ALISON COFRANCESCO ’20
Monday, Oct. 2 marked this year’s World Habitat Day, a day dedicated to promoting awareness of global homelessness. Homelessness in Connecticut has been on the decline for the past half-decade, due to investments from Governor Malloy. Despite this, homelessness in the state remains extremely problematic, with 3,387 individuals and 392 families recorded as suffering from a lack of sufficient shelter in the past year (according to a study conduct- ed by the CT Coalition to End Homelessness).
To help combat these numbers, Hartford’s Habitat for Humanity chapter creates affordable housing for families in the city. Since 1989, Habitat for Humanity has provided over 231 Hartford families with homes. This is done through a process of “sweat equity.” In order to receive a reduced mortgage, future homeowners must help build their houses along side Habitat volunteers. This process creates low cost housing, and allows residents to really invest in the homes they will be inhabiting. In 2016 alone, Hartford Habitat finished 11 houses, two house renovations, and more than 40 repair projects.
Trinity’s Habitat for Humanity chapter works closely with Hartford Habitat, giving students an opportunity to make changes in the surrounding city. The Trinity chapter hosts monthly builds, where students have the chance to go into Hartford and work on houses. It also organizes fundraising events such as Habitrot, a campus wide footrace that will take place in the fall. Trinity has had a campus chapter of Habitat for over 20years.In that time, the organization has co-sponsored seven houses. Despite being a relatively small chapter, Trinity has been able to raise over 100,000 dollars for homes in Hartford.
This year, chapter president Sarah Kennedy hopes to makeTrinity Habitat even more effective than it has been, with a focus on increased student involvement and campus-wide awareness. “Not a lot of people know what Habitat is or what problems we’re trying to fix, so it would be great to get more people engaged and spread the word about affordable housing outreach. I’m also looking forward to bringing back Habitat’s spring break trip, which unfortunately didn’t happen last year,” said Kennedy. Habitat meets Sundays at 5pm in the Community Service Office. To get involved, email firstname.lastname@example.org.