editorial

"Building That Makes A Difference"


I have helped work on a Habitat for Humanity house many times.  Each time brings such a wonderful feeling - from the first day of construction when we stand on the concrete slab and lift walls into place to the actual house dedication where we listen to the families talk with great emotion about what it means for them to finally have their very own home in a safe neighborhood where their kids can play without fear of gang violence, drugs and other such problems.  This is the kind of building that truly makes a difference in people’s lives.


Are you aware of the great need for simple, decent affordable housing in our city?  Over 150,000 people have unmet housing needs.  You may not have noticed but many of them are those who serve us every day - store clerks, waitpersons, taxi drivers, hotel maids and other hourly-wage employees.  Because of their financial situation, there is not much chance of them ever having their own home; the cost of home ownership is simply too high nowadays. 


But through Habitat for Humanity San Antonio (HFHSA), something is being done to help these hardworking people be able to own their own home.  In fact, Habitat is the only organization in San Antonio or South Texas that provides a way to home ownership for low-income families.  Over 40 years ago, the first Habitat house in America was built here in San Antonio and that same family still lives in it.  Habitat SA has built over 1,000 homes, and Habitat worldwide has exceeded one million homes.  Over 6 million people now have simple, decent, affordable housing.  It is not just about numbers.  However, numbers do tell the story:  children who live in a good home are 25% more likely to graduate from high school, 116% more likely to graduate from college, 50% less likely to rely on welfare at age 20 and 60% more likely to own their own home someday.  Yes, Habitat is building more than a house – it is helping families build a future that is brighter and better. 


Thank you for considering how you might help through our special Habitat contribution on Sunday, September 26 (cash or check payable to Sunset Ridge Church of Christ and write Habitat on the memo line) and/or through volunteering at Habitat.  What you will be doing is not giving hardworking people a “hand out” but rather giving them a “hand up” in the kind of building that truly makes a difference.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                John Harp