This week, in the last installment of our series on the impact that building homes can have on a country, Creators of Hope takes a look at how combating homelessness among Jamaica’s rural poor strengthens the economy of the country.
When we build homes for the individuals and families we work with, we don’t see it just as creating a structure where people can live. It’s the foundation of a better future. With roofs over their heads, families can focus on finding secure and sustainable ways to bring in income. For the rural poor, this often means finding better ways to make their farming work sustainable, and finding ways to bring their harvests to market to sell to the public. Eventually we plan to provide more professional services and support for entrepreneurs, in order to diversify local business.
When families are able to earn money to support themselves, this increases the health of Jamaica’s economy overall. At present, much of the economy depends on the tourist trade. With more families able to run their own small agribusinesses, however, local business grows. People who earn money are able to spend it, supporting other local businesses. The money goes around the circle, and meanwhile, people aren’t as dependent on what small aid the government can provide.
For a country’s economy to thrive, it has to be built on solid foundations. A baseline of prosperity has to exist, such that the basic needs of the citizens are met, and they can make money, save money, and spend money, particularly on local shops and industries. People who can sustainably take care of themselves and their families also have the leisure, time, and resources to diversify their work and bring new types of business and industry to Jamaica. This kind of diversity also leads to economic strength, because the country isn’t dependent on any one particular type of industry.
We at Creators of Hope know that when we build homes for Jamaica’s rural poor, we are helping to grow and strengthen the economy of the country as a whole, improving conditions for generations of families to come. Find out how you can help us, and especially learn more about our mission trips, in which we get volunteers on the ground to build homes for the families who need them. And be sure to visit the blog again in March, when we’ll highlight volunteer stories and photos from our most recent trip!