The Heart of Habitat for Humanity - Our Families

Judy Davis (center), HFH Family Manager, Casey Burd, HFH Partner Family, Diane, HFH Supporter
Judy Davis (center), HFH Family Manager, Casey Burd (right), HFH Partner Family, Diane (left), HFH Supporter

I have been associated with Habitat first as a volunteer, as have all of our staff members, then as a part-time employee, and for the past several years full-time.  A significant part of my position is as the Family Manager.  This means I work with our partner families, handling everything from the initial selection through to the day they pay off their mortgage.

Our Family Selection Committee, a group of dedicated volunteers, works diligently to ensure that families selected into our program are families who can succeed as homeowners.  Once selected a family puts in a minimum of 300 “sweat equity” hours working on building homes, in our ReStore, at events, and attending classes to learn how to be a successful homeowner.  Upon completion of their home build, we become their mortgage company.  I like to say that, “We are a mortgage company, but we are a compassionate mortgage company.”  Because we are able to handle our mortgages in-house we are able to keep the personal touch to help our families be successful.

The difference homeownership makes in the life of a child is almost beyond measuring.  Some things our partner children have said add to my job satisfaction.  Some examples: Upon getting her first “own room” a child went down on her knees and said, “Thank you, Jesus.”  “I have my own yard to play in now.”  “We can have a dog!”  Passing our building, “Look, Mommy, that’s the place that makes dreams come true.”  All of this plus the hugs I get pretty regularly make Habitat a place I can look forward to going to each day.

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