Over the last 26 years, we have had a very strong presence of veteran staff, board members, construction leaders, volunteers and Habitat homeowners. We have a consistent pool of Robins Air Force volunteers (Team Robins) who participate in new construction and also assist with our "A Brush With Kindness" home repair program (aka ABWK). Within our ABWK repair projects, we have served approximately 30% veterans. These ABWK projects for veterans have been adding handicap ramps, grab bars, handicap toilets, deck repairs, and many different home repairs.
Houston County Habitat certified as a Veterans Build affiliate in 2016. Our goal is to actively seek and recruit veterans living in substandard housing or homeless to provide opportunity for homeownership through Houston County Habitat new construction.
We seek to provide home repairs for veterans who are in need of home repairs through our "A Brush with Kindness" program.
• Building - Safe, decent, affordable housing is the centerpiece of Veterans build.
• Employment - We value skill sets gained from your military service. We recruit veterans to work at Habitat as employees, board members, extended volunteers, National Service members, interns and fellows.
• Volunteer engagement - We provide volunteer experiences that bring together veterans, military families and their neighbors. These experiences help bridge the gap and ease the transition to civilian life with fulfilling community engagement. We are looking for skilled veteran or active duty military volunteers who would like to participate in weekday or Saturday projects. If you know of any, please feel free to send them our way!
• Education - We offer financial education and financial literacy programs. Our programs support successful homeownership among veteran and military homeowners. We also train Habitat employees and community volunteers throughout the U.S. to better understand the military culture. This increases our effectiveness in interacting with veterans and military families. For further information, contact our Program Services Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The National Low Income Housing Coalition finds that 2.5 million veterans heading households are at least 55 years of age. Of those 2.5 million veterans, 24 percent have housing cost burdens. Unlike our older civilians, our older veterans are more likely to have a disability - 35 percent versus 28 percent - which may require home modifications, health and other supportive services as they age.
Our female veteran population is in need as well. According to a report by the National Housing Conference, nearly half of our veterans who are single mothers spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing. Our female veterans face significant economic and housing challenges and are particularly vulnerable to housing cost burdens compared with our overall veteran population.
Likewise, our most recent veterans who served following 9/11 have returned to a slow-growing economy and rising housing costs. These economic factors have made the transition from military service to civilian life difficult for many of our veterans.
In addition, nearly 4 million of our veterans pay at least 30 percent of their income toward rent or mortgage, while more than 1.5 million pay at least 50 percent. As you can imagine, using half of your income to pay your rent or mortgage is an enormous strain on any budget.
For additional information, please contact us at VeteransBuild@hocohabitat.org.
Download our Veterans Build Brochure (PDF) which explains more about the program and it also lists great resources for our veterans. These resources give veterans an opportunity to volunteer with the organizations listed, so they can provide support to non-profits such as Habitat for Humanity. A few organizations offer stipends.
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Here at Houston County Habitat for Humanity, we believe that all our neighbors deserve safe, decent, affordable housing. We also believe that something special happens when the entire community comes together to lend a hand. Bonds are made. Laughter is shared. Confidence is built. Lives are changed. And the places we all call home are better because of it.
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