Habitat for Humanity
"Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head."
Knights of Columbus councils help give shelter, particularly by supporting Habitat for Humanity. In 2015 alone, Knights donated $667,063 and over 1 million volunteer hours. Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit, Christian organization founded in 1976 that seeks to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness one family at a time. The organization assists in providing quality-built, affordable homes to needy families by cooperatively involving the future homeowner with community volunteers and suppliers to build or renovate the home. To date, Habitat for Humanity has provided more than 6.8 million people with safe, personal shelters by completing over 800,000 houses in more than 100 countries with a goal of a million homes around the world.
In addition to a down payment, recipients work alongside the construction crew and volunteers, and are then provided an affordable mortgage plan. The Knights of Columbus enthusiastically supports the mission of Habitat for Humanity, which not only helps people to become homeowners, but actively involves them in the houses' preparation. This teaches valuable skills, develops confidence and provides experience.
There are many ways your council can help families in your community to secure quality housing: Offering to feed the workers a hearty meal can be invaluable. Helping to build a house can certainly stir up an appetite. Contrary to popular belief, HFH is not a handout program in which families that qualify receive a house for free. Instead, able recipients work alongside the construction crew and Knights of Columbus volunteers, and are then set up with a 25-year, zero percent interest mortgage. When the house is finished, HFH holds a dedication ceremony for the owners and volunteers.
I'm so anxious to get started, Wilfredo explained. We have been in the program and been volunteering for close to three years. To finally be this close to getting started we cant wait!
Wilfredo and Maria have five children, ages 5-17, and their house is slated for completion on or around the end of the year.
When I was young, my parents did a lot of traveling so I didn't have a steady home, Wilfredo continued. I'm looking for a home for my children for something steady, something permanent.
Rook said, We hope that the building of the first K of C Habitat home will be the beginning of a long relationship between our two organizations.