We’re continuing our annual charity profiles this week, showcasing our top three charity finalists for Starkville Restaurant Week. We hope you’ll engage with each of the charities on their social media profiles to stay informed on their work long after SRW 2015. Today’s profile focuses on Starkville Habitat for Humanity…
How long has your organization been in operation and how was it founded?
The Starkville Area Habitat for Humanity affiliate was founded in 1986 by members of several churches wanting to provide safe, decent, affordable housing to low income families in the Starkville area. Ms. Pinks Dudley who along with her husband Sam was a founding member of the organization is still an active member of our board. Since our beginning, we have completed 56 houses for families in Oktibbeha County.
What is your organization’s ongoing mission?
Our mission is to eliminate sub-standard housing in Oktibbeha County. Our vision is for everyone to have a decent place to live that they can afford. We also hope that our homeowners will be able to stop the cycle of poverty by using homeownership as a basis for financial security. Finally, we offer people a chance to put their faith into action. We believe as Christians we are called to care for others and display our Christian love by helping and encouraging those who are less fortunate than we are. By utilizing college students as volunteers we hope to instill a lifelong love of Christian Service in the community.
In what ways does your organization impact the Golden Triangle area?
Having completed 56 houses in the Golden Triangle we believe that we have made a great impact in the lives of our homeowners. In the Sunset neighborhood of Starkville we have built twelve houses of the 50 or so in the development, making a huge impact on what was a neighborhood on the verge of blight.
Can you briefly share one of your success stories?
Not everyone who applies becomes a Habitat Homeowner. We have 50 applicants for each of our houses. Our Family Selection Committee looks for the family that would benefit most from a Habitat house. We offer a hand up, not a hand out. Homeownership brings increased self-esteem and security. We have had homeowners who were able to graduate from MSU and get better jobs with better pay and benefits. Perhaps the best example of how homeownership changes lives is of a boy who was struggling in school while his mother’s house was being built, but after moving into his new house began doing better because of the peace and security of living in a house rather than a crowded apartment.
How do you anticipate using the $5000 if your organization is voted as the top charity for Starkville Restaurant Week?
We are proud to say that all donated dollars go toward construction cost for our next house. $5,000 will pay for the roof trusses, windows and exterior doors and shingles! Since our sheathing, paint and siding materials are donated by the manufacturer, you could say that the Starkville Restaurant Week has paid for the exterior of the house.
You’re one of our top three SRW charities! Now, tell us who YOU would vote as the top three Starkville restaurants to try during Starkville Restaurant Week?
We can’t wait to visit Lil’ Dooey’s, Sweet Peppers Deli and Mugshots!