When we think of home, we think of it as the place to go to after a long day at work or school. It’s the place where we relax after the daily grind, where we eat our meals, finish homework, spend time with family, and lay our heads at night.
This year, the importance of home has grown so much. After schools and businesses closed and officials issued stay-at-home orders to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus, home became more than just a place to go to at the end of the day.
Around the world, home became the first line of defense against the coronavirus. But it also became the office. Home became the classroom. Home became the new favorite restaurant and neighborhood bar. Home became the art studio, the gym, and the playground. It became the place where families and friends gathered to say hello via Zoom and Skype. This month, it is the place where we will celebrate the holidays with loved ones from a distance.
But for many families in the U.S. and around the world, the sense of comfort and security that home provides has been, and continues to be, out of reach.
The COVID-19 pandemic and other crises left millions of Americans uncertain about their futures. Finding a decent-paying job to make ends meet, caring for their families, and protecting their own health has been a challenge, all while trying to keep up with mounting bills and high housing payments. More than 18 million families in the U.S. were already spending half or more of their income on housing costs, and as the economic uncertainty continues, the number of families choosing between paying for housing and paying for basic necessities is only climbing higher.
At Habitat for Humanity, we believe that no family should have to choose between making next month’s rent or mortgage payment, and paying for basic needs such as nutritious food, healthcare, and heat. As we enter this holiday season, our thoughts turn to those families who are struggling.
Understanding the renewed importance of home this holiday season, Habitat for Humanity launched a new campaign to celebrate just that – home. Celebrity friends, including country music stars Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood, television host and comedian David Letterman, and world-renowned construction and real estate experts Drew and Jonathan Scott, have joined us to share what home means to them this holiday season, and to raise awareness of the important work Habitat does every day to help families build and improve safe, decent and affordable places to call home.