Can you recall a particularly exciting move-in day when everything was fresh and you were making a new start in a new home? Imagine the excitement of families in Haiti who celebrated together last month when they moved into their permanent homes in Habitat for Humanity's Santo community in Leogane.
Habitat sees time and again how the ripple of community development benefits more people and opens the doors to increased opportunities for change. Certainly disasters like the earthquake in Haiti have forced us to think on a larger scale, as we join worldwide efforts to develop plans for response and recovery for thousands of families. In Haiti, we have offered a variety of solutions, but our goal always has been to help families create a path to permanence, to have a stable home in a thriving community.
Our goal always has been to help families create a path to permanence, to have a stable home in a thriving community. -Jonathan Reckford
Elsewhere, we have faced another kind of storm — a housing crisis where foreclosed and vacant properties have ravaged communities. In this issue of Habitat World, you learn more about the exciting transformations that have happened in communities in the United States as the result of our participation in the federally sponsored Neighborhood Stabilization Program.
The matriarch of a Milwaukee neighborhood tells us, for example, that she can see an obvious reduction in crime — because now neighbors can sit on the porch again and not cower behind locked doors. Not only are we helping to change the lives of individual families, but we are also working in the communities where those families live to address wider neighborhood challenges. The impact of our efforts is helping more people.
In this issue, you also can take a look at the difference Habitat’s efforts have made in Maai Mahiu, Kenya, the community where last fall we celebrated the dedication of Habitat’s 500,000th house. Emphasizing community also means focusing on sustainable development — helping families to keep moving forward and find opportunities for continued growth.
We are excited about all these successes, but we are also very focused on how much more we must do. In November, we will return to Haiti with the 2012 Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project to build 100 additional houses in the Santo community. With your help, 100 more families can dream of the day when they will move into their new homes in Leogane where Habitat is helping to build homes, communities and hope.