Question 1: How long have you been involved with Habitat, and what got you interested in the organization?
I have been involved with HFHHC since February, 2012. I believe that having a home is important for families to thrive. It's a source of pride and a place to make memories. When families have to pay more than 30% of their income for housing, it becoming challenging for them thrive financially. With the help of HFHHC, families are able to realize their dream of home ownership. Through the volunteer hours they put it, they really have an opportunity to build a home from the ground up.
Question 2: Do you get involved in builds personally? If so, what do you like working on?
I have not yet been to a build. I have, however, been to many home dedications. Each time I hear a family share their story and what the house means to them it reminds me the importance of our community coming together to help each other. The families are incredibly grateful and it's nice to see the neighbors come out to welcome the families to their new homes.
Question 3: Habitat has been around a long time, but people sometimes have misconceptions. What is a myth that you'd like to correct about the program?
The houses are not free. Habitat homeowners take out a mortgage just like the rest of us. In addition, they invest "sweat equity" in the form of many volunteer hours on other homes before even starting on their own.
Question 4: Do you have any personal stories of interactions with clients that keep you motivated about the mission?
The most recent home dedication I attended was for a mother and her son. They had been through a number of personal challenges prior to getting their home. When the mother received the keys and she asked her son is he wanted to say a few words, his eyes filled with tears of joy and he was so overcome he couldn't speak. That will stay with me for a long time.
Question 5: What do you do in your professional life before Habitat, and how is did that draw you here?
I have lived in Hamilton County for over 13 years and wanted to get involved with a local organization that helps families improve their quality of life. I'm an advocate of organizations that give a "hand up", not a "hand out" and that's exactly what HFHHC does.