Since 1989, Hartford Area Habitat for Humanity has been serving the residents of Greater Hartford by providing hundreds of families with quality, affordable homes. Habitat for Humanity is known for its core mission of increasing homeownership by working with the community to build new homes for low-income families. Hartford Habitat’s programs respond to the shortage of affordable housing in the Hartford area, where fewer than 25 percent of households own their own homes and many renter households are forced to spend more than 50 percent of their income on rent. Hartford Habitat also works in collaboration with Neighborhood Revitalization Zones to address the shortage of decent, affordable housing by renovating blighted homes to benefit families and entire neighborhoods.
Hartford Habitat for Humanity’s “A Brush with Kindness” and Critical Home Repair programs help existing homeowners stay in their homes by supporting internal and external repairs and maintenance, taking a neighborhood wide approach and focusing on families with elderly members or with special needs, who are least able to complete repairs on their own.
In an effort to support these vital initiatives that provide families with access to quality housing, the Hartford Foundation has awarded a three-year, $240,000 General Operating Support grant to Hartford Habitat for Humanity. Support from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving will help Habitat respond to the demand for its core programming, getting more families in their own homes and helping more families remain in their homes. The Foundation grant will also allow Habitat to develop its new Financial Freedom Center, based in Hartford’s north end. Habitat recently launched the Financial Freedom Center in response to requests from members of the community who were looking for help in managing and getting the most out of their money. The Financial Freedom Center will offer workshops in successful home ownership, financing education, increased savings and other critical skills.
“These new initiatives were established in the past two years and they have been a tremendous gift to our most vulnerable populations. We have built ramps, repaired roofs and made homes accessible so our elderly population can age in place. I would like to thank the Hartford Foundation for supporting our expanded mission” said Karraine Moody, executive director of Hartford Area Habitat for Humanity. “This grant will create the capacity for our organization to build hope in the neighborhoods that need it the most.”
The Hartford Foundation’s General Operating Support grants allow the Foundation to be responsive to the broad needs of Greater Hartford’s nonprofits. General Operating Support grants are intended to improve overall services to the community by strengthening an agency’s infrastructure, staff and systems. These grants provide unrestricted support to an organization’s mission and are directed toward an organization’s operations as a whole.
“At a time when government funding for affordable housing has been reduced, with further cuts anticipated, the Foundation’s flexible funding, in the form of general operating support, will provide Hartford Habitat with a reliable source of funding to protect it from budget fluctuations, as it responds to a critical community need,” said Judy McBride, the Hartford Foundation’s director of Grants and Partnership Investments.
Over the three year grant period, Habitat has highlighted the following expected outcomes in their strategic plan:
· House 10-12 families per year through the construction or rehabilitation of homes.
· Preserve 16-18 existing homes for elderly or special needs families through critical repairs or maintenance.
· Revitalize four neighborhoods through neighborhood improvement projects.
· Provide financial literacy skills, identified by community members, and secure sustainable funding for the Financial Freedom Center.
The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving is the community foundation for Hartford and 28 surrounding communities. In 2015, the Foundation celebrated ninety years of grantmaking in the Greater Hartford region, made possible by the gifts of generous individuals, families and organizations. It has awarded grants of more than $680 million since its founding in 1925. For more information about the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, visit www.hfpg.org or call 860-548-1888.