There are lots of homes for poor people. There are dingy basement suites in old houses. There are mouldy cottages that should have been torn down decades ago. There are skid road hotels owned by slum landlords. There are houses barely fit for human habitation.
And, thank God, there is Habitat for Humanity.
This stellar organization provides an opportunity for the poor to purchase their own homes. The premise is simple. Habitat finds a lot, then volunteers and the future homeowners come together and the house is erected.
And like many simple things, that's never easy.
There's money to raise, future neighbours to convince that the poor won't be a detriment to the neighbourhood and ultimately the hard choice of who to give this wonderful opportunity to out of the many folks needing a decent home. (The new homeowners purchase the home through "sweat equity" and an interest-free mortgage based on their earnings.)
Fortunately for some struggling renters on the Sunshine Coast, Habitat for Humanity is here. The group is already busy building their first home in Gibsons. The house will soon be at the lock-up stage, and a very happy family will be able to have their own brand-new home - a thrill for anyone, regardless of his or her economic circumstances.
Soon, Habitat hopes to be able to offer two families the chance to have a great place to live. And although there are some would-be neighbours who can't seem to grasp the idea that poor people could actually care enough about their home to maintain it, for the most part, we're sure the people of Sechelt support this worthwhile project.
They must, if last weekend's giant fundraiser is any indication. Spearheaded by many real estate folks, the evening was a huge success. The generosity of the local businesses and restaurants were an inspiration to John McKenzie, one of the main organizers of the event. Our community is lucky to have so many people who care. From the founding chair of Habitat on the Sunshine Coast, all-round nice guy Ed Hawkins, to the present chair Kenan MacKenzie, Habitat Humanity is more than just a way to bring a family home.