In 1985, the United Nations declared the first Monday in October to be “World Habitat Day” in recognition of the need for simple and decent shelter for people in the United States and around the world. Sussex County Habitat for Humanity will recognize World Habitat Day on Saturday, October 3 as volunteers unite to build a home in Concord Village, Seaford, Delaware. Joining in the project will be nine AmeriCorps members leading their first service project with Sussex County Habitat.
One goal of World Habitat Day is to raise awareness about the severe shortage of secure, affordable housing worldwide. Locally, the number of families who are living in unsafe or unhealthy living conditions has reached more than 4,300 families in Sussex County.
“Some of the families that come to Habitat in search of affordable housing are living in such deplorable conditions that it brings tears to your eyes. While Sussex County Habitat is working with volunteers and future homeowners to change those conditions one house at a time, we need to raise people’s awareness about what is happening in their town. The lack of simple, decent, affordable housing is not just a problem in third-world nations – it exists right here in Sussex County” said Beth Fitton, Resource Development Officer for Sussex County Habitat for Humanity. “We need more people willing to offer their time, talent and treasure to change the lives of families in need.”
Habitat for Humanity International reports that the single largest age group living in poverty housing is the least able to do anything about it – it’s our children. A child in inadequate housing is 10 times more likely to contract meningitis, respiratory problems or asthma. Children living in overcrowded conditions are less likely to graduate from high school.
“These facts have tremendous social, moral and economic implications for us and they don’t just go away,” said Kevin Gilmore, Sussex County Habitat for Humanity’s Executive Director. “Health and educational problems for the County’s children affect us all in one way or another.”
Habitat for Humanity seeks families who currently reside in substandard living conditions and works along side of them to build a simple, decent and affordable home with an interest-free mortgage. Habitat provides the potential homeowner with training designed to make them successful homeowners.
Sussex County Habitat for Humanity is currently seeking business and faith-based groups to volunteer any day, Wednesday through Saturday, on worksites in the County. To volunteer, call SCHFH at 302-855-1153.