Habitat for Humanity
Simple. Decent. Affordable.
That is the motto of Habitat for Humanity. Founded in 1976, Habitat for Humanity aims to provide simple, decent and affordable housing options to its partner families. Starting from humble beginnings, Habitat has grown to include more than 1,400 affiliates in the United States and 70 national organizations around the world.
Here at Western Michigan University, United Campus Ministry is the campus chapter of Habitat for Humanity. The campus chapter partners with Kalamazoo Valley Habitat for Humanity on build days and looks to increase the awareness of housing issues on campus and in the community.
Shantytown and outreach events
Tuesday Night Meetings:
The easiest way to get involved. We hold weekly meetings in the lower level of Kanley Chapel (across from Sangren Hall) at 5 p.m. every Tuesday. During the meetings, we do some education about Habitat for Humanity, plan upcoming events and get a chance to meet the other volunteers outside of the Saturday builds.
We meet at 8:00 a.m. in Kanley Chapel, carpool over to the Habitat Warehouse, and work until 4:00 p.m. on different projects. Students can receive up to eight service hours during the builds and pizza lunch is provided during an hour lunch break. If you are interested in volunteering please sign up in the lower level of Kanley Chapel right outside the UCM office (Room 1160). There are signup sheets available on the bulletin board. You will receive a reminder phone call or text on the Thursday before you volunteer.
The campus chapter also aims to raise awareness about local housing issues with programs like Shantytown. Shantytown involves learning about homelessness, the need for affordable housing, and what Habitat is doing to alleviate this problem. Usually hosted near the end of the semester, Shantytown helps students get a new perspective on housing issues. Students who are interested in participating are asked to come to a Tuesday night meeting to find out more.
In the past, the campus chapter hosted a visit with one of the Habitat home partners and wrote letters to politicians urging them to support legislation that provides affordable housing to low income families.
Collegiate Challenge/Alternative Spring Break:
Spend Spring Break working with Habitat for Humanity and travel. We take a group of students to a Habitat affiliate located within the United States and spend the week helping the affiliate's community and partner families. We normally vote on the location of pre-selected affiliates from Habitat.