“How can I help?” is the question that drives the Family Advocate’s role. Whether volunteering alongside homeowners and donating hours of sweat equity, or checking in that a family is up to date on their escrow savings, or liaising between a family and the Habitat office, the advocate is an important supporter during a rigorous process.
Habitat’s Homeownership Program is not easy. Imagine having children, working forty hours a week or more, and trying to balance the additional demands of completing sweat equity hours each month. “For the strongest, most focused, and stable families, it can be the straw that breaks the camel’s back,” Lois says. “That’s where the Family Advocate steps in to provide support.”
While rigorous, the homeownership program ends with the ultimate reward. “At home dedications, you are filled with emotion,” Lois says. “Homeownership doesn’t solve every problem, but you have a home – for your children, your grandchildren. It’s something you have achieved through personal effort, and the sense of pride is so big.”
Habitat homeowners benefit from renewed strength, stability, and self-reliance. Lois states that one of the best feelings as an advocate was inviting two Habitat homeowners to become advocates themselves.