To commemorate the rebirth of the U.S. Gulf Coast ten years following the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina, Kaua‘i Habitat for Humanity AmeriCorps members, Howie Apilado, Rita Klofta and Maggie Stryker will travel to New Orleans for a week of building and fellowship during Habitat’s annual AmeriCorps Build-a-Thon, May 20-31.
During the event, New Orleans-Area Habitat for Humanity will host more than 400 current and alumni AmeriCorps members from across the U.S. The group, along with local volunteers, will build 10 new homes in the New Orleans East neighborhood in partnership with low-income families.
“We’ve seen the Gulf Coast rise up from the devastation left in the wake of one of the most destructive natural disasters in U.S. history,” said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International. “Many of our AmeriCorps members helped lead Habitat’s vast recovery effort in our Gulf Coast communities, so it’s only fitting to hold this year’s Build-a-Thon in New Orleans.”
The U.S. Gulf Coast was the site of one of the largest disaster recovery efforts in Habitat for Humanity’s history. Habitat volunteers and AmeriCorps members helped remove debris and cleaned more than 2,500 homes in preparation for rehabilitation throughout the Gulf Coast region, and within just six weeks following Hurricane Katrina, construction began on the first new Habitat home in the impacted area. To date, Habitat’s Gulf Coast affiliates have built, renovated or repaired more than 4,300 homes in response to the hurricanes.
The 2015 AmeriCorps Build-a-Thon also celebrates the 20-year partnership between Habitat for Humanity and the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency that oversees the AmeriCorps program. Habitat for Humanity was one of the first organizations to partner with AmeriCorps, inducting 122 members in its inaugural class. Since then, more than 8,000 individuals have served as AmeriCorps members with Habitat for Humanity, helping more than 20,000 families in need of affordable housing, contributing more than 13 million hours of service, raising tens of millions of dollars in cash and in-kind resources and engaging more than 3.1 million volunteers.
About Kaua‘i Habitat for Humanity
Kaua‘i Habitat for Humanity is a local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, an ecumenical, nonprofit, Christian housing ministry. Its mission is to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness from the world – one house at a time on Kaua‘i – and to make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action. Through volunteer and homeowner labor, and donations of money and materials, Habitat builds and rehabilitates simple, decent houses. The affiliate is also a proud partner agency of Kauai United Way.
Kaua‘i Habitat features two main home building programs: New Home Construction Program and
Repair and Renovation Program. Kaua‘i Habitat for Humanity also operates ReStore®, which sells new and used discounted building and construction materials and household items. Proceeds from ReStore® support Kaua‘i Habitat for Humanity’s mission to build decent, affordable housing.
Since 1992, Kaua‘i Habitat has built 117 affordable homes and made critical repairs to 22 existing homes for Kaua‘i families whose household income is between 30-80% of the median Kaua`i income. Because the critical need for affordable housing continues to persist on our island, Kaua`i Habitat has pledged to scale up our capacity and build our next 100 homes before the next decade.
Kaua‘i Habitat for Humanity is pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. We encourage and support an affirmative advertising and marketing program in which there are no barriers to obtaining housing because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.
About the Corporation for National and Community Service
The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) is a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service through AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, the Social Innovation Fund, and the Volunteer Generation Fund, and leads President Barack Obama’s national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit NationalService.gov.