Home for the Holidays
About This Campaign
Marlene and Michael Darling will NOT be in their Habitat home for the holidays.
They will still be struggling to pay the rising rent on their third-floor apartment that is not accessible for Michael’s disabled grandmother. Hosting the holiday gatherings have NEVER been an option for Marlene.
HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS - for many of us, is a magical time of year when we look forward to gathering together with families and friends to celebrate the season in the warmth and comfort of our homes.
Habitat homeowners repeatedly share that one of the greatest joys of being in their new homes is hosting simple get-togethers where friends, neighbors and family members gather around the table to share holiday meals.
But, when you don’t have an affordable place to live, the holidays can be a heart-wrenching time.
2020 has been an extraordinary year, and it has heightened our awareness of how important it is for every member of our community to have a place to call HOME. Unfortunately, ALL six of the Habitat homes under construction this year have experienced delays due to lack of volunteers, diminished funding, unavailable contractors and materials, and keeping everyone safe by limiting the number of individuals who can work on our construction sites each day.
Marlene and her 16-year-old son, Michael, have had to delay moving into their new home and that has been very difficult. Their landlord has raised the rent, and money will be very tight for the holidays. They are putting in their sweat equity hours on their new home to get it ready as fast as they can.
On the bright side, schooling from home has given Michael a better chance to help build their home on Adams Street and work alongside Habitat’s construction staff and volunteers. As a single mom, Marlene loves this so much. Michael has not had a lot of positive male role models until now!
Michael is learning how to use different tools, and he said that the process has made him appreciate his mom and HOW HARD SHE WORKS TO PROVIDE FOR HIM.
The difference when talking to existing homeowner, Sarah Hicks, and her 5 children is nothing short of ASTONISHING!
In 2019, YOUR support put Sarah’s family in their Habitat home, and in a short amount of time, their lives are transformed. Her family had moved 5 times in 10 years due to unsafe living conditions and unreliable landlords. They had to rely on so many services in town to help make ends meet, and Sarah was paying nearly 75% of her income on housing.
A year and a half into their new home and Sarah says,
“Everything is different. It’s the little things like driving up the street and knowing we are home. We also no longer rely on any other services. So many people helped in little ways. Habitat is the only organization that gave lasting and permanent help. This family is solid now.”
YOU can make this transformation a reality for families, like the Darlings, waiting for their homes.
The impact of COVID 19 on Habitat for Humanity La Crosse Area has been significant.
The ReStore had to close until it could reopen safely. However, with capacity limits, only 1/3 the regular volunteers, and reduced open hours; the income is less than needed to keep construction moving.
Build sites also have reduced volunteers and which has slowed construction on all of the 6 properties in progress. Instead of cutting staff like many local businesses have had to do, our staff has grown to replace our vulnerable volunteers and keep our doors open. Support from the CARES Act provided funding to keep staff working, but funding needs are still short by about $100,000. Like the waiting homeowners, this time has been one of fear, but also hope as we work together to find new and creative ways to make ends meet.
With YOUR help families will be able to move into their new homes sooner.
The added pressure for holiday expenses means that families must make hard choices between holiday celebrations and the basic cost of living.
Will YOU donate today?
A donation to your local Habitat is a donation you can trust to make our community better and dramatically and permanently change the lives of a family that needs a hand up instead of a handout.
Thank you very much for your compassion for the families who urgently need secure housing — this season and every day of the year.
Campaign to Support Habitat for Humanity La Crosse Area
Habitat for Humanity La Crosse Area is a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing ministry founded on the conviction that every family should have a decent, safe, and affordable place to live. We partner with low-income, hardworking families and the community to build simple, decent, and affordable housing. Established locally in 1992, Habitat La Crosse has built and rehabbed safe, stable and sustainable homes for families in need. Every family who partners with Habitat must complete 350 hours of sweat equity, working on the construction site and at the Habitat ReStore, and successfully pass home buyer education and financial counseling. Homeowners repay an interest-free 30-yearmortgage back to Habitat. Thanks in part to partner family sweat equity and volunteer labor, the cost of a home is kept affordable, with typical monthly mortgage payments around $650 including taxes and insurance. The revolving fund created by mortgage payments received allows Habitat to reinvest into the community through additional housing opportunities, creating a lasting and sustainable investment for years to come.