This week, Creators of Hope takes a look at how building homes for Jamaica’s rural poor improves individuals’ productivity and ability to support themselves financially.
We’ve talked about the ways in which homelessness makes poverty even worse and harder to bear. We’ve talked about the stressors of having no safe place to call your own, and how in communities of homeless people, crime can escalate because of people’s desperation, and illness can spread quickly because of the harsh living conditions. We’ve also talked about how building homes can reverse both of these trends and make communities safer and healthier.
Now let’s look at another significant piece of home ownership: home as an anchor, investment, and motivator.
First of all, home is a literal foundation for the life of an individual or family. With the basic human need of shelter met, people can look ahead to what they would like to do next to build a life. They have something on which to build that life, roots that they will be able to strengthen.
Second, a home provides physical safety and stability. It’s a place where people can rest, take care of themselves and each other, and marshal their resources and energy. When life isn’t a day-to-day struggle against constant insecurity, fear, and stress, people are better able to focus their attention and energy on finding and keeping good employment. They want to build on the anchor that their home has given them.
Third, home is a motivator. When you have a space of your own, you want to take care of it, keep it in good repair, and over time, improve on it. Creators of Hope has seen this vividly with the families we’ve helped over the years. The homes we build are simple, designed to fill a family’s needs with the minimum of expense, but the families themselves work to build on these simple shelters and make them beautiful. When you have a place of your own, you’re no longer in a position where you have nothing to lose. You have an investment in your future, and you will work hard to keep your investment strong and growing.
We at Creators of Hope know that when we build homes for Jamaica’s rural poor, we aren’t just “giving something away” – we’re helping people to better help themselves. We believe strongly in the value of supporting people as they improve their circumstances and build better lives, both for themselves and for their communities as a whole. Find out how you can help us, and visit the blog again next week for one more installment on how building homes changes a country’s future.