Habitat for Humanity continues to build homes while also providing resources to other area nonprofits

Updated: Apr. 21, 2020 at 11:02 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Virginia’s stay-at-home order highlights Habitat for Humanity’s mission of providing safe and affordable housing for everyone. Now, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the nonprofit is doing just that, while also lending a helping hand to other organizations in need.

Habitat for Humanity is working as quickly and safely as possible to get families into their new homes. Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville Dan Rosensweig said that goal is more important now than ever before.

“We have families that are living in overcrowded or unsafe conditions,” Rosensweig said. “We’re trying to sprint as quickly as we can, while still being safe to help families get into the home so that they can shelter in place safely for the duration.”

When the stay-at-home order went into effect, Habitat had more than a dozen homes wrapping up construction. Staff are determined to finish those properties, despite less manpower.

“We've really tried to consolidate our resources in the homes that are just about finished, and that have families, moving into them with really pressing housing need,” Rosensweig said. “Sadly, the first thing we had to do was close down job sites to volunteers, volunteers are our engine, and our lifeblood, but in the interim, we couldn't safely gather people in a place to work.”

In addition to providing housing and sharing its resources, the nonprofit is also working to ease the financial burden the pandemic is bringing upon community members.

“One of the things that we did was teamed up with Charlottesville Area Community Foundation, and United Way to be able to waive rent for two months at Southwood,” Rosensweig said.

Habitat, like many organizations during this time, has made changes to its protocol to reflect social distancing guidelines, including cutting volunteers and limiting the number of workers allowed in a room while working on a job site.

Though job site volunteer efforts have been cut at this time, staff said there are still plenty of ways to help out Habitat for Humanity. For more information, please click here.

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