The 2018 hurricane season has been extraordinarily active in parts of the U.S., with Hurricane Florence currently impacting millions in the Carolinas. As this natural disaster unfolds, the staff here at VolunteerMatch is doing its part to ensure that, if you are in an affected community, you are prepared and safe. And if you are looking to help with disaster relief efforts, you know about the most effective ways to contribute.
Habitat for Humanity of Spartanburg is an ecumenical, Christian ministry that changes lives by building decent, affordable homes in partnership with Spartanburg County families in need.
Since 1987, Habitat Spartanburg has built more than 115 homes in our community, providing over 400 mothers, fathers, and children homes to call their own. Families are selected for the program based on need, income, and willingness to partner with Habitat. After completing financial counseling and 250 hours of "sweat equity," Habitat homeowners receive affordable mortgages with monthly payments averaging $400. Their new homes are approximately 1,150 square feet, have three bedrooms and two bathrooms and are Energy Star 3.0-rated.
But Habitat Spartanburg is not just focused on building homes. We are deeply invested in helping partner families succeed in all areas of their lives. In 2011, after close evaluation of Habitat homeowners' needs, we made an effort to strengthen our family services department programs. Habitat Spartanburg now offers our homeowners and their neighbors needed social services such as health screenings, counseling, and job fairs from the very beginning of their paths to home ownership.
Our shift in focus is working. Partner families report significant positive changes to their education, finances, and personal well-being. Habitat homeowners feel safer in their new homes, their children are doing better in school, they feel more connected to their community, they have more disposable income, and they feel more positive about their futures.