Breaking the Cycle of Poverty- Habitat for Humanity

>>I am a mother
of three children. A set of four year old
twins and a five year old, and I am moving into
this house behind me. I don’t know if you can see it
in the shot, but I’m excited. Today is paint day. We’re gonna paint
the whole house. I am a early childhood
special education teacher for Richmond City
public schools. I just, I couldn’t afford a
house on my own with my salary.>>There is such a need
for affordable housing. 1.6 billion people live
in substandard housing. Substandard housing
could be considered, you’re paying more than 30%
of your income on housing, unsafe conditions,
unsanitary conditions, overcrowded conditions. (bus motor roars)>>I’m excited. I am from this neighborhood. I actually grew up
a few blocks over. I drive through the
neighborhood when I’m on my way to the site, and I’m
like, I remember that and that’s Ms. Such and Such. You know, just all these places that I’m introducing
my babies, too.>>We are in the Randolph
and Maymont neighborhood, which as everyone knows
is right by the river. So it’s a quickly
gentrifying neighborhood that’s becoming very popular. We are so pleased
to be partnering with the Housing Authority here who donated these houses,
well for a small sum because a family
like Antoinette’s will be able to be in this home for a very affordable price
with a zero interest mortgage. (upbeat music)>>I need another bucket. Jane!>>This zero interest mortgage
does not come easily. Antoinette is going
through, between a year, an 18 month program, where she takes 10
home ownership courses, where she learns
everything to watch out for predatory lending
to good credit.>>Things about how
to budget your money so you can afford your
home, the long run and you won’t run
into foreclosure or anything of that nature. Those essential
skills that you need because renting is so much
different from owning. When you rent, you
can call somebody, “Hey, take care of this,
take care of that.” When you’re owning, take
care of it yourself. And having to work
on my own house, it’s like some of those
things that I would say oh, I have to get
somebody else to do now I know how to
do them myself. I helped put the siding up. I helped with the
bathroom downstairs. (laughs) That’s the whole point. You come on site, you
can’t just stand around because you know, my
site supervisor, Bill, he’s definitely
gonna put me to work.>>You’re supposed to be working.>>You know, I told
one of my friends, “I built the shed,”
and she’s all like, “I need you to build me a shed,” and I’m like,
“Whoa, whoa, whoa.” It’s about perseverance. So you have to be
dedicated and you have to time management when
it comes to Habitat, but it’s a awesome program. I haven’t, you just
have to stick with it. It’s, you know, the
end result is amazing.>>Habitat is basically
renovating the entire house from the roof all the way
down to the crawl space. It’ll be a totally
new house inside. Energy efficient,
modern appliances, upgrading the
electricity, insulation. So in essence, although the
house is built in the mid 50s, when we get finished
in another month or so, it’ll be for all intents and
purposes a brand new house. We’re finishing up
the HardiePlank siding on the back end of the house. But on any particular day,
we may be rippin’ up floors, doing framing, installing
kitchen cabinets. Obviously you wanna have a
licensed electrician, plumber, heating and air conditioning
guy doing your trades work. But everything else
is for the most part done by Habitat
volunteers such as myself. The weekday crew, none of us come from a
construction background. But over the course of time
working with each other and working with Bill,
you pick up the skills, and the nice part is
you learn something what every day working with
the Walk On volunteers, you have an opportunity
to teach them.>>I know these are the steps. We’re in a really weird space.>>They were facing lengthwise.>>That way?>>That way, and they
were really narrow and there weren’t any handrails and so, it was
incredibly unsafe. And the bedrooms were
really weirdly laid out. The ceilings were awful
and just, it was bad.>>And the bathroom. That’s cool.>>That was added new.>>Even the insulation. I can see the shape
of the room now. It’s, and it’s so
much quieter in here.>>We’re at what we call
“the pre-drywall” stage, which is after insulation
but before drywall. This is sprayed
fiberglass bat insulation. It’s actually custom
fit any type of cavity so that we’re able
to actually achieve a full thermal resistance
that the product’s rated at. So you can see the
foam along here. That’ll ensure that there’s a nice airtight
building envelope. You’ll also notice
that around the window and also where the bottom
plate is sealed to the floor, all along the perimeter
of the building. You might not think that
that’s really important. But if you can slip a business
card all the way around the perimeter of the building
and you add up that hole, you’re gonna come back
with a very large hole, like leaving your door
open all the time. Our involvement with
Habitat for Humanity actually originated in 2008. Meridian offers the Earth
have Family programs, which is a prescribed approach to a sustainable and energy
efficient construction. On average, our earth craft
homes have been demonstrated to save 35% on
energy efficiency. What that ultimately
means for the homeowner is that we can have
low utility bills and great indoor air quality. Richmond is the second
asthma capital in the nation. And they are first for
fatalities due to asthma. So there’s been a recent
conversation going on between our housing advocates
and the health department. So I think the next
part of the conversation is going to be how do we do
preventative opportunities, such as building
good quality housing, like Richmond Metropolitan
Habitat for Humanity does. Habitat takes families
out of poverty, not just the family
living in the house, but for generations. Sudie Williams, seven years ago, paid off her mortgage
through this 20 year period. Sudie had moved out
of the open court with her four
children, single mom as 86% of our families
are, into her new home. She talked about
health because all of our homes are very
healthy, airwise. She talked about self
esteem for children. They were bringing their
friends home after school, which they did do
in the open court. But what hit me right
here was all four children went to college,
three have bachelor’s, one has a master’s and
two own their own homes. So, we are delighted
that now Tia Williams, one of Sudie’s daughters
is on our board. Habitat’s a great organization. We all know how important
home ownership is. And just realizing that
you’re one small part of that overall effort, I
think it’s very rewarding. At the end of the
day, it’s kind of nice that you can look
over your shoulder and actually see somethin’
you’ve accomplished. Andrew Nick says, “Thank
you for comin’ out.>>Thank you all. [Interviewer] If you had a
message to give to Habitat, what would it be?>>Keep up the good
work, you know. It’s so much negativity
in the world. (hands clapping) (sobbing) You know, you just wanna,
your intent has to be good. And I think the intent Habitat
has really good intent, and that’s blessing. Nowadays with all the
evilness in the world, and to just have a
organization like Habitat to like give people a leg up. You know? Thank you, thank you. I’m weepy, weepy willow! (laughs) Oh my God! I want to give my kids a future. Without habitat. I love teaching. I’m gonna to teach. But in order to give
my kids a future, I couldn’t continue
to be a teacher. I couldn’t afford
a home on my own. So just to have Habitat, to say, “Okay, we’ll work with you.” Cause it is definitely
is the partnership. Now what’s gonna help my
kids future, my future, and it’s amazing. It’s just, you know, you
see so much on the news. It’s so much evil to see. There are still kind
people in the world, and you just have to
be willing to reach out and to, you know, let people in.>>Wait, who’s house is this?>>My house, my house. Thank you, Habitat. This is how Antoinette’s
home looks now. She’ll be moving in soon. To donate usable
household items, volunteer and fill out home
ownership applications, visit

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