Women Build Week addresses homelessness

Big Bend Habitat for Humanity wraps up its annual National Women Build Week. Photo Courtesy/ Allison Abby

Big Bend Habitat for Humanity has wrapped up another successful Women Build Week. The non-profit dedicated March 8-15 as national Women Build Week and partnered with Lowe’s.

Habitat for Humanity is a global nonprofit housing organization working in local communities across all 50 states in the U.S. and in approximately 70 countries.

It works toward their vision by building strength, stability and self-reliance in partnership with families in need of decent and affordable housing. A lot of people in the Leon County area believe that BBHH is a great asset to the community and surrounding areas.

To call attention to the global need for women’s access to safe and affordable housing, Habitat for Humanity and Lowe’s planned to support more than 300 Women Build projects across the United States, Canada and India to advocate for women.

This year, the projects officially kicked off on International Women’s Day. Habitat and Lowe’s also addressed COVID-19’s role in the increasing rate of housing instability for women and their families.

Jevelle Robinson, Big Bend Habitat for Humanity program manager, says that the annual celebration turned out well despite most activities being virtual.

“I think the kick-off week went well. The enthusiasm from Habitat affiliates across the country was quite evident in the social media posts that were shared,” Robinson said. “Certainly, the women’s teams want to be on the construction sites for the Women Build 2021 project, but they have adjusted to doing activities virtually this year and ultimately want to raise funds to build a home for a family in need.”

Due to the large numbers of women who need homes or can’t afford homes in the United States, annual recognition is extremely important.

According to a 2018 point-in-time survey, “More than 216,000 women are homeless on a given night in the United States.”

As a leader in the affordable housing space, Habitat for Humanity has the opportunity to advocate for the families and communities that they serve. The Women Build initiative is just one of the ways that Habitat ensures their status in assisting communities.

There is no question that women in America have endured countless tragedies. The issue of homelessness is a burden on many. Organizations such as Big Bend Habitat for Humanity help to give back to those who do not have.

One FAMU student who chose not to be named has dealt with homelessness as a young woman all throughout school.

“My struggles have made me who I am today,” the student said. “If it wasn’t for the community and organizations such as Habitat, then I truly do not know where I’d be. Which is why I work so hard to help others.”

BBHH program manager Robinson believes that these builds bring people  together to help those in need.

“We are helping a family to realize their dream of homeownership and build their forever home,” Robinson said. “Through shelter, we empower.”

With three colleges making up a significant part of the population in Tallahassee, encouraging more young and eager volunteers could be a great thing.

The BBHH also hosts annual Veterans, Youth and Faith builds in addition to  the Women build. Anyone can help to volunteer, restore and donate. Anyone interested in helping BBHH should consider visiting http://bigbendhabitat.org for more information.