Habitat CEO: Coronavirus pandemic calls for a world where we care for each other
ATLANTA (March 16, 2020) — Habitat for Humanity International CEO Jonathan Reckford issued the following statement regarding the COVID-19 pandemic:
In recent days and weeks, a wave of closures, cancellations and postponements has unfurled as the COVID-19 pandemic has emerged. Those decisions — taken individually, totaled in the aggregate — have been stunning acts of solidarity, expressions of concern and collective responsibility for the health and well-being of our communities and our neighbors.
That sense of connectedness and a willingness to actively help shape the world around us for the better have always been a hallmark of Habitat and supporters like you. They are deep in our DNA. They are what have sustained our work with families for more than 40 years, they are what will ensure we weather this unprecedented challenge, and they are what will be needed — more than ever — when we all emerge from this current crisis.
This should be a world where we recognize that we are all connected, where we act in solidarity in times of crisis.— Habitat CEO Jonathan Reckford
We have always believed that we will only find our way forward together. It’s true every day — and will be even truer now. The need we work so hard every day to meet will only grow.
When any disaster hits — a storm, a disease, a financial crisis — it is always those who struggle most who suddenly find themselves struggling even more. They are our neighbors. Families already living in conditions that aren’t conducive to good health, those whose finances have long been taxed beyond measure because housing eats up too large a portion of their income, those newly vulnerable because of the economic shock waves that something like this so often sets off.
As this disease has spread, we have implemented many changes ourselves, and we continue to monitor and wrestle with the uncharted territory we all find ourselves in now. Our utmost priority at all times is protecting the people and communities we serve, and that has meant pausing some activities. When the time is right, Habitat for Humanity stands ready to once again accelerate our efforts with renewed energy and commitment. We are so desperately needed. Because this should be a world where everyone has a decent place to live. It should be a world where we care for each other, where we recognize that we are all connected, and where we come together in times of crisis — and stay together when the urgency has lifted but the need remains.
As much as we wish there might be a playbook for the situation we all find ourselves in, it has not been written yet. What has been written is the command to love our neighbors and to act with kindness wherever we can. We thank you for the close and loving global community that you continue to help us build, and we appreciate your unwavering support.