From left: Scott Stillman, Tom Wiuff, Jami Clark, Homeowner Diana Edwards, Executive Director William Splitgerber, Angela Olstad, Abel Garza
It started in the 50’s with most of America making a transition into cities. From farms to the metropolitan area, buying electronics for their homes, factories employing workers, and families living in communities they love. “The American Dream”, a vision of prosperity and hope for everyone. Yet in 2019 there are still thousands without homes and getting a home to live out that “American Dream” isn’t the same for everyone. Nice communities are genuinely hard to come by in the Galveston area and they are usually not affordable for the average citizen working in the county. Right now as you read this there are people like you and me who are struggling beyond measure. I’m not referring to the homeless or the poor. I’m talking about good, hard working, tax paying citizens who have lost everything due to Hurricane Harvey. Yes it was a year ago, you may be saying, there are other things our country should focus on you say, yes but still thousands are without a home. Thousands are fighting for attention. Thousands are still looking for help. Thousands are looking to have just a little fraction of the dream that you have. Owning their own home. People just like you and me. It could happen to any one of us. One day full of joy and hope for the future and another day knee deep in the pain and despair of a natural disaster occurring. Luckily, there are a few organizations who are on the frontline of this prevalent issue. Bay Habitat of Humanity is one of them. The Nonprofit continues to plow the hard work of finding, building, and restoring homes right here in the Galveston community. Diana Edwards received the blessing of a home because of Habitat. She received her home after a long awaited two years and couldn’t have been more at rest. Habitat employees ,staff, and volunteers are always on the go to make stories like Diana’s happen more often. Some work over 60 hour weeks to build these homes as fast as possible. A recent home dedication in Galveston went to a sweet couple who had traveled all across the United States looking for a place to stay. The Williams family lived in shelters, slept in tents, dwelled in Alaska, and now have a home in Galveston. Their story is now forever changed thanks to Habitat and their mission. “We were eager!”, Ashley says receiving the home. “We are overly excited! Now my son has a home & he doesn’t have to worry about the life I did!” Ashley will live with her son and Husband in her new home Habitat does more than just build homes, they build families back together. Habitat lives by these principles, every house will be; 1.) Decent. 2.) Affordable. Have you ever driven past some houses and thought “oh God I hope no one lives in that thing”? By building decent houses , Habitat looks to change that inside and out. A practical way they do this is through the Restore store. “Located off I45, the Webster ReStore is a nonprofit home improvement store and donation center that sells new and gently used furniture, appliances, home accessories, building materials and more to the public at a fraction of the retail price. We provide a unique experience for our local community to keep useable items out of the landfills while also raising money to help our neighbors. The ReStore is the core operating fund for our Bay Area- Houston Habitat for Humanity Affiliate. Every donation given, every item purchased, and every hour that’s volunteered goes back to hurricane Harvey relief as well as affordable home improvement in OUR local area. We are DIY enthusiasts, “fix it” extraordinaries, and treasure hunters. Part of our mission in providing affordable home improvement we have partnerships with local businesses to provide the affordable and dependable items as well as our neighbors! When you shop here not only do you build a stronger community but we also keep our landfills clear of recyclable items and educate our neighbors on how to do the same! ” – Kat Garcia General manager of the Restore shop says. The shop is massive with all kinds of household items ranging from couches ,to bedframes, light fixtures, dressers, and more. Here applicants under the ‘Family Partner Program’, invest their time to volunteer in what Habitat calls “sweat equity”, where future homeowners work to pay off their home. This program makes the second principle , affordable, possible for everyone who wishes to have a home. These principles that Habitat believes in are changing the Galveston community. Soon, along with the help of other organization’s such as Dow Chemical, everyone affected by Harvey will be one step closer to owning their own home. Some for the first time and others for the first time in a long time. Why We Do What We Do ● Clean, decent, and stable housing provides stability for families and children; a sense of dignity and pride, healthy, physical safety, and security, and even an increase of educational and job prospects. ● Clean, decent, and stable housing provides stability for families and children; a sense of dignity and pride, healthy, physical safety, and security, and even an increase of educational and job prospects. ● Clean, warm housing is essential for prevention and care of diseases of poverty like HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, diarrhea, and malaria. For example, children under five in Malawi living in Habitat for Humanity houses have 44 percent less malaria, respiratory or gastrointestinal diseases compared to children living in traditional houses. ● Home ownership is a form of wealth accumulation through equity and forced savings from mortgage repayment. And the process of securing land tenure helps to increase access to credit. Additionally, housing construction creates job opportunities for migrants to cities and stimulates the creation of small business. And a Very Special Thank you Marathon Petroleum for another $20,000 toward our New Home Program! We are grateful for our partnership, the continued support of the Marathon-Texas City plant, and the impact they are making in their Texas City community.