Habitat for Humanity is a global organization that is devoted to building homes for families. The New Orleans affiliate (NOAHH) started in 1983 after a New Orleans nun learned about Habitat for Humanity's work in other cities during a water skiing trip.They partner with local families, volunteers, sponsors, and organizations to build affordable housing. Through this process homebuyer families are empowered to transform their own lives, and the need for decent shelter becomes a matter of conscience and action.

In their 33 years of working in New Orleans and the surrounding area, NOAHH has built over 500 homes, gutted over 2,400 homes, and led over 160,000 volunteers in neighborhoods severely impacted by natural disasters and poverty. Homeownership has significant and well-documented impacts on families. Safe, affordable, stable housing leads to improvements in mental and physical health, educational attainment, and career advancement. In a 2012 survey of current NOAHH homeowners, 3 out of every 4 of families reported an improvement in their children’s grades, and 84% reported feeling better about their children’s future. A third of families reported being better able to afford a medical emergency, and 36% reported being able to afford better-quality food. Over half of those surveyed were better able to pay their bills on time, and 69% said they now spend more quality time with their family.

Homeowner Delicia Freemon explained, “Being a Habitat partner family has impacted my life tremendously. I can save for rainy days. I can afford to send my children to better schools. And it gives me something to leave behind for my kids when I pass away.” Another local Habitat homeowner, Antoinetta Brown, explained the impact of homeownership in broader terms: “Being a homeowner makes you feel like you’re a part of the community (an important part) and you want to help find ways to make it better. Without partnering with Habitat I wouldn’t know what being a true citizen feels like.”

-$1,000 would allow NOAHH to build wheelchair ramps for 2 elderly low-income homeowners through their affordable home repair program. This would empower those homeowners to remain in their homes, and more importantly in their communities, as they age.

-$2,000 is enough to buy all the lumber needed to build a home!

-$5,000 would cover the cost of the roof and flooring for a house!

In the next 5 years NOAHH will continue with the work they’ve been doing for more than 3 decades, building a stronger New Orleans one family at a time. In particular, they are looking forward to following through on their commitment to build 100 units of affordable housing in the Lower Ninth Ward in the next 5 years.

To learn more about how these programs work and about the awesome families they partner with on the path to homeownership, visit their website: habitat-nola.org and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (habitatnola).