A Hand Up, Not a Hand-Out

By December 23, 2017Homeowner

Meredith Canfield, Volunteer Manager, explains how we lift up our homeowners with tools and resources.

At Habitat, we have traditionally used the phrase, “we are a hand up, not a hand-out” as our unofficial missional mantra. Whenever I actually say that phrase out loud, my Hollywood film imagination visualizes hand up as a person being lifted up in the emotional, educational and physical sense. Picture this scene: a close up camera view of a person sitting in a chair with a clear indication that they need help determining a new direction for their life. [Cue inspirational music.] Then, with the camera panning the room from the perfect angle, you see a person put their arm around the individual to lift them up as they walk out of the scene together in hopeful pursuit of something better.

There are several ways that Habitat lifts up future homeowners prior them signing a 0% interest mortgage and receiving the keys to their new home! One of my favorite ways we lift up our homeowners is by providing Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University class. (This class is actually a personal love and passion of mine. You can read more about that in this blog post.) Our homeowners learn things like budgeting, saving cash for large purchases, getting out of debt, and even giving financially to others. Being burdened by the cost of high rent and a low income, obtaining financial peace may have once been a pipe dream for many of our homebuyers. By partnering with Habitat and learning skills taught by Dave Ramsey, our homeowners have an opportunity to feel financial peace and confidence as they make the mortgage payment each month for years to come.

One thing my Hollywood imagination left out of the scene is the hard work that real life individuals live out after they are lifted up. While the short scene I described doesn’t paint the full picture of our mission’s mantra, the real life journey toward Habitat homeownership begins with a lift but continues down a path of hard work, pride, and success for each homeowner.

Want to read about success stories of Homeowners after they are in their home? Check out this blog post about Amy, Habitat Homeowner 2017.