"I lost most of my hours when covid-19 started. however, because of habitat, our family can weather the storm."-Patricia hutsell | habitat homeowner
as covid-19 rocks our community, home is more important than ever.
This spring our world changed forever. As COVID-19 reached our shores, stay-at-home orders, school closures, travel bans, and business restrictions upended American life.
As we practiced social distancing, worked remotely, and only left the house for essential tasks, the walls of our homes defined our day-to-day reality.
Our homes became our offices, our schools, and our gyms. Our homes became our places of entertainment, of relaxation, of worship and of rest.
Those with safe, stable, healthy homes were protected against the dread of a deadly virus and an uncertain world.
For those living in unsafe, unstable, or unhealthy homes, COVID-19 exacerbated the grim reality of American poverty, including employment precarity, the inescapable debt cycle, food insecurity, lack of education and access to basic necessities.
At no point in our history has a healthy, safe, stable, affordable home been so important.
moments like this are exactly why habitat exists.
As we started reaching out to our families as stay-at-home orders were issued, something wonderful happened.
We'd ask how they were doing and they'd respond, "We're doing fine."
Some had lost hours at work. Some were on furlough. Some had lost their jobs. But they had enough in their emergency funds to cover their living expenses for 6 months.
Some were struggling to manage e-learning with their children. But they expressed delight at having a backyard that provided a respite when the kids needed to release some energy.
We asked if they needed mortgage forbearance. The overwhelming majority of them declined. Because their mortgage was affordable, because they had a budget and because they had an emergency fund, they didn't need it.
And yet again we were reminded that this is what we're here for.
We don't just build homes. We prepare families to weather storms like COVID-19.
meet aaron & patricia hutsell
Aaron and Patricia moved into their Habitat home on the south side of Lafayette in 2017.
They have three beautiful children including a set of twins. Aaron works in the maintenance department at a local camp, while Patricia mentors adults with special needs.
As a result of Covid-19, Patricia lost most of her hours, while Aaron's work schedule was pared back.
Fortunately, Habitat prepared them for the storm.
Habitat taught them the financial skills needed to pay off their debt, create a budget, and put together an emergency fund.
Because the Hutsells have a safe, stable, affordable place to live, they can look on the bright side. Their emergency fund is offsetting the temporary loss of income, while they spend more time with their kids.
As Aaron says, "Because I spend so much time at work, our kids always gravitate towards mom. Now that I'm home more often, I'm able to build a much stronger relationship with them. Now they want to hang out with me just as much."
we need your help to build six homes for six families.
We have six wonderful families in our program. These hard-working folks are looking for a hand-up instead of a hand-out and you can help provide that.
Over the coming months, they'll grow in strength and self-reliance as they learn to create a budget, save for emergencies, pay off debt, and live within their means.
They'll learn how to make basic home repairs and care for their new home. And they'll learn how to be good neighbors and give back to their community.
We're building a house for each of our six families. These six homes are so much more than a place to live. They're a chance at a better life.
Providing an affordable mortgage opens up new opportunities. Sometimes that means going back to school. Sometimes that means starting a business. Sometimes that means saving for retirement. Sometimes that means spending quality time with children.
We're not just building places to live. We're building futures.
We're raising $600,000 to a home for each of our six families.
While each house we build costs $100,000, the impact you make when you give lasts for generations. Because a Habitat house doesn't just open up opportunities for the new homeowners. It opens up new opportunities for their children and their grandchildren.
100% of your donation to the Home is Essential Campaign (minus any credit card processing fees) goes straight into building houses.
here's how you can help.
make a gift
If you want to invest in our community, and make an impact that lasts for generations, the easiest way to make an impact is to make a donation.
Donate online or mail a check or cash to 420 S 1st Street, Lafayette, IN, 47906 and make a note that your want your gift to support Home is Essential.
If you offer products or services we need to build a house and would be willing to donate or discount those products or services, that gift is just as valuable as a cash donation.
To partner with us on an in-kind donation, please contact us.
You can help by spreading the word! Share this campaign with your friends and family and start your own fundraiser.
Ask your employer if they have a matching gift program. If they don't, ask if they'd be willing to start one.
home is essential needs your support.
Our families are relying on your support of the Home is Essential Campaign. Whether you'd like to make a single gift, or sign up to make monthly gifts, your donation makes an impact that can change life's trajectory for an entire family.