Habitat for Humanity is known for building homes and creating homeownership opportunities for low-income families, but that’s not all we do. A large part of our work is preserving homeownership by helping low-income households keep their homes in a safe and livable condition. ABWK opens many doors to build relationships beyond what we could do with homebuilding alone. While we build about 55 homes each year, we restore at least twice that many through our A Brush with Kindness (ABWK) program. In 2014 we completed 135 projects. Since 1998, ABWK has repaired over 1,900 homes and engaged over 10,000 volunteers.
A Brush with Kindness connects volunteers and their resources with opportunities to live out their faith and values through participating in critical health & safety restoration projects that help families stay in a safe and healthy home. It is a complement program to our homebuyer program allowing us to have a bigger impact in helping people live in a decent home.
· The program serves any homeowners living in the seven-county metro area.
- We serve homeowner families living below 60% of the area median income (family of 4 $41,950)
- We also primarily focus on the most vulnerable in our community such as the elderly, disabled and single parents.
- Homeowners must go through an application process where we determine need and ability to partner. Ability to partner includes able bodied homeowners working alongside volunteers.
- We also ask homeowners to participate financially according to their circumstances.
- We have many referral partners such as the city code enforcement, United Way 211, Area Agency on Aging, Meals on Wheels, Community Action Partnership. We also do a mailing to local social service agencies including a magnet our basic contact information. We also do a media blitz twice a year with a variety of local outlets.
- Project services include: Exterior and interior work. We partner with homeowners to address city code violations and threats to homeowner insurance cancellation with painting, repairs and yard clean-up (40%). We also address health and safety issues such as accessibility improvements, leaking roofs, unsafe electrical and plumbing hazards (60%)
- 90% of the work we do is completed by volunteers – about 2,000 each year.
- The average time to complete a project is 6 days and average value is between $500 - $15,000
- Some of our work is targeted in neighborhoods. However, in the Twin Cities there is more poverty in the suburbs than our core cities. Therefore, much of our work focuses in a particular suburb or school district
- Our funding comes from a variety of sources including Federal Home Loan Bank, home sponsorships $500 - $5,000), foundation grants, Thrivent Builds Repairs, CDBG grants and individual donations through our annual campaign.