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What is Veterans Build?
Veterans Build is Habitat for Humanity’s national initiative to provide housing solutions and volunteer opportunities to U.S. veterans, military service members, and their families. Sussex County Habitat for Humanity's annual Veterans Build is lead by a dedicated group of volunteers. We work hand in hand with local military groups who donate their time to raise the funds and the roof for a deserving service family.
What Activities Does Veterans Build Support?
The Veterans Build mission is focused on these five inter-related areas:
- Build: Provide simple, decent, and affordable housing solutions for military, veterans, and their families.
- Mobilize: Engage military members, veterans, families, veterans’ groups, and all military supporters in volunteer programs and veteran-related advocacy.
- Employ: Capitalize on skill sets gained from military service with recruitment targeting veterans as Habitat for Humanity International/local affiliate employees, board members, extended volunteers, national service corps members, interns, and fellows.
- Educate: Promote cultural competency for Habitat affiliates engaging military and veterans and provide access to financial literacy and homeownership education programs.
- Honor: Host regular slate of events highlighting veteran housing needs and honoring their service. Target dates include 9/11 Day of Service, MLK Day and Veterans Day.
Veterans Build 2014-2015
George, former Commander at VFW Post 2931 in Ellendale, is the Chair for Sussex County Habitat for Humanity's 2015 Veterans Build. VFW Post 2931 will sponsor this year's Veterans Build. George, born and raised in Georgetown, served in the U.S. Navy from 1966-1970, serving a 1969-70 tour in Vietnam.
Bill is the Co-Chair for 2015 Veterans Build. Bill spends most of his time these days as a volunteer assisting Delaware civilian and veteran service organizations to join forces in helping vets of all types live fulfilling lives. Before retiring to Delaware in 2012, Bill completed a 21 year military career filled with uniquely challenging assignments followed by a 27 year career as an executive in the information technology industry.
The committee is seeking volunteers for the 2014-2015 Veterans Build. George shared "I am excited to work with Habitat and the community to serve our local service men and woman and their families." Opportunities exist on the fundraising, special event, public relations, and build day committees.
Why is Habitat for Humanity Focusing on Veteran Needs?
Nearly 4 million veteran households pay more than 30 percent of their income for housing.
More than 1.5 million of these households pay more than 50 percent of their income for housing (severe cost burden).
Nearly 1 million veterans who own homes are severely cost burdened, despite having access to VA loans and other assistance.
A substantial subset of veterans struggles economically. Approximately 1.4 million veterans (6.7 percent) live in poverty.
Veterans Build 2013
Mari Ellyn is a disabled veteran who sustained non-combat related injuries during her 8 year service with the United States Air Force. Mari Ellyn, a single mother of two boys, struggled to be able to provide sustainable housing for her and her sons.
Over the years, Mari Ellyn, and her family, found themselves living in many different places due to the need for accommodations for her ex husband who sustained injuries in an automobile accident. Mari Ellyn is a survivor of domestic abuse. Her boys had to keep leaving friends behind with each move and Mari Ellyn home schooled them to add some stability to their lives.
"Peace of mind. Its been a long time. But now that time is near! Helping build my home from the ground up, with friends, family & strangers all around, to me is very dear. To know I'll have a safe place to stay, where my family can grow and play, that just takes my worries away! To Habitat I say "thank you" everyday!!" Mari Ellyn during construction of her Habitat home.
Mari Ellyn is an active member in her church and volunteers with several military and church groups such as the C.R.E.W Project (Christ Reaching Every Woman).
To volunteer, donate, or if you know a military family who may qualify for a Habitat home, please contact Sussex County Habitat for Humanity at 302-855-1153.