Shelter. It’s a basic human need that most of us in the Western World take for granted… You know that your house likely hasn’t moved since this morning. You assume that you’ll pull into your driveway, unlock your door, and have the pleasure of winding down after a long day at work. Unfortunately, there are many people in Hamilton and all over North America that can’t afford housing.
Habitat for Humanity is an organization that ‘brings communities together to help families build strength, stability, and independence through affordable homeownership.’ They are a popular non-profit that is extensively supported by volunteers! Some of the most famous volunteers are former President of The United States Jimmy Carter, and his wife Rosalynn. In 1976, Habitat was created to develop a concept of ‘partnership housing’. This means that those who were in need of a home would work alongside the volunteers, and then once the house is finished they would be on a no-interest payment plan till they owned the home. Because of their geared-to-income and interest-free mortgage, these homeowners are able to gain strength, stability, and the self-reliance that their families need to break free from the cycle of poverty.
So, what’s Greenhorizons’ role in the Habitat for Humanity project? On June 2, 2018, the Barton Village BIA organized a street festival. At this street festival, Greenhorizons – Hamilton had the opportunity to donate sod for their Green Street Challenge, a program that was created by Come Alive Outside. We laid our Premium Kentucky Bluegrass sod on a massive section of Barton St and had many toys and activities for kids to enjoy. The purpose of this challenge is to put emphasis on the importance of spending time outside. Many of us simply don’t spend enough time outdoors anymore, especially in the age of cell phones and laptops. Spending too much time inside can be detrimental to your physical and mental state. The Challenge not only provides the opportunity to get people outside, but it also gets people active and enjoying the outdoors. Everyone was ecstatic to have such luscious grass to enjoy in the middle of the Barton Street Festival. What a great way to spread the word about healthy outdoor living.
After dropping off the required sod that morning, volunteers took their time to carefully lay the sod on the road for an afternoon of fun. The best part about this donation is that the Green Street Challenge had further plans for our sod... After the street festival was complete, the sod was rolled up again and transported to a Habitat for Humanity project! So not only did our sod provide a lush green space for street festival visitors, it will provide a permanent green space for a few hardworking Habitat for Humanity candidates.
In December, there were three families that gained access to their brand-new homes with the help of Habitat. In this article, on the Habitat for Humanity website, the homeowners talked about how grateful they were. They go on to explain that, without Habitat’s help, they wouldn’t have been able to own a home. In addition to shelter from the harsh elements of Canada, these three families now also have freshly sodded yards because of Greenhorizons and the Barton Village BIA. What a great way to start their summer, and ours.