisis is not new, but the economic fallout caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has made it much worse," said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International. "Millions of people in unhealthy and overcrowded living conditions are more susceptible to this virus, and millions of others are now facing impossible decisions between paying for their housing or keeping food on the table. We know the impacts of COVID-19 are being felt most by those who can afford it the least. We know the disparate impact the pandemic has on communities of color, communities already suffering as a result of systemic racism that has all too often played out in housing policy. Homes, Communities, Hope + You will enable Habitat to continue the critical work that we do best: enabling families and communities to become stronger through safe, decent and affordable shelter."
Joining the campaign as the first million-dollar-level supporters are LEVOLOR, Lowe's and Republic Services. The companies, all longtime Habitat partners, have made significant commitments to support Habitat's homebuilding and community development work.
LEVOLOR is donating $1 million worth of cordless window coverings for use in construction of Habitat homes across the United States. Through the donation of building products such as these blinds and shades, local Habitat organizations are able to keep their construction costs lower, allowing them to serve more families. The Cellular shades also help keep energy costs lower by keeping homes warmer in winter and cooler in the summer.
Lowe's $1 million cash donation will provide mortgage forbearance to Habitat homeowner families that have lost income due to COVID-19, allowing them to use their income or savings to meet other basic needs. The funding will also support Habitat's neighborhood revitalization work. Lowe's donation comes on top of a $250,000 partnership with Habitat to provide personal protective equipment to front-line health care workers in 39 states and the District of Columbia during the pandemic. Since 2003, Lowe's has committed more than $71 million to Habitat's work.
Republic Services' $1 million cash donation will support Habitat's neighborhood revitalization work across the United States, with a particular focus on support of local businesses that serve as anchors to robust communities. Small and independently owned businesses have been exceptionally hard-hit by the pandemic's economic forces, and this partnership aims to help them not only survive but thrive.
"We are so thankful to LEVOLOR, Lowe's and Republic Services for their generous and early support of this campaign," said Colleen Finn Ridenhour, chief development officer of Habitat for Humanity International. "With this kind of support, Habitat can join with communities all around the world to build back hope in the wake of the pandemic."
Funds raised through Homes, Communities, Hope + You will allow Habitat to address housing deficits worldwide. Support raised through the campaign may be used to support Habitat organizations around the world in their efforts to help stabilize homeowners during the COVID-19 crisis, revitalize neighborhoods and help communities heavily impacted by the COVID-19 crisis to build back. Through the campaign, Habitat is also amplifying its advocacy work, to ensure that governments prioritize housing needs in their economic recovery plans. The campaign's global footprint marks the first time the entire federated Habitat network has organized under a single campaign, reflecting the unprecedented scope of the housing crisis brought about by the pandemic.
To learn more about how to support the Homes, Communities, Hope + You campaign, visit habitat.org/support/homes-communities-hope-you.
About Habitat for Humanity
Driven by the vision that everyone needs a decent place to live, Habitat for Humanity began in 1976 as a grassroots effort on a community farm in southern Georgia. The Christian housing organization has since grown to become a leading global nonprofit working in local communities across all 50 states in the U.S. and in more than 70 countries. Families and individuals in need of a hand up partner with Habitat for Humanity to build or improve a place they can call home. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage. Through financial support, volunteering or adding a voice to support affordable housing, everyone can help families achieve the strength, stability and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves. Through shelter, we empower. To learn more, visit habitat.org.
SOURCE Habitat for Humanity International