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LOCAL HABITAT FOR HUMANITY’S ANNUAL INITIATIVE DRAWS WOMEN TO BUILD FOR FAMILIES IN SOUTH METRO ATLANTA 

Since the beginning of May, women from around the South Metro Atlanta region have gathered to build for local families. Kicking off Southern Crescent Habitat’s annual Women Build, women from Habitat for Humanity International’s BEST group and Amy & Co Realty helped paint a new home and build a shed in downtown Hampton on May 11th. Just a few days later, members of Southern Crescent Women in Business and political figures traded in their power suits for power tools to build sheds at the future home sites for two new Habitat homes. On May 21st, Southern Crescent Habitat welcomed “Community Builder” sponsor Piedmont Fayette and other Fayette County women to continue building in their Hannah Springs community in Lovejoy. Celebrating Homeownership Month, “Community Builder” sponsors SCB Video TV Marketing and Piedmont Henry will host another group of women to help a single mother fulfill her dreams of homeownership on June 3rd.

Participants of Southern Crescent Habitat’s Women Build not only invested their time but financially contributed to addressing the vital issue of affordable housing and equity building. Statistics show that women, especially those who serve as head of their families and women of color, disproportionately face obstacles that make accessing decent, affordable housing seem impossible. 

Thanks to sponsors, ambassadors, donors, and countless volunteers, Southern Crescent Habitat’s 2022 Women Build raised over $30,000 to help families in Clayton, Henry, and Fayette counties. Michelle Amara of SCB Video TV Marketing, Clayton County Chamber of Commerce President Valencia Williamson, and Southern Crescent Women in Business Founder Ariel Shaw served as this year’s Women Build ambassadors.

Shaneeka Grant’s House Blessing

What’s a better way to kick off Homeownership Month than with a house blessing and dedication? This past Wednesday we were all in attendance for Shaneeka’s house blessing. She is also the 198th recipient of Warrick Dunn’s Homes for the Holidays! His charity along with other’s fully furnished her home. Every thing she could need was added so her family can start brand new and build new memories.

One step closer

Shaneeka Grant had a vision for her family but knew that she would need a little assistance in order to make it a reality. As a kid growing up in Atlanta, Shaneeka recalls living in various apartments around the city, so as an adult, homeownership was always a goal. Back in 2017, Shaneeka was one step closer to becoming a homeowner, but the high down payment and life events quickly crushed her dreams. “At this point, I thought I could never get a house,” says Grant. Since then, Shaneeka has been living in a two-bedroom townhouse with her children, mother, sister, nieces, and nephews – a total of 10 people. “My current living situation is a confined space that makes it tense at times, because of everyone and all of our belongings not being able to be separate,” she describes. Shaneeka knew that living in such overcrowded conditions was not conducive to the growth of her children and she wanted more.

Good things come in 3’s

There is an old saying that good things come in threes, so when Shaneeka heard about Southern Crescent Habitat’s Homeownership program on three different occasions, she took it as a sign. First, she learned about it through students at her job as an accountant for a Georgia university. Then her sister told her about Habitat. Then finally, she listened to stories from two families that went through the program. In 2019, the Grant family’s journey towards homeownership began. “Looking forward to taking the first steps” into her new home, Shaneeka and her family are also enjoying the process along the way. She believes that the homeownership program has the power to positively impact families in more ways than just housing. Her children now “understand how providing a selfless act by volunteering can create growth and humble you as well.” She’s even excited about building wealth with lessons learned through the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University and doing a little handy work around the house with tips she learned while doing sweat equity. Although Shaneeka’s original vision was blurred by circumstances, Southern Crescent Habitat for Humanity helped her paint a clear image for her family’s future. “I imagine us having more happiness, my children being able to expand their creativity without isolation due to space, and our family personally growing individually,” exclaims Grant.

Women Build

Southern Crescent Habitat for Humanity and Lowe’s to address COVID-19’s disproportionate impact on women during International Women Build Week

2020 International Women Build Week
Women Build Week is virtual this year, but in 2020 we worked on a home for The Barer family in our Hannah Springs neighborhood

JONESBORO, GA (March 8, 2021) –  Southern Crescent Habitat for Humanity and Lowe’s are partnering to raise awareness of the global need for safe and affordable housing for women during International Women Build Week (March 8-15). On International Women’s Day, Habitat and Lowe’s will kick off more than 300 Women Build projects supporting women-led households across the United States, Canada, and India to drive awareness and address the need.

Women have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, from job loss to evictions and foreclosures. According to The National Women’s Law Center, 80 percent of U.S. jobs lost during the COVID-19 pandemic were held by women. The United Nations (UN) has reported that 40 percent of all employed women globally work in the industries hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Many of the families in our pipeline represent the frontline workers who have been hit the hardest by this pandemic. We had to postpone three closings last year and all of the families were comprised of essential workers. Although we are not able to kickoff Women Build Week on the construction site, Southern Crescent Habitat is proud to partner with Lowe’s and women in our community to raise our voices and advocate for affordable housing. Board members to a Superior Court Judge have joined us to create a PSA in the spirit of this year’s International Women’s Day theme, Choose to Challenge,” exclaims Cynthia Jenkins, Southern Crescent Habitat CEO.

Despite the unprecedented challenges women are facing, women remain on the frontlines of the pandemic as essential workers, as caretakers within their households, and too often have to make the difficult decision between maintaining a place to call home and paying for food, health care, childcare, education or reliable transportation. Harvard University’s State of the Nation’s Housing 2020 report revealed that 37.1 million U.S. households spent more than 30 percent of their incomes on housing in 2019, including 17.6 million spending more than 50 percent. The effects of the pandemic have further highlighted the need for safe and affordable housing, as 29 percent of renters and 36 percent of homeowners experienced employment income loss between March and September of 2020.

Stephanie Barber, a Marta employee, knows this story all too well. She is a frontline worker and understands the hardships that women face, especially as a single mother of three. Although her dreams of homeownership were deferred due to the pandemic, she was finally able to close on her home last Summer and is advocating for other women.

This story is not unique. Every day, millions of women face the challenge of a future without adequate, stable housing. This issue underscores the importance of Habitat and Lowe’s efforts to bring awareness to the issue, as well as a partnership focused on ensuring that more women have access to affordable housing.

Lowe’s and Habitat’s partnership began in 2003. To date, the program has brought together more than 143,000 women volunteers who have built or repaired nearly 6,000 houses. Lowe’s has committed more than $78 million to support the global housing nonprofit’s efforts, including the Women Build program, International Women Build Week, and Habitat’s Neighborhood Revitalization program. Lowe’s support of Habitat has helped more than 18,000 Habitat partner families improve their living conditions.

To learn more or join the conversation, visit habitat.org/womenbuild or follow #BuildHer and #WomenBuild on social media to share and view stories from around the world.

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Women from around the South Atlanta region (Clayton, Henry, and Fayette counties) use their voice to Challenge Change and advocate for affordable housing on International Women’s Day and to kick-off Women Build Week!

Southern Crescent Habitat for Humanity Empowers Women to Build Everyday

Every year, Southern Crescent Habitat for Humanity welcomes hundreds of women for their annual Women Build – an initiative that empowers women to come together to build homes and positively impact their community through housing. In light of the coronavirus pandemic, Southern Crescent Habitat’s Women Build went virtual. Presenting Women Build Everyday!

Instead of building homes on a traditional Habitat job site, Women Build Everyday equipped women with the “tools” to physically and mentally build in various aspects of their life. Taking place October 19th – 23rd, the weeklong series of lifestyle sessions culminated with virtual home dedications for three single mothers.

According to statistics gathered by Habitat for Humanity International, “more than 18 million U.S. households spend half or more of their income on a place to live, and almost 31% of women-headed households with children are below the poverty level.” With a goal of $15,000, participants had the opportunity to create their own fundraiser or donate to Southern Crescent Habitat’s mission of building homes, communities, and hope in Clayton, Fayette, and Henry counties.

Thanks to community builder sponsor JACOBS Engineering Group, Southern Crescent Habitat offered all of the lifestyle session for free via their Youtube channel. Presented by the Women Build ambassadors, the sessions covered fitness, cooking, beauty, branding, and interior design. The Women Build ambassadors include personal trainer Alisha Filmore, fitness trainer DeBlair Tate, private chef Christan Willis, private chef Rhonda Plummer, celebrity makeup artist Shalawn Willis, business consultant Eboni Green, communication coach Angela Reed, and interior designer Jeannelly Hartsfield. Additional sponsors included Ladies on Spokes and Wade Works Creative.

Please visit schabitat.org/youtube to view ALL Women Build Everyday videos!

Habitat for Humanity and Lowe’s unite women to spotlight global need for safe and affordable housing during International Women Build Week

Habitat for Humanity International, Lowe’s and approximately 6,000 women volunteers will unite in more than 235 communities in the United States, India and Canada for International Women Build Week, March 1-8, to highlight the global need for safe and affordable housing. A prelude to International Women’s Day, the global event aims to build and improve 540 homes while raising awareness of housing issues facing women and their families.

“More than 18 million U.S. households spend half or more of their income on a place to live, and almost 31% of women-headed households with children are below the poverty level,” said Sue Henderson, vice president of U.S. operations, Habitat for Humanity International. “History has proven that women and their families have the power to make remarkable changes and spark meaningful conversations. With the support of Lowe’s and thousands of volunteers around the world, we will advocate for positive change in the housing needs of women and their families.”

In the U.S., one in six families must choose between having a place to call home and paying for food, health care, childcare, education or reliable transportation. Habitat for Humanity and Lowe’s are calling on women across the world to help bring attention to this important issue by raising a hammer with their local Habitat chapter.

“Lowe’s and Habitat have seen firsthand the transformative power women can have when we come together for communities in need,” said Jennifer Weber, Lowe’s executive vice president, human resources, and board chair of the Lowe’s Foundation. “More than 138,000 volunteers have built or repaired more than 5,325 homes during our 12-year partnership of supporting International Women Build Week, and this year, we encourage all women, whether a home improvement professional or a do-it-yourselfer, to join a build alongside other women. Together, we can make a difference to improve access to safe and affordable housing in our communities.”

The Lowe’s partnership with Habitat began in 2003, and since then, the company has committed more than $71.1 million to support the nonprofit. Lowe’s longstanding support of Habitat has helped more than 6,500 Habitat partner families improve their living conditions.

For this year’s Women Build week, Southern Crescent Habitat for Humanity will be hosting employees from the Lowe’s in Stockbridge, GA. The event is a safe-haven for women to practice, excel, and build for other women. To learn more, visit habitat.org/womenbuild or follow #BuildHer and #WomenBuild on social media to share and view stories from around the world.

About Southern Crescent Habitat for Humanity

Southern Crescent Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit housing ministry dedicated to providing low-income families an opportunity to become successful homeowners through a program of education and support, interest free lending, and volunteer driven construction. SCHFH builds stronger families and neighborhoods by partnering with donors and volunteers to build attractive and affordable homes, repair existing homes, and to address community needs through neighborhood revitalization. Since its founding in 1986, SCHFH has built 205 homes and repaired over 170 homes.

About Lowe’s in the Community

Lowe’s has supported the communities where its associates live and work for more than 70 years. As a FORTUNE 50 home improvement company, Lowe’s is committed to creating safe, affordable housing and helping to develop the next generation of skilled trade experts through nonprofit partnerships. Across every community we serve, Lowe’s associates donate their time and expertise through the Lowe’s Heroes volunteer program. For the latest news, visit Newsroom.Lowes.com or follow @LowesMedia on Twitter. 

Southern Crescent Habitat’s Women Build Attracts Hundreds of Women to Repair Homes Across the South Metro Atlanta Area

Southern Crescent’s CEO Cynthia Jenkins welcomes Women Build volunteers in Peachtree City, GA

A sea of pink t-shirts and the sound of heavy-duty machinery filled the South Metro Atlanta area over the last few weeks as Southern Crescent Habitat for Humanity completed three critical home repairs for seniors in Henry, Clayton, and Fayette Counties for their annual Women Build event.

Southern Crescent Habitat for Humanity (SCHFH) provided a safe haven for all-women volunteer groups to learn more about construction and landscaping while ensuring our Habitat partner families have a decent place to call home. The volunteers joined our celebrity ambassadors Brandi Harvey of Beyond Her, Marie Denee of The Curvy Fashionista, Pauli Wade of Wade Works Creative, Dianna Williams of Lifetime’s Bring It!, HGTV Host Egypt Sherrod, Melissa Ingram of Aspire TV, Megan Elliot of Lush to Blush, and Nikki Free of NikkiFreeStyle. The homeowners included a former educator and cancer survivor, a disabled grandmother, and a current bus driver for Fayette County Schools.

With JACOBS engineering group serving as the Community Builder sponsor, SCHFH was able to finish two of the projects and get a jumpstart on the final one. Some of the additional sponsors included Piedmont Fayette Hospital, Wade Works Creative, and the Ladies on Spokes cycling club.