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Hometown Highlight: Amarillo Habitat for Humanity Author's Picture

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Hazel Morrison

Hometown Highlight: Amarillo Habitat for Humanity

On a mission to “bring people together to build homes, communities and hope,” the Amarillo Habitat for Humanity has been making a difference in the Amarillo community since 1981.

Amarillo Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit organization dedicated to bridging the gap in affordable housing. With the help of volunteers and the support of local businesses and organizations, the nonprofit is able to build homes for low-to-median income families, who would have nowhere else to turn. Once the homes are built, the houses are sold to the families at the cost of the home with a 25 – 30 year, no-interest mortgage loan; providing the families with what often times is a lower monthly payment than what they were paying previously resulting in greater income stability.

“What we do is important because there is a big gap in Amarillo when it comes to affordable housing in our community,” said Sarah Curtis, Director of Family Services at Amarillo Habitat for Humanity. “These families that we work with aren’t people wanting a hand out. These are families that have full-time jobs – some have multiple full-time jobs – and because of the size of their families or for whatever their situation may be are unable to get into a safe home.”

Currently, the Amarillo Habitat for Humanity is in the process of building its 112th house – its fourth house in 2018. The homes, which are built 90 percent by volunteers, feature up-to-date fixtures with granite countertops and energy-efficient windows and are typically built within the same neighborhood. One requirement to qualify for a Habitat for Humanity house is that the recipient must volunteer hours helping build homes, potentially their own.

“These families are going through the volunteer hours together and they attend our financial stability classes together,” Curtis said. “Those classes help them get their budget set and then we teach a class during the fall about basic curb appeal and home maintenance, so they aren’t having to call someone and pay them if anything goes wrong. The classes are really preparation courses to help them become ready to be home owners and the people they attend these courses with really do become their neighbors, so they have a built-in support system that they might not have otherwise.”

For more information on how you or your business can help volunteer with the Amarillo Habitat for Humanity, please click here to visit their website or contact Community Relations Director Brenda Austin at brenda.austin@amahfh.org. To learn more about applying for an Amarillo Habitat for Humanity home, you may visit their website or contact them via phone at 806.383.3456.