Seeking to put God’s love into action, Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build-repair homes, communities and hopes.
Lakeland Habitat for Humanity’s Theory of Change
A theory of change is a set of assumptions around the nature of a problem, the desired end state and the strategy required to achieve that end state.
Habitat’s end state is a world in which everyone has a simple, decent place to live – our vision statement. We recognize that for the economically poor who are prepared to work and pay them, access to housing resources and housing finance – is limited because the system does not provide an equal access to all. Our strategy is to “build” opportunities for common understanding within the entire community about the nature of these systemic housing issues, understanding that will in turn lead to systemic change.
Many nonprofits organizations focus exclusively on “empowering the poor.” Habitat takes a broader, more holistic approach. While Habitat may be best known for its role in promoting local volunteerism, the underlying function of volunteerism is as a strategy for systemic change is possible only when people from different socio-economic groups work side by side. Sustained systemic change is possible only when those with influence and affluence are moved to holy discontent when confronted by poverty housing conditions in their community. This becomes more real when statistics become faces with names and personal interactions, and when tough neighborhoods are made up of families with whom we have worked, not just seen as reports in the news.
Here is where our Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative comes in to play. Building a house for a family is noble work. Building it on a firm foundation is smart work. What if these houses were surrounded by pillars of lasting community and hopes for a better life?
What if the now hidden community assets were raised up, polished and set out as a shining reminder of what could be, lives could change forever. Building new houses is a critical part of what Habitat does. But by responding to community needs with an array of products, services and partnerships, we can serve more families and enhance the quality of life for everyone. Not everyone needs a new house. But every family needs to feel good about their home. And when that happens, communities are reborn.
“A listening heart” is the starting point for successful neighborhood revitalization. Lakeland Habitat will:
- Work in a distinct, definable community.
- Assume an asset-based approach to working with the community.
- Adopt a humble, listening approach to the community.
- Identify, respect & honor those who speak on behalf of the community.
- Recognize that housing is only one component of a community.
- Offer a range of housing products and services.
- Make a multiyear commitment to the community in which we agree to work.
- Commit to a process that holds the participants accountable to evaluating our work.
Home Repair Ministry
New Services that Habitat will be offering to low income homeowners
- A Brush with Kindness – exterior house painting, power washing etc.
- Minor exterior repairs – steps, porch, windows, walkways, etc.
- Weatherization – insulation, windows, doors, caulking, etc.
“BLOCK BY BLOCK”
“NEIGHBORHOOD BY NEIGHBORHOOD”
-Claire Twomey, CEO
A Christmas Greeting
A tree is an appropriate metaphor for the work that we at Habitat do in partnership with families. We help families to stand firm and safe in a home that they can afford, just as a tree stands firm and rooted in its soil. Like a tree, the family in its snug home grows strong and healthy, spreading its roots deep and wide in the surrounding community. But one truly tall Christmas tree became more than a metaphor. Following last Christmas, our friends at Rockefeller Plaza in New York City donated their famous Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree to Habitat for Humanity. But they did more than that. They milled the tree, turned it into two-by-fours and shipped it to where it helped to frame the home of a Habitat family.
This generous gesture gives us something to reflect upon as we gather with our families around our own Christmas trees this season. We are all part of a constant and unchanging effort to share the love of Christ with people in our community helping to provide those in need with a decent place to live. Like the unchanging green of the Christmas tree, the unfailing love of Jesus Christ inspires and sustains us in the work we do at Lakeland Habitat.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, the Advisory Council and the staff of Lakeland Habitat for Humanity, I wish to thank you for all that you do in every season to help further our all-important mission. May you and your families enjoy a safe and wonderful Christmas season, and the very best in the coming year.
-Claire Twomey, CEO