Finding the right family

CJ-0515-HABITAT-Logo-1CHOUSTON – It takes a family to make a house a home.

Houston Habitat for Humanity is seeking members for its Family Search Committee as they begin the process of building another home in the community.

“Getting the right people to join with Habitat is so critical to make the process of work,” said Barbara Buggs, Habitat Family Search Committee Chairman. “We are looking to round out our committee with people who have a passion for helping others. We need people willing to make a long-term commitment to the next family chosen to work with a new Habitat home.”

Habitat finished its third local home in January.

The local chapter seeks to build a house every other year. Plans call for the Family Search Committee to meet in December and begin the process of searching for the next Habitat family in January. Houston Habitat hopes to begin work on a new Habitat Home this summer.

“We are always looking for people to come alongside us and make this ministry work,” said Buggs. “It takes a lot of different people with a lot of different gifts and talents to make this work right.”

And while people quickly think about shoveling concrete, hammering nails and painting they don’t realize months of planning and preparation occur before the first board goes into place.

And the top priority is to find the right family to make a Habitat house a home.

Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing ministry that has helped to build thousands of decent, affordable houses across the country and worldwide. The Houston chapter is part of this organization and works in the community to build and rehabilitate houses.

Contrary to popular belief, Habitat for Humanity does not give away houses. Every Habitat family makes house payments and buys their home. Habitat houses are sold to partner families at no profit and financed with low interest loans.

“The goal is to make these houses affordable to families,” said Birdie Burdine, Administrator of Houston Habitat for Humanity. “The money our Habitat families pay in monthly mortgage payments is used to build still more Habitat houses in and around Houston.”

And there is also “sweat equity” where each Habitat family is required to literally work to build their home. Typically churches and volunteers come alongside the family and help with this labor.

Habitat is always looking for carpenters, masons, electricians and plumbers, but they are also looking for church laymen and laywomen, lawyers, social workers, teachers, administrators, bookkeepers, bankers and businessmen.

“I have looked over our committees and have come to the conclusion that no matter what your expertise or talent is, Habitat has place for you,” said Houston Habitat for Humanity President Randy Rinehart. “If you have a heart for helping people get out of substandard housing and putting families into clean, safe and affordable homes, we’ve got a spot for you.”

Buggs, Burdine and Rinehart urged churches to look at their congregation and consider becoming a sponsor for a Habitat home.

“Churches are full of people who have the gifts and talents to make a Habitat Home happen,” said Rinehart. “They also know how to minister to the needs of people and can make that long-term, personal commitment to a Habitat homeower.”

Rinehart urged young couples, the elderly and single parents to contact Houston Habitat for Humanity at 456-5757 and ask for an application.

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