Habitat Homes Are More Than Just Shelter

November 12, 2015

HabitatToday’s Star Tribune features a terrific story written by our good friend and former Pony, John Reinan, which sheds light on a really compelling study about Habitat For Humanity and the amazing effect it has on families who live in a Habitat home. On the surface, the benefits of a Habitat house are pretty obvious: Family needs a home…family gets a home…all is well.

But look a little deeper and you’ll find the story does not end there. Not by a long shot. A recent study performed by Wilder Research that when a family takes ownership of a Habitat home, they soon possess much more, including:

  • Better overall health
  • Improved study habits among children and higher continued-education rates among adults
  • A stronger sense of safety and community
  • Stronger familial bonds and more quality time spent together
  • And a full three-quarters of Habitat homeowners feel better – they live with a greater sense of hope and positivity

As great as all those findings are, there is still one set of statistics that blows my mind – and it speaks to how powerful a force Habitat is in the community. Habitat families’ use of government assistance program plunges after taking residence in their new home. In fact:

  • Use of food support programs like WIC and SNAP fell from 66 percent of families to only 30 percent
  • Welfare assistance dropped from 29 percent to 5 percent
  • Use of Medicaid/MinnesotaCare decreased from 78 percent to 57 percent
  • Utility/energy bill assistance was reduced by 14 percentage points
  • And rent assistance that was previously used by nearly a quarter of all Habitat families dwindled to practically nothing (1 percent)

So what does all of it mean? In a very unique way, while giving families a chance at a significantly improved life, Habitat For Humanity is simultaneously helping to lower your tax bill. It’s truly a non-stop circle of benefits. So here’s a great idea: it’s Give To The Max Day. Check out John’s story, and then consider supporting Habitat For Humanity at both the local and state level. There is no quicker and easier way to have a major, positive impact not just on a family in need, but the community at large.