At North Star Stone, we recently donated some of our fine custom stone veneer products to the Lake County chapter of Habitat for Humanity. And although many readers have heard of this fine organization, some may be unaware of how exactly Habitat for Humanity operates in an effort to provide affordable and safe housing. North Star Stone’s new partnership with Habitat has opened our eyes regarding the scope and impact of their efforts not only in the Chicagoland area, but around the world. Now we’d like to share some of the information that we’ve learned along the way.
Habitat for Humanity’s History & Mission
Habitat for Humanity International is a not-for-profit, non-governmental organization that was started in 1976 by co-founders Millard and Linda Fuller. Based in Americus, GA, the group’s mission is built upon the principle that every person deserves a decent place to live. Since its inception, Habitat’s philosophy has been to engage in “partnership housing”, a concept focused on using teams of skilled volunteers working together in an effort to provide reliable and affordable shelter for families. Habitat projects also include renovations, repairs and improvements to existing properties within a community.
Homes built by Habitat for Humanity’s thousands of volunteers and paid employees are done so without a profit motive. In addition, the organization partners with mortgage lenders to obtain zero-interest loans for those they assist. Habitat also operates The Fund for Humanity, which receives money from their ReStores, online merchandise sales, mortgage payments and cash donations to continuously finance more homes for those in need. Today, houses built by the caring hands of Habitat volunteers provide shelter for nearly 10 million family members in 70 countries and 1400 communities worldwide.
How does a Habitat Home Get Built Using Stone Veneer?
There are several different factors that all come together to produce just one Habitat home. For prospective new homeowners, there’s a non-discriminatory application process whereby the selection criteria varies from community to community. It involves these steps:
- The applicant must show a specific level of financial need.
- An applicant must have a willingness to partner with Habitat. This means devoting hundreds of hours of their own time to building their new home, while further participating in construction efforts on other Habitat projects in their area.
- The ability to repay an affordable mortgage is a must.
- Applicants are screened and chosen based upon the above criteria by a local Habitat selection committee.
Volunteers partnering with Habitat include builders, carpenters, electricians, plumbers, roofers, bricklayers, carpet installers, and more. These individuals not only donate their valuable services locally, but sometimes travel to other communities where Habitat operates. For example, when a natural disaster strikes teams from Habitat for Humanity oftentimes can be found in the impacted area helping the locals rebuild. Habitat offices are currently located within all 50 states and in every Canadian province. ReStores also exist in numerous U.S. cities and towns which, as aforementioned, serve to raise money for future home building and remodeling projects.
Many construction and building suppliers also donate their goods to Habitat, much like North Star Stone began doing recently. Tools, building materials, cleaning supplies, equipment, machinery, and even trucks are needed to fuel Habitat’s daily efforts. Companies or individuals also contribute appliances, furniture and housewares to support Habitat endeavors. Planning for building projects within a given locality is done under the watchful eye of paid Habitat coordinators. At this point the organization is entering the final year of its Habitat for Humanity Strategic Plan 2014-2018 with its motto of: “a world where everyone has a decent place to live”.
How Our Stone Veneer is Beautifying Habitat Homes
Starting in November of 2017, North Star Stone proudly began donating some of our high-quality manufactured stone veneer products to the Habitat branch in Lake County, IL. These faux stone products are typically used as decorative enhancements by residential and commercial property owners for applications from fireplaces to home exteriors. We recognize that Habitat not only believes in everyone living in an affordable, safe and decent home, but further that they strive to build houses that are attractive, energy-efficient and accessible. Our manufactured stone siding solutions work well to serve Habitat’s structural objectives.
North Star Stone has so far donated over 1400 square feet of custom stone veneer that’s being used to beautify the exteriors and interiors of several Habitat-built properties around Chicago. We’ve learned that since 1989 Habitat for Humanity Lake County has provided over 200 families with affordable and reliable housing outcomes. North Star Stone will continue to partner with Habitat by providing our manufactured stone veneer products to support those efforts. Get a free estimate or learn more about our custom stone veneer products here.