When you think of the word “home,” what comes to mind? Do you think of your family, your home town, or maybe your house itself? You may picture a certain room, or imagine a certain smell that is reminiscent of home. While we all may picture something different, at Habitat for Humanity, we believe that a home is more than just a building. Home is the key to strength, stability, and so much more.

Having a decent and affordable home lifts the stress of wondering whether you or your family will have somewhere safe and warm to sleep. It means children have a place to go to do their homework or relax with friends. For many, it brings a stability that was never experienced in their lives before.

The more than sixty Habitat for Humanity affiliates throughout Michigan make the dream of affordable homeownership possible in their communities. During 2016 alone, 585 homes were built, repaired, or rehabbed in Michigan. Most newly constructed Habitat homes in Michigan are built to Energy Star standards, which means more money in the pockets of our partner families from energy savings.

Utility costs are the highest bills of a household second only to the mortgage itself. Our families gain knowledge through our financial education and counseling programs about steps they can take to keep utility costs down and connect with their utility company, such as DTE, to take advantage of their energy saving programs. Several Michigan affiliates have been recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy for their efforts in energy efficient, or “green,” buildings. Their homes are the key to healthier living, where the building standards help reduce the risk of asthma and allergens, among other ailments.

HFHM is excited to empower Michigan by providing housing counseling and financial education. Recently, we received approval from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to be a certified housing counseling agency. This means that the courses we provide can help more families access Down Payment Assistance (DPA) funding and other loan products, making their dreams of home ownership more achievable.

Many people also don’t know that in Michigan, there are more than 50 Habitat for Humanity ReStores. These stores sell household and house building materials that are donated by individuals, constructions companies, contractors, and building supply stores. ReStores are open to the public and anyone can buy items at discounted prices. Proceeds from ReStores are important to Habitat for Humanity as they generate the largest source of funds to help build new homes.

Home is the key to strength, stability, and self-reliance. We are grateful to our community partners who understand the importance of a safe place to call home, and we will continue to serve Michigan until everyone has a decent place to live. Every hand makes a difference, and we hope you will come out and join us on a build site near you!

About Habitat for Humanity of Michigan

Based in Lansing, Habitat for Humanity of Michigan is the state support organization for Michigan’s 54 ReStores and 62 Habitat for Humanity affiliates which serve nearly every county in the state. HFHM’s mission is to increase the capacity of Habitat for Humanity affiliates in Michigan to build or renovate simple, decent homes in partnership with people in need.