Black Hills Area Habitat for Humanity’s mission is to eliminate substandard housing and homelessness in the Black Hills and to make adequate, affordable shelter a matter of conscience and action. We are founded on the conviction that every man, woman and child should have a simple, decent, affordable place to live in dignity and safety. We want everyone in the Black Hills to have a dignified place to call home. Our work is driven by the desire to give tangible expression to the love of God through the work of eliminating poverty housing.
Black Hills Area Habitat for Humanity by itself cannot build enough houses to eliminate poverty housing. Therefore, to achieve our mission, we have to change the systems that lead to poverty housing so that more families have a place to call home. This notion of systems change has always been at the heart and core of our Habitat values and is rooted in biblical teachings. Proverbs 31: 8-9 instructs us to “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.”
What is Advocacy?
Habitat for Humanity International defines “advocacy” as “working to influence public opinion and transform systems that lead to the creation and preservation of housing for all, with the ultimate goal of ending poverty worldwide.”
• Advocacy is influencing those who make policy decisions.
• Advocacy is transforming systems.
• Advocacy is making changes in public opinion about policy issues that affect the financing and production of housing, so more people can live in safe, decent and affordable homes.
Advocate for housing
1. Continue to volunteer for and donate to Black Hills Area Habitat for Humanity.
2. Educate others that the affordable housing crisis is more than just about houses; it’s about building stronger communities.
3. Stay informed on housing issues locally, statewide and nationally and Take Action.
4. Call and write your elected officials and let them know that this crisis must end.
State of the World’s Housing
The world is experiencing a global housing crisis. About 1.6 billion people live in substandard housing and 100 million are homeless, according to the United Nations. These people are increasingly urban residents, and every week more than a million people are born in, or move to, cities in the developing world. Today, a billion people―32 percent of the global urban population―live in urban slums. If no serious action is taken, the United Nations reports that the number of slum dwellers worldwide will increase over the next 30 years to nearly 2 billion.
In the United States alone, 95 million people have housing problems.
That’s one third of the nation. These problems include payments too large as a percentage of their income, overcrowding, poor quality shelter and homelessness. Throughout the world, people live in inadequate housing, and Habitat for Humanity is dedicated to providing decent, affordable homes for those in need.
The importance of clean, decent, and stable housing.
Habitat for Humanity has shown that building homes does more than put a roof over someone’s head. In clean, decent, stable housing:
• Families can provide stability for their children.
• A family’s sense of dignity and pride grow.
• Health, physical safety, and security improve.
• Educational and job prospects increase.