Home. It’s a shelter from storms. It’s where families celebrate together and comfort each other. It’s where you can let down your guard and be yourself. It's become our classroom, our office, and our workout studio. Home is essential for public health, as COVID-19 lays bare. And it’s a building block for racial equity.
This year has been hard. But you—you stepped up big time, joining with your neighbors in an outpouring of generosity to fight the twin crises of COVID-19 and systemic racism. From July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020, 735 families partnered with Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, including 105 families who bought homes of their own.
– Chris Coleman, President & CEO, and John Walbrun, Chair, Board of Directors
Juanita and her husband Jacques bought their Habitat home in 1995. It’s where they raised their five kids, where Juanita studied to earn her Bachelor’s Degree, and where the family gathers for holidays.
When COVID-19 hit, their home became Juanita’s workspace and a place where Jacques could rest between shifts at the Minnesota Veteran’s home. Some of their grown children are essential workers as well. Through all the uncertainty, Juanita knows her stable home will always be there for them—and that makes all the difference.
“That comfort, that security, that reliability, knowing that this is still home no matter what—it’s huge.”
– Juanita, Habitat Homeowner since 1995
Symphonie lives in a Habitat home that's famous. It was part of the Twin Cities Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project in 2010, and Symphonie's mom Melo got to work on her home alongside Jimmy Carter himself. And that was just the beginning for Melo and her children, including Symphonie.
Having a Habitat home meant Symphonie finally had some space of her own where she could study, get some quiet, and be herself. It was the strong foundation she needed to pursue her dreams—just like her mom.
"Moving into a Habitat home has really allowed me to excel in school and allowed me to be where I am now."
– Symphonie, daughter of Melo who bought a home with Habitat in 2011
Bethany, our Mortgage Portfolio Manager, receives the calls from Habitat homeowners about their affordable mortgage payments. Within the first few weeks of COVID-19, Bethany heard from hundreds of worried homeowners facing a loss of income, suddenly struggling to make ends meet.
Thanks to the generosity of supporters like you, Bethany could offer homeowners a deferment on their payments without penalty. This was the lifeline homeowners needed as they faced unemployment or recovered from illness. The relief was immense.
“When I called, I could just hear the relief in his voice. Just a little bit of relief can help get you through the whole storm.”
– Bethany, Habitat's Mortgage Portfolio Manager
Homeownership is the primary way we build wealth and pass it down to future generations. But throughout history, racist housing policies kept BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) Americans from owning homes and building equity. Today, Minnesota has some of the widest racial disparities between Black and White families in the nation.
We need to be as intentional in closing these disparities as we were in creating them.
This year, we’ve been reckoning with the legacy of systemic racism in housing. Join us in learning from the past to build a better future in our Race and Housing Resource Center.