Housing Michigan's Veterans

I want to thank the Michigan State Support Organization staff for providing me this opportunity to provide the blog post for the month of November, 2017. As Veteran Engagement Specialist for Habitat International in cooperation with the Michigan State Support Organization, I have had the opportunity to hear and collect stories of Michigan’s veterans. Often veterans share their story with me or sometimes a loved one shares it for them. Equally, those who do not have any connection to the military, share their gratitude and their interest in supporting the veterans of Michigan.

2018 HOMES Summit - A Culture Shift

A lot has changed with Habitat for Humanity in Michigan since the first HOMES Green Building Summit in 2010. The HFHM Sustainable Building program had more than a year of mixed success under its belt, and though a handful of affiliates were building to the EPA’s Energy Star program standards, most Habitat homes in the state still just met mandatory code requirements.

Shopping Small for Big Impact

Did you know that October is National Women's Small Business Month? 

Across America, more than 11 million women are impacting their communities through owning a small business. In fact, nearly 40 percent of businesses in the US are woman-owned, generating an annual revenue of $1.6 trillion and supporting nearly 9 million jobs. Nearly 8 in 10 of woman-owned businesses built over the last nine years were started by a woman of color.

You can Make a Difference!

This Saturday, October 28th, thousands of volunteers will go out into their communities to unite for the 26th annual Make a Difference Day. Celebrated as one of the largest annual single-days of service nationwide, Make a Difference Day shows that anyone, regardless of age or background, can create change and build impact in their community.

Looking to Serve Your Community?

When you think of ways a person could serve their country, what comes to mind?

There’s a push for more avenues to be considered beyond military service for people who still want to serve, but in a different capacity. Last year, the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service was established by Congress as a federal entity to review and provide recommendations on addressing needs of the nation, including ways to foster a greater ethos of service among American youth. The Commission is expected to issue its final report in late 2019.

Is Your Home Ready for Cold Weather?

You may not be quite ready to dust the cobwebs off your winter coats and sweaters, but it’s not too early to begin thinking about getting your home ready for “old man winter.” Making your home more energy-efficient through weatherization efforts can save 5 to 30 percent on your energy bill. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you should start your winter weatherization with an energy audit.

Grand Slam with Habitat!

A special ‘Home Run’ was hit this year by local Michigan Habitat for Humanity offices. Since the campaign was launched in 2012, over one million dollars has been raised locally through online donations with the Home Run for Habitat campaign! The Home Run for Habitat campaign is sponsored by Consumers Energy, who match one dollar for every two dollars raised through the campaign season. With Consumers Energy’s contributions, the campaign has raised over $1.7 million since 2012.

Don't Let the Down Payment Keep You from Your Dream Home

Today's guest blog post comes from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA).

Did you know that many prospective first home buyers hesitate or don’t purchase at all for fear they can’t afford it?  According to our recent survey, 55 percent of future first-time homebuyers in Michigan have not considered purchasing a home because they don’t have enough for a down payment.

Priority Home Repairs: Helping our Neighbors

Many low-income families occupy homes and spaces that are in urgent need of costly critical repairs.  These repairs can cause safety and health issues to the family.

Back to School Savings with the ReStore!

Back to school is right around the corner! If you or your student is moving to a dorm room or new apartment, your local Habitat for Humanity ReStore can help make the transition easy on you and your budget! Check out Habitat for Humanity International’s blog post about great apartment and dorm room items you can find at a ReStore near you! Read more here...

Guest Post: National Farmers Market Week

When you think of local food, what does that mean? To the Allen Farmers Market, it means everything! This week kicks off the 18thNational Farmers Market Week, running from August 6-12. We celebrate the farmers market every week year round, moving indoors during the colder winter months.

Impact lives around the world with Global Village!

Do you love building homes, communities, and hope with Habitat for Humanity? Do you love to travel, but want to have a deeper experience than just being a tourist? Habitat for Humanity’s Global Village program may be your ticket to all those things, and more!

Habitat for Humanity has a long history building overseas, and today the Global Village programs sends volunteers to more than 40 nations around the world. You work side by side with locals, doing anything from building individual homes to repairing community housing to providing access to clean water and safer cooking.

Celebrating the Anniversary of the ADA

July 26th marks the 27th anniversary of The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  Signed into law in 1990, the ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life. It guarantees that any public or private place that is open to the general public offers the same opportunities, access, and rights to everyone - regardless of their abilities or disabilities.

Serving those who fought for our freedom

In celebration of Independence Day, today's blog post comes from the director of Habitat for Humanity International's Veterans Build program. Habitat Michigan is currently working with HFHI to build a program designed to engage veterans throughout the state.

Habitat Michigan's Prison Build Program

Right: Image shows an example of the cabinets produced through the Prison Build Program installed in a Habitat for Humanity Home.

Homeownership in Michigan – Trying to Help Families Capture the American Dream

June is Homeownership Month, and Habitat Michigan’s Housing Counselors are more excited than ever to provide tools to current and prospective homeowners and renters so they can make responsible choices to address their housing needs. We are impartial and can help consumers make the decisions that are right for them by providing education and coaching services.

Read at Work?

"Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers."-Harry S. Truman

Reading at work and about work has had a major impact on the way I approach my job and my workday. How might reading positively impact your work, and the work of your staff?

Guest Post: Engaging volunteers to strengthen communities

When people come together for a shared goal, great things happen. That ideal is at the center of Habitat for Humanity of Michigan’s participation in NeighborWorks Week, a nationwide celebration of the good that comes out of neighbors working and playing together. This is the 34th year that NeighborWorks America, also known as Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation, has engaged network members in NeighborWorks Week.

Reflections on a Summer of Service

AmeriCorps is a federally-funded national service program that provides capacity building opportunities to nonprofits, schools, and government agencies by placing members within those organizations. These members give their time and talent to these programs and receive hands-on professional experience in a nonprofit environment, a living stipend, and an education award they can use to pay for college or repay student loans.

Green Team How-To Guide: Rain Barrels

Spring is here, and though the warmth is still trying to push its way to a more consistent schedule, the rain has arrived in full force. Now is the time to start thinking about your yard and outdoor area.  Do you have a lawn? Will you be planting and tending to a flower, fruit or vegetable garden? Do you wash your car at home during the warmer days? Does your outdoor space require excess water?

Guest Blog: Ways for You and Your Family to Give Back

Involving your kids in service projects isn’t just good for the community - it’s good for your kids. Teaching your children how to become involved in their communities at an early age instills important life lessons that they will use later on.

Maintaining your Home

Habitat for Humanity of Michigan's Executive Assistant, Antria Daugherty, shares her experience with the Home Repair Program offered by Habitat for Humanity affiliates. 

As stated in a previous blog post, I have been a Habitat homeowner since August 2004.  Although my home was built brand new from the ground up, there are expected and anticipated home repairs that must be done to keep the home maintained and in good living conditions.

National Volunteer Week & Global Youth Service Day

As the spring ramps up and more and more volunteer opportunities become available with the warmer weather, there are two nationwide opportunities to re-engage and celebrate the volunteers that make everything possible: Global Youth Service Day and National Volunteer Week.