Community Ministry Connection: Habitat for Humanity

Each month the Human Concerns Committee will highlight the work of a community organization doing outstanding ministry in the city of Milwaukee. Our May 2021 partner is Habitat for Humanity!

Vision & Mission

Our Vision: A world where everyone has a decent place to live.

Our Mission: Seeking to put God’s love into action, Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities and hope.

About

In Milwaukee, one out of 3 Milwaukee renters currently spends over half their income on housing. For families living below Milwaukee’s median income, that often means little is left over for education, savings, or even basic needs.

Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity focuses on providing families a path to affordable homeownership through new construction and through our Critical Home Repair program. Affordable housing means more than a decent place to sleep at night. Studies show safe, affordable housing leads to improved health, education and financial stability. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes and pay an affordable mortgage.

By concentrating our efforts in targeted areas, Milwaukee Habitat is not just helping local families, but revitalizing entire neighborhoods. As we build block by block, we aim to decrease crime, increase community engagement, and create vibrant, sustainable neighborhoods.

Though the foundation of Milwaukee Habitat is built on the principles of Christian ministry, we never ask our families, volunteers, or supporters to accept the tenets of any particular faith. Habitat welcomes partners from all backgrounds to better serve people of all backgrounds, regardless of race, religion, or creed.  If you affirm the universal need for decent and affordable housing, then you’ll find a home in our mission.

Habitat for Humanity International is a world-wide organization, serving families in over 70 countries. Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity is an independent affiliate representing Habitat for Humanity in Milwaukee County. Habitat for Humanity International provides support and guidance, while we locally coordinate all aspects of home building in our service area, as well as operate three ReStores.

Did You Know? Did you know that the Family of Four parishes sponsored a home in 2019? To learn more about Dedra and her journey to homeownership, read her story here.

Affordable Homeownership & Repairs

Habitat does not give away free houses. Habitat offers low interest rate mortgages and affordable homeownership opportunities. A future homeowner must show that they have a need for housing, are willing to partner with Habitat for Humanity and are able to pay for a Habitat mortgage.

Qualifying homeowners help build their brand new or renovated homes while participating in financial education and home maintenance courses provided by Milwaukee Habitat. We also offer an Affordable Mortgage Program for families interested in purchasing a home on the open market. In addition to homeownership opportunities, affordable home repairs are available for existing homeowners.

Learn more about our programs here: https://milwaukeehabitat.org/housing.

Our plan is to serve 250 families in Milwaukee’s Northwest side by building 90 new construction homes and completing 160 Critical Home Repairs in the next 4 years.

ReStores

You can make a difference in the lives of local families by donating your gently used furniture, appliances and home goods to Habitat ReStore. ReStore sells donated items to the public at our three stores/donation centers, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars each year to build safe, affordable homes in our community.

ReStore offers a free pickup service for large donations as well as Deconstruction Services to salvage reusable items, like kitchen cabinets, from residential and commercial properties. We also partner with businesses that are moving, remodeling or liquidating inventory to help them clear out the clutter.

Learn more about donating and volunteering at our ReStores here: https://milwaukeerestore.org.

Prayer Requests

Pray for our future homeowners and their families as they invest hundreds of hours in sweat equity and move into their new homes.

Pray for our volunteers and donors who make our mission and work possible.

Pray for our staff who work tirelessly to combat the affordable housing crisis in our city.

Pray for our city, our elected leaders, and for real change in the housing inequity that exists in our community. 

To Support this community ministry connection

Learn: Please watch the video below (or at https://youtu.be/KMHv8z_lGKQ) to learn more about the history and impact of the housing crisis in the Harambee Neighborhood, and how Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity is working to provide a path to affordable homeownership and neighborhood stability. Joining this educational Zoom event is Milwaukee Habitat Executive Director, Brian Sonderman, as well as Paula Butler, Community Engagement Specialist, and Kristi Sebald, Development Coordinator for Faith Communities.

Volunteer: By volunteering with Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity, you can be a part of the change you want to see in your community. We offer several opportunities to build or repair homes with families, in addition to volunteer opportunities at our local Habitat ReStores, on committees and in our offices. Learn more about volunteering here: https://milwaukeehabitat.org/volunteer.

Also, our next opportunity for a BUILD day as a Family of Four Parishes will be on Saturday, May 22nd! To sign up for this opportunity please email Laura Hancock at lhancock@ffpmke.org

Donate: There are many ways to donate and join us in building a stronger community. Your gift today will help combat our city’s affordable housing crisis! With your help, we can help transform the lives of local families and revitalize entire neighborhoods. 

Make a financial gift to the 2021 Faith Build here, and your gift will be matched by our partner Thrivent Financial: https://www.classy.org/campaign/thrivent-faith-build-2021/c330058.

For more information on other ways to give, click here: https://milwaukeehabitat.org/donate.