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Monday April 29, 2019 12:47 pm

Home is the Key: Helping America’s Housing Crisis #HomeIsTheKey

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Announcements, Corporate News

Home is the Key Habitat for Humanity

I often spend time talking about smart homes and amazing smart home tech, voice assistants, and other ways to use new digital technology to control and manage your home from the palm of your hand or with the sound of your voice. It’s futuristic and fun, but it’s also a privilege. I’m fully aware of the position I’m in as a tech expert and reviewer as someone who gets to play with these fantastic toys early and often - but even more so, to be able to live comfortably without having to worry about having a place to call home, or how I am going to pay the next month’s mortgage or rent bill. However, this is not the case for many, many people, and that’s why I’ve teamed up with Habitat for Humanity to shed some light on the affordable housing crisis that we’re seeing here in the USA and to let you know about the Home is the Key campaign.

What does the word “home” mean to you? What thoughts and feelings does it bring to your mind? As I’ve been thinking about this over the past couple of weeks, I never settle on just one thought. First, I think of the home I grew up in as a kid with my family, full of love, great food, laughter, support, and plenty of harmless sibling rivalry to go around. It’s the home where I came from, and the place where I felt safe to try new things, fail at things, and plant the seeds of where I wanted to go as an adult. It was a very important place for me, especially, as a child who grew up in the foster care system to finally have a place - a home and a family - to call my own. I’d seen both sides of the fence - As a child I’d been homeless, I’d lived in poverty, I’d moved from place to place, and at the end I found that true “home.”

Home is the Key Habitat for Humanity backyard

I know all too well, from a child’s perspective, what it’s like to not have a home. Unfortunately, many others have this same struggle. Here are some eye-raising statistics that Habitat for Humanity shared with me about the housing crisis:

  • There is almost nowhere in the USA where a full-time employee earning minimum wage can afford a one-bedroom apartment. A couple where each person has a full-time minimum wage job won’t be able to afford a two-bedroom apartment in 34 states.
  • One in six  families in the US (almost 19 million families) spends over half of their income on housing, leaving little left over for basic necessities like food and clothing (not to mention being able to save for emergencies.)

Those are sobering numbers. I mentioned that when I think of the concept of “home” that I don’t settle on just one thought. Aside from the home I grew up in, there’s also the home that I bought as a young adult. It’s interesting, because without that first home and the love and support found in it, I doubt that I would have been able to be successful enough to afford to buy my own 5-bedroom home at age 27. This is the home where I built my own business as an entrepreneur, and the place where I wanted to provide the same loving environment for my immediate family and for my child that I was able to enjoy when I was younger. Being blessed enough to be in the position that I am today, with a nice home full of cool things isn’t lost on me. As I said earlier, it’s a privilege to be in a position that most struggle to attain - but it shouldn’t be as difficult as it currently is for more families to achieve.

I’m sure that anyone can see why affordable housing is important at a basic level, but consider this as well:

  • Children of homeowners make fewer visits to the emergency room for routine health problems and are more likely to succeed in school
  • Affordable housing can improve health outcomes by freeing up family resources for nutritious food and health care expenditures.

Home is the Key campaign

So - how can we all help this cause? Of course donating is one way, and I’ll include that information here - but even if you can’t give money, there are several other ways - including one that costs nothing at all:

1. DONATE: Visit the Habitat for Humanity website and make a donation.

2. SHOP: Several corporate sponsors have generously offered to make donations when you purchase certain items from their stores. Some of these items would make GREAT Mother’s Day gifts. Here’s the list:

Chico’s: Every sale of a signature slub t-shirt from April 1 – May 31st will support Habitat. In addition $5. from every gift card over $25.00 in value will go to Habitat!

White House Black Market: From April 1 – May 31st  White House Black Market will donate $5 from the sale of each gift card over $25.

Soma Intimates: From April 1st -May 31, Soma will donate $5. from the sale of each gift card over $25 in value.

At Home: In addition to featuring Habitat as the register fundraising partner throughout April, At Home will donate $4.55 per coaster from the sale of select coaster sets that give back to Habitat, beginning in April until supplies last.

O-Cedar: O-Cedar will donate $1 to Habitat for Humanity for every ProMist MAX Microfiber Spray Mop sold by O-Cedar to any U.S. retail channel in the U.S. from April 1 to May 31.

3. SHARE: I mentioned that there’s a cost-free option for helping, and this is it! Nissan will donate $5 every time #HomeIsTheKey is shared on social media in April, up to $250,000. Just use that hashtag on Twitter, Facebook, and/or Instagram - simple!

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