A leading cause of homelessness and major reason for hunger in the U.S. is the high cost of housing. The average wage needed to rent a two-bedroom dwelling is $18.46 per hour while the federal minimum hourly wage is only $7.25. Habitat for Humanity Service Break Experiences provide students with the opportunity to build affordable decent housing to help address this problem.
Habitat for Humanity International (HFH-I) is a Christian-based organization that works to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness by building or rehabilitating homes for low-income working people. Beneficiaries purchase their Habitat house with no-interest mortgages and contribute hundreds of hours of labor to the construction.
Villanova students spend 4 1/2 to 5 days during fall and spring breaks working alongside site supervisors, and community members. Sometimes groups are able to build with Habitat homeowners but this is not always possible.
Accommodations vary but students should expect to stay in a simple setting such as a church hall or volunteer center. Group members share responsibilities such as cooking and cleaning. Student leaders facilitate reflections each night to allow group members to discuss their Habitat work and encounters with people from the local community.
The cost of the experience includes airfare (if applicable), van transportation, room and board, donation to the Habitat affiliate, transportation to and from the airport and a T-shirt. The total will depend on the location of the affiliate. Costs usually range from $325-$750.
Check out the listing of service sites for information on upcoming Habitat Break Experiences.
To learn more about Habitat visit www.habitatforhumanity.org.