In the Gospel of John, Jesus delivers the love commandment, saying “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you should love one another.” As an ecumenical Christian housing organization, Habitat for Humanity of Catawba Valley takes this as our invitation to practice a love that does justice for God’s people. We put our faith into action through the concrete pursuit of affordable housing.
Right now, the Department of Housing and Urban Development defines affordable housing as costing no more than 30% of a household’s annual income. According to HUD, there is currently no county in the US where a worker making full time minimum wage can afford the fair market value of rent on a 2-bedroom apartment. There is also no county in the US where the need for affordable housing is being met.
Therefore, this is the work of the moment. And we could not do it without the support of the local faith community. Churches serve Habitat through gifts of prayer, time, talent, and treasure. Not only do church volunteers fill our worksite, they also help spread our word; when volunteers come out to site, they give of their time, but they also give of their selves. When they return home to their families, congregations, and communities they become mission champions who multiply our message of universal shelter. Therefore, we are privileged to partner with churches throughout Catawba County as we work to transform affordable housing in our community and our world.
There are four main ways in which churches serve with Habitat for Humanity of Catawba Valley:
- Apostle Build Program: Each year, area churches come together to sponsor and build homes in partnership with families in need of safe, decent, affordable shelter. In 2015, the program’s inaugural year, 229 volunteers from 14 churches served a total of 1,204 hours to construct a house in 6 months. For 2016, the Apostle Build churches have a goal of drying in 2 houses in order to serve the 2 families currently on our wait list. To find out how your church can become an Apostle Church, contact 828-328-4663×315 or email@example.com.
- Construction Volunteers: Congregations send volunteer groups to serve in both our new construction and our repair programs. Groups can either be unskilled volunteers looking to put their faith into action and build community, or skilled work crews with experience working in housing ministries. We are also able to schedule special opportunities for youth groups. For more information on scheduling a work day for your congregation, contact 828-328-4663 x 315 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Ministry of Hospitality: There are many ways beyond just the worksite in which churches support our ministry. Hospitality opportunities include preparing meals for volunteers, serving meals on the worksite, leading devotions, and keeping Habitat and our mission to eliminate poverty housing in prayer. At Habitat, there is always a way to share your gifts and talents, and we are appreciative of service in all its forms. To explore ministry of hospitality opportunities, contact 828-328-4663 x 315 or email@example.com.
- Tithe: Churches are also the largest financial supporters of our affiliate. We honor this generosity by in turn making a tithe of our own to our sister affiliate, Habitat Nicaragua. In this way, the faith community doubles its impact by serving our neighbors both at home and abroad. To learn more about how your congregation can donate to Habitat, contact 828-328-4663 x 315 or firstname.lastname@example.org.