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Old 11-25-2007, 08:21 PM   #21
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One time I moved a 10 foot step ladder and the claw hammer someone had left sitting on the top whistled past my head.
Usually that's me... on both sides of the problem.
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Old 11-25-2007, 08:40 PM   #22
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I have similar mechanical skills so in the past I volunteered for HFH as a member of the selection committee which interviewed applicants and decided who was chosen for a home. We also had several people who organized the various groups or applied for grants or were in charge of financial matters. If I remember correctly there were also volunteers who provided training to the homeowners regarding basics such as how to care for a home and simple financial issues (e.g. one should probably never rent furniture or appliances)
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Old 11-25-2007, 11:06 PM   #23
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One thing about HFH is, it gives people a handup, not a handout.

First there is the sweat equity the new homeowners have to put in, in return for getting into their own home.

Secondly, the homeowners sign loan documents, and have to make ongoing monthly payments. The loans are principal only, no interest, and since the homes are built by volunteer labor, the loan amounts are much smaller than would be for a similar builder-sold home. If the homeowners default, they lose the house just like any mortgagee would. For our local HRH chapter, there has only been one default in many years out of over 80 homeowners placed. This due to diligent screening for the selected families. In short, deadbeats don't get in, but those needing ahndup do.

The payments from the existing HRH families helped go back into the program to buy more building lots and fund more houses.

Thirdly, the pride of a home of one's own shines through clear and bright from the families helped. The psychological benefits are enormous, and spread in ripples throughout the HRH kids' lives, their parents' lives, the neighborhood, and back into the larger community.

An HRH home helps the families, the neighborhoods, and the larger community avoid all kinds of otherwise dreary fates, even nightmares.

Synergy---there is real and tremendous, and effective synergy to HRH.
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Old 11-26-2007, 09:06 AM   #24
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I found many of the homeowners, despite the ongoing budgeting classes provided by HFH and required as part of the process, to reject these lessons. We often joked about how every single house had a satellite dish and a new car in the driveway, while the staff drove junkers and couldn't afford tv. My exec director said that was because short-term credit (like auto loans) were easy to get and that these folks were often taken advantage on these sorts of things.
Our loans included a "shadow loan" that made sure that the entire value of the house was mortgaged, to prevent them being able to obtain a second mortgage or to payoff the loan with a cash-out type loan from an unscrupulous lender.

These folks are very ignorant of money and I felt both sad for them and irritated by them in turn--a not uncommon feeling for folks working in non-profit environments.
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Old 11-26-2007, 09:41 AM   #25
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These folks are very ignorant of money and I felt both sad for them and irritated by them in turn--a not uncommon feeling for folks working in non-profit environments.
This might be among the reasons I haven't actually hauled my butt out of the ER recliner and done something with HFH or another organization. Right now the spiritual payback for donating the money seems more valuable than the putative payback of donating my time/labor. Perhaps I'm more impressed with the people who set up these organizations.
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Old 11-28-2007, 07:15 AM   #26
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For me, volunteering is its own reward, but one must select an organization that feels right.
Since mid September I've spent dozens of hours laboring at the local Senior Center also putting up giant Christmas light displays around the lake.
Lucky for y'all I'm usually too tired to post.
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Old 11-28-2007, 08:10 AM   #27
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Our church built a HFH house a few years back. I have most of the skills required to build a house, so I threw in with the volunteers. I enjoyed the effort. In fact, my DD & DW's girlscout troup built an outside shed for the house as a separate project. It was fun watching a dozen teenage girls and their scout leaders put it all together. They managed quite well, some girls better than others. Not at all unlike what you see with the adults on the main house.

I did hear a few grumbles about the woman designated to receive the property and here kids not pitching in to help build or haul material. This might simply have been a reluctance to interfere in the effort. They are required to put time into building a house, but not necessarily their own I think.

Overall it was a great effort, and I'd like to see us repeated sometime. It's good for the person getting the house, it's good for the community, but it's really good for the team that builds it. I highly recommend it.
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Old 11-28-2007, 06:59 PM   #28
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For me, volunteering is its own reward, but one must select an organization that feels right.
Since mid September I've spent dozens of hours laboring at the local Senior Center also putting up giant Christmas light displays around the lake.
Lucky for y'all I'm usually too tired to post.
Is that the CB lake or are you back in NY?
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Old 11-29-2007, 08:01 AM   #29
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Is that the CB lake or are you back in NY?
kbst
Hi kbst!

You guessed it CB lake. One of the two honchos who had been doing all the lighting and heavy lifting passed away recently.
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Old 11-29-2007, 12:09 PM   #30
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Hi kbst!

You guessed it CB lake. One of the two honchos who had been doing all the lighting and heavy lifting passed away recently.
Hi Bum,
I'll check out you're Christmas decorating prowess weekend after next as we will be down there then. Maybe I'll help next year as it seems we'll be RE then. 2 years ahead of plan.

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Old 11-29-2007, 03:54 PM   #31
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2 years ahead of plan.

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Wow, congrats!
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Old 12-02-2007, 10:26 AM   #32
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I did hear a few grumbles about the woman designated to receive the property and here kids not pitching in to help build or haul material. This might simply have been a reluctance to interfere in the effort. They are required to put time into building a house, but not necessarily their own I think.
My sister worked on a few also and she mentioned the same thing....It sounded like the potential owner was asked to pick up trash...It really doesnt surprise me that some would complain, though...
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