World Habitat DayThe U.N.’s annual day recognizing the importance of shelter.
Having an adequate home is now, more than ever, a matter of life and death. As COVID-19 continues to spread, people have been told to stay at home, but this simple measure is impossible for people who do not have adequate housing.
At the same time, COVID-19 has reminded us that home is much more than just a roof. To make us feel safe and enable us to continue living, working and learning, a home needs to be secure, to allow us to access basic services and infrastructure for hygiene measures and to have enough room for physical distancing. It should also be located in a place that enables residents to access public green and open spaces, employment opportunities, health-care services, schools, childcare centres and other social facilities.
An estimated 1.8 billion people were already living in slums and informal settlements, inadequate housing or in homelessness in our cities worldwide before the pandemic began. Some 3 billion people lack basic hand-washing facilities. This means millions of people worldwide are more likely to experience poor health due to the absence of basic services and exposure to multiple socio-economic and environmental hazards.
COVID-19 has spread in areas where people lack adequate housing, and are faced with inequalities and poverty. Residents in these areas are also often not recognized by the authorities or protected and face the risk of being evicted and relocated, particularly in times of crisis. According to ILO, 55 percent of the world’s population – about 4 billion people – do not benefit from any form of social protection.
A decent place to live can remove barriers to opportunity, health and success that might have been part of a family’s life for years and in many cases for generations. It is unacceptable that even before the COVID-19 crisis, more than 18 million U.S. households were paying half or more of their income on housing. Now, as the significant economic impacts of COVID-19 continue to unfold, the number of families struggling to make ends meet is only growing.
On this World Habitat Day, we ask our friends to help us spread the word about a crisis that often goes unnoticed. By supporting Habitat for Humanity of Chester County, you can directly change the lives of families in your neighborhood by giving them a safe and healthy home and break the cycle of having to choose between rent or groceries that too many face.
Our goal is to raise $50,000 for the month of October. Thanks to a generous donor, your gift will be matched!
What is World Habitat Day?
Throughout the month of October, Habitat will draw attention to the important role decent housing plays in removing barriers to opportunity, success, and health that might have been part of a family’s life for years, if not generations. Building strong foundations starts with you. What will you build?
Virtual Build Challenge
Throughout the year, we rely on our volunteers and donors’ generosity to donate their time, talent, and treasures in order to keep our mission going. With this year being very different for opportunities to volunteer, we will be hosting a Virtual Volunteer Build Challenge on November 5th for families, neighbors, and friends to participate.