Sunday, November 16, 2014


Yesterday, I spent much of the day helping with a Habitat for Humanity project. I have been familiar with the organization for quite some time, but it's the first time I've been able to help with a project myself.

I love the foundational ideas of Habitat for Humanity, particularly the idea of "sweat equity". On this crisp, beautiful, sunny day, about 15 of us spent our time cutting, nailing, caulking, painting, hanging doors, spreading dirt and gravel, and all of us were there to help a young man build his first home. He should get the keys on December 8. 

It's so hard for me to understand how helping people find a place to live has become so difficult. Even in talking with the staff, they haven't done many houses in the county because dealing with septic is much more complex that building where there is sewer. Thankfully, this particular project is a "county" project, and this, the 2nd of three homes, is nearly finished.

So many of our school children lack a safe, consistent place to call home. The number of homeless youth and families is startling, and there just doesn't seem to be a way to fix this. It was precisely because of this rise in youth homelessness that I was so excited to help the Habitat project.

I remember learning as a child about "basic needs" that everyone needs and deserves. There are three of them: food, shelter, and clothing. I would really like to see us do something to address the housing problem in Jefferson County. It's heartbreaking to think of how many people are struggling just to find a safe place to sleep, night after night after night.

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