An integral part of the American dream is homeownership. But the reality is that not all people can achieve that dream.
Which is why we welcome Habitat for Humanity to the island to join a list of people and organizations that will help a family realize the dream.
Last week, Bay Area-Houston Habitat for Humanity officially began construction on its first-ever home on the island. The organization works in the southeastern Texas Gulf Coast to build or renovate homes for people in need.
“This will be the first habitat house on the island,” Executive Director Marco Maina said. “Hopefully, this will be the first of many.”
While the organization is new to Galveston Island, it has had a presence in the county. Recently it noted on its website that it helped repair a house in La Marque that was badly damaged by Hurricane Harvey.
Like many not-for-profit organizations, which it is, Habitat for Humanity relies on individuals and other not-for-profits to not only survive but thrive for the people it helps.
That is why we chose to say that we welcome their inclusion into the list of people and organizations dedicated to making the lives of the island’s residents better.
In the scheme of things, in the aftermath of the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, it is just one house being built among the thousands of houses on Galveston Island.
But the ramifications are much larger. Consider:
Moody Memorial Methodist Church, the Harris & Eliza Kempner Fund and the Medallion Foundation donated about $115,000 for the home, Bay Area-Houston Habitat for Humanity Board President Angela Olstad said.
The Galveston Housing Finance Corp. bought the land, which had been foreclosed on, and gave it to Habitat for Humanity at a low cost.
To us, that is part of a community working together to provide one house to one family by churches, funds and foundations working together.
As for the individual scale, the family that will eventually occupy the home is expected to put in “sweat equity” hours, which means they should not only help build their home, but other homes in the Habitat for Humanity community.
Sweat equity is not new, it is really a foundation. It is when neighbors come together to raise a barn or raise an island.
In the past, barn raising, as the phrase goes, was a celebrated event. It was working to building a barn while enjoying the company of your neighbors.
And so, we welcome the Habitat community in joining our community.
• Dave Mathews