Habitat for Humanity’s vision is a world where everyone has a safe, healthy, and affordable place to live. For nine Forsyth County families, ringing in 2022 not only marks the beginning of the New Year, but an exciting new chapter in their lives. For these families, many of whom are first generation homeowners, the keys to their new homes symbolize newly realized stability and an opportunity to create beautiful memories.
I can paint the walls any color I want and plant a garden. I’ve always wanted a home of my own since I was a child. It really is a dream come true.”
-Nancy, Habitat Forsyth’s newest homeowner
While you may already know a little about Habitat for Humanity, you may still have some questions. Below are the top five questions that people have about Habitat for Humanity.
- Do they give away free homes?
The answer to this is really simple: no.
Habitat for Humanity does not give away homes but does provide tools to families for a stronger, more stable, and self-reliant future through their homeownership program.
A large part of the program is the required 400 hours of “sweat equity,” working alongside volunteers and other future homeowners building homes, helping out in the ReStores, and completing a series of financial literacy, personal development, and home maintenance/repair workshops
In Forsyth County, the typical 3-bedroom apartment can cost renters between $900-$1,200 per month while a mortgage serviced through Habitat Forsyth costs homeowners between $350-$500 per month, including insurance and taxes. This not only helps families save money each month, but also helps families create generational wealth
- Besides building homes, what else does Habitat do?
Habitat’s philosophy of a “hand-up, not a hand-out” is realized at every turn.
The same financial management, personal development, and home repair workshops that are offered to those in the homeownership program are also offered for free to the public
Critical repairs (e.g., making a home more ADA compliant, repairing a leaky roof) are performed on owner occupied homes, even if they were not purchased through Habitat for Humanity.
Habitat just recently celebrated 2 years of offering youth programs. Through their Youth Empowerment Program (YEP) and Youth Culinary Arts Program, the goal is to remove barriers to success for youth ages 11-17 and help them realize their full potential through community-based education, mentoring, and enrichment programs.
- I have never built a home before, but I want to volunteer. How do I get started?
We have great news for you! No experience is needed to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity. If it is building you want to do, the construction team leads new groups of volunteers daily and loves teaching them new skills (construction volunteers must be 16 or older).
Volunteers can also positively impact the local community in numerous ways in the ReStores. From customer service roles to merchandising on the sales floor, there are many opportunities geared toward individual interests and skills.
If your time is limited and you want to help Habitat for Humanity, additional funding is always needed to help more families access safe, healthy, and affordable housing solutions. and there are myriad options to financially support Habitat. One such opportunity is The Hammer Society: Women Who Build, where members collectively sponsor and build a local family’s home and gather for quarterly networking and volunteering events to connect with like-minded women.
- How is Habitat for Humanity related to the Habitat ReStore?
Easy! The Habitat ReStores are owned and operated by Habitat for Humanity. The four ReStores in Forsyth County help fund the work of Habitat in our local community while offering sustainable solutions for those looking to divest themselves of gently used household items, those who might be shopping on a budget, or those committed to only purchasing secondhand items. Each ReStore is unique and inventory changes daily.
Whether you are a homeowner, contractor, do-it-yourselfer, or treasure hunter, a plethora of items well below retail await!
- How are prices determined at the ReStore?
Believe it or not, quite a bit goes into determining the price of an item before it hits the floor. Knowledgeable staff and volunteers evaluate each item as it comes in and set prices based on comparison to mainstream retail shops and second-hand sites like eBay and Facebook Marketplace. When an item first reaches the sales floor, it is already marked 25%-75% below retail and then using their color coded discount system, donated items are discounted even deeper on the 1st and 15th of each month.
To learn more about Habitat for Humanity of Forsyth County or to get involved, visit Habitatforsyth.org or call 336-765-8854.