(Issue #487) Community Resilience Through Affordable and Sustainable Home Ownership

We have the know-how in the world to house everyone.
We have the resources in the world to house everyone.
All that is missing is the WILL to do it. -Millard Fuller

Check this out for synchronicity.

  • My most recent book, Community as a Safe Place to Land, has 7 transformational stories that highlight 7 core values for community. For each story, I recorded a podcast episode.
  • During the recording of the podcast episode for the first story (“A Safe Place to Land”), my guests told me about Koinonia Farm outside of Americus, Georgia. It was there that the idea of “partnership housing” took root when Millard Fuller and his wife met Clarence Jordan.
  • That led to the founding of the Habitat for Humanity International in 1976.
  • Fast forward to June of this year. On a visit to Washington, DC, I came across a sidewalk plaque that had an inscription attributed to none other than Millard Fuller: “We have the know-how in the world to house everyone. We have the resources in the world to house everyone. All that is missing is the WILL to do it.”
  • Last week, I sat down with the President/CEO and the Development Director of Beaches Habitat for Humanity to record a podcast. This affiliate program of Habitat for Humanity International, located in Atlantic Beach, Florida, has the WILL that Fuller called for so long ago.

The proverb “It takes a village to raise a child” reminds us of the power of the greater community in raising the children of that community.  As I listened to Curtis Ford and Mary Anne Christensen of Beaches Habitat, I thought of the power that neighbors have to sustain the larger community.

For instance, when a family buys into a Beaches Habitat home, they buy into more than their own space. In some Beaches Habitat areas, like the Ocean Gate neighborhood of some 70 homes, the families become part of a larger homeowners’ association. Ford, the President/CEO, says the journey of the homeowner is more than getting a roof over his or her head.  It is a learning experience that involves collaboration, financial literacy, and giving back to the greater community.

In short, each home helps to create stronger neighborhoods.  The neighborhoods foster communities that add to the strength of the larger community.

Both Ford and Christensen shared (on and off mic) that Beaches Habitat offers a hand up, not a handout.  Sustainable homeownership is the goal when families are selected.  The selected families for Beaches Habitat homes commit to staying in the home—and that requires taking on and meeting financial responsibilities. As Ford stated, “You pay, you stay. You don’t, you won’t.” The houses are not “given away.”  As Fuller envisioned decades ago, the program is about “partnership housing.”

While synchronicity might have led me to the Beaches Habitat podcast recording, I came away understanding that this program is anything but a series of coincidences without causal connections.

Beaches Habitat for Humanity provides deliberative action to help create sustainable housing which in turn fosters community resilience. They help build bridges from neighbor to neighbor.

I have to think Fuller would applaud the WILL as well as the actions of Beaches Habitat for Humanity.


Video Recommendation for the week.

In this brief teaser clip (118 seconds) for Podcast Episode #48, President and CEO Curtis Ford explains how Beaches Habitat goes about providing the foundation for more than a home. This organization helps build communities within communities.

In Episode #48 (in its entirety and with a release date of September 30, 2019 on The Growth and Resilience Network® podcast channel) Beaches Habitat for Humanity President and CEO Curtis Ford and Mary Anne Christensen, Development Director, guide us through the ins and outs of advocating for sustainable housing and its connection to community growth and resilience.


Take a moment and read Roxie’s blog (roxiemovingthebiscuithome.wordpress.com). Roxie is my pet therapy partner–a 4+ year-old rescue dog. On her blog she woofs about life and purpose from the perspective of a dog.  She is quite insightful.


Make it a great week and HTRB has needed.

My latest book, Community as a Safe Place to Land (2019), (print and e-book) is available on Amazon.  More information (including seven free podcast episodes that spotlight the seven core values highlighted in the book) at www.stevepiscitelli.com.

Check out my book Stories about Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island (2017). It has been adopted for teaching, learning, and coaching purposes.  I will be conducting (September 2019) a half-day workshop for a community college’s new faculty onboarding program using the scenarios in this book. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same.  The accompanying videos would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.

My podcasts can be found at The Growth and Resilience Network®

You will find more about what I do at www.stevepiscitelli.com.

©2019. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®

About stevepiscitelli

Facilitator-Author-Teacher
This entry was posted in action, collaboration, Community, community development, financial literacy, fortitude, Life lessons, resilience and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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