Dear Habitat Supporters,
Over the past several months, conversations about diversity and inclusion have become a common occurrence in our country. Habitat for Humanity’s mission statement calls us to put God’s love into action by building homes, communities and hope. The staff and Board of Habitat for Humanity of Summit County believe that in order to truly live out that mission we must address our commitment to building hope for those in our community who have been systematically disadvantaged.
Habitat for Humanity of Summit County is committed to providing affordable housing programming for Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) and individuals of all races and ethnicities. We believe that affordable housing is a basic, fundamental right of every single person who shares our great community with us. We know that stable shelter represents transformational change for families and our neighborhoods.
Today we are proud to share the following Diversity, Equity and Inclusion statement with everyone who supports our organization. It outlines our history of service to the BIPOC community as well as our commitment to continue working towards creating a diverse and inclusive organization. We are proud of the legacy that Habitat for Humanity of Summit County is building, and look forward to doing more to create a more equitable community.
As always, we thank you for your continued support.
President, Board of Trustees
Habitat for Humanity is committed to serving the needs of our community and those who call it home. We recognize that racially discriminatory housing policies have profoundly disadvantaged Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) households, with a lasting, generational impact. We believe that access to safe, affordable housing is a fundamental right of every person. The following statistics highlight Habitat for Humanity’s commitment to meeting the needs of marginalized and disadvantaged families globally and throughout our community.
• Globally, Black families comprise 40% of the total families Habitat for Humanity affiliates assist in becoming homeowners, and non-white households make up 67%
• In Summit County we have built and dedicated 214 new homes since 1986, of which 63 were for BIPOC families,
• In Summit County we have completed critical home repairs for 41 families since 2011,
• HFHSC’s Neighborhood Network program serves Middlebury (69% BIPOC) and University Park (42% BIPOC). These neighborhoods are two of Akron’s most diverse. Neighborhood Network provides social programming, resources connections and an introduction to additional HFHSC programming such our Critical Home Repair,
• Habitat for Humanity of Summit County has built homes for 14 families of Asian/Pacific Islander decent, and completed home repairs for 7 families of the same ethnicity,
• Habitat for Humanity of Summit County’s workforce is comprised of more than 25% BIPOC employees.
In 2020 HFHSC completed a homeowner assessment asking Habitat homeowners to assess the impact that our programming has had on their families. Of those that responded, 47% represent BIPOC families. The majority of respondents shared that their Habitat home has created greater stability for themselves and their families, has created the financial freedom to afford access to basics needs they had previously sacrificed, and allowed them to focus on self-improvement and caring for their families.
Our partner families shared the following quotes with us during the homeowner assessment:
“Home ownership has allowed me to invest into other parts of my future, and my family’s, without stress/worry regarding housing stability. I was able to work and obtain my master’s degree while caring for my family and not having to sacrifice in areas such as housing.” – HFHSC Homeowner
“I now feel confident that we will be able to retire comfortably and build some wealth.” – HFHSC Homeowner
Habitat for Humanity of Summit County is committed to creating strong and vibrant communities. We will continue to strive for racial equity in our community by ensuring that black, indigenous and people of color have every opportunity to achieve their dreams of homeownership and financial stability. We know that equitable communities are thriving communities.