Many Habitat volunteers pick up a hammer or a paint brush to work alongside future Habitat homeowners; however, did you know there is another group of volunteers that are picking up phones, pencils and personal budgets to support Habitat homeowners on their journey?
Each future Habitat homeowner develops a relationship with a mentoring volunteer who is both a resource and friend on their journey. Mentors and Habitat homeowners communicate at least once a month and help with classroom material, provide homeownership tips and generally encourage and listen.
Wonderful relationships have been formed through the mentor program. Current mentors include long-time volunteers, first-time volunteers, current Habitat homeowners and Builders Circle Members. We recently spoke with new Habitat homeowner Kimberly and her mentor, Jon. Here’s what they had to say.
Thoughts from Kimberly, 2016 Homeowner:
Why do you think the mentor program was valuable for you as a first-time Habitat homeowner?
I think having a mentor was one of the best parts of the program. It was the comfort of knowing that if I had a question about something or needed a little assistance in something I had somebody I could call. Jon was AWESOME! It also gave me a chance to not only meet somebody new BUT to meet somebody great.
What does home mean to you?
Having my home now gives me a feeling I can’t quite explain yet. Most days I’m still in shock or shall I say disbelief. Having my home though has given me a peace of mind and a great sense of comfort. The best feeling in the world is knowing that it’s mine, and I had a big hand in building it. When you’re the one actually helping do the work to build your house, it means so much more! Thanks to Habitat, as well as my mentor Jon, for this lifelong experience and journey.I think the overall program that’s offered by Habitat truly prepares future homeowners for what’s to come. It’s so important that you know how to budget, as well as how to save. During the class, it gives you the opportunity to get to know other future homeowners and that too allows you to have other people to create friendships with, in case you might need help or have a question. I love everything that Habitat stands for, and I’m so honored to have got the chance to be a first-time homeowner through Habitat!
Thoughts from Jon, Mentor volunteer:
Why did you become a mentor for a Habitat homeowner?
I had been involved with Habitat as a volunteer in some capacity for several years, and my favorite part always involved the homeowner. Becoming a mentor allows me to be able to walk with the homeowner through their journey from start to finish and realize how their hard work paid off. The best part though is cultivating a relationship for life.
What has been your favorite part of working with your mentee, or what are you looking forward to?
Working alongside Kimberly on the panel build was special because it was the first work we had done on her home. Dedication day was very exciting too because the dream was a reality. Just as joyful though was visiting a few weeks after move in and seeing that Kimberly had made her house her own unique home.
How have you learned from your mentee?
Kimberly showed me another level of dedication and determination. Through all the hard work and hours spent she also had an amazing ability to have fun, which made it that much easier to spend time helping.
Interested in becoming a mentor? Click here to learn more!