Thursday, October 13, 2005

"Building Houses and Changing Lives"

Submitted by David McCreath, Faith Relations Coordinator for Habitat for Humanity

People of faith know they are stewards of God’s creation, and that stewardship includes the communities in which they live. Their faith and commitment to justice prompts them to make provision for people who cannot participate fully in human communities, whether from economic distress, physical handicap, or other living situation. By participating in Silicon Valley Habitat for Humanity, congregations of Santa Clara County provide resources for one of the most basic of human needs—decent, safe, affordable housing.

Habitat for Humanity International and its regional affiliates (such as SVHFH) understand that providing affordable housing is a ministry of faith. Building houses becomes a way of changing lives; children do better in school, adults gain new self esteem as they learn skills of home ownership, and families become neighbors.

Silicon Valley Habitat for Humanity is a major agency in Santa Clara County working to eliminate substandard housing since 1986. The Board of Directors of SVHFH has taken the bold step of planning to build thirty new and restored houses in the next three years. That represents approximately six million dollars of investment by corporations, public agencies, and voluntary contributions. In addition, many hours of volunteer time spent in construction will be necessary.

Congregations in Santa Clara County will have many opportunities to join people of all faiths to meet some of the needs for affordable housing. We will need mission funds to add to corporate and public contributions. We will need volunteers for a wide range of tasks, including construction, family support, office work, landscaping, and preparing lunches and snacks for the construction crews. Persons of all ages, from youngest to oldest, can join this important community ministry, some folks working at the build sites and some folks providing other support.

For more information David McCreath, Faith Relations Coordinator, is available to answer questions, to assist in planning Habitat mission projects for all age groups, and to present programs outlining the work of Silicon Valley Habitat for Humanity and efforts to increase affordable housing in Santa Clara County. David is a pastor with experience in ecumenical and social ministries and congregational education. He may be reached at the SVHFH office, and by writing

513 Valley Way + Milpitas, California 95035 + 408-942-6444


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