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Habitat For Humanity’s New Program

On Tuesday May 31st, Habitat for Humanity Canada announced the launch of their new 360 Built Smart Partnership program. By focusing on five specific areas, the charity hopes to increase the number of homes built and individuals reached with this initiative, and to create sustainable communities across the country. One of the pillars focuses on building eco-friendly homes, and another on providing education and support to families.

At the event, Lynda Reeves spoke about the importance of the foundation’s work and getting involved — more than four million Canadians are living without adequate housing, according to Habitat for Humanity. In addition, the charity’s President and CEO, Stewart Hardacre, stressed the need for land, products and financial donations to create affordable housing.

Tianna Gerrior, who has been helped by Habitat for Humanity’s efforts, shared her story of what it was like raising her daughter in an inadequate apartment. There were a few tears as she described warming her daughter with a hair dryer so she could fall asleep on cold nights (they didn’t have working heat). Tianna also shared her gratitude and excitement over her new home, built by her and many volunteers. She thanked Habitat for Humanity for accepting her application for a new home and never judging her. (To hear Tianna, watch this video.)

As a prospective homeowner like Tianna, you must be willing to commit to 500 “sweat equity hours,” among other things, which means helping to build your future home. Tianna said it gave her a real appreciation for the house (not to mention some handy skills), and was thankful for the education sessions on home ownership, which ensured she was ready to own and maintain a house.

When Lynda spoke after her, she noted how nice it was to hear about Tianna’s experience. “One thing all homeowners share is a sense of pride in their homes.”

To cap off the event, representatives from corporate sponsors, along with Lynda, Stewart, ToolGirl Mag Ruffman, Tianna and her daughter, pressed their hands into concrete and signed a piece of drywall to symbolize their support for the partnership. Both items will soon be used in a new home.

For more information on Habitat for Humanity’s 360 Built Smart Partnership and getting involved, check out their website.

Photo credits:
Seema Persaud