How COVID-19 is hindering Habitat for Humanity projects

News Connection

When the novel Coronavirus struck the Concho Valley, Habitat for Humanity had to put their home building projects on hold

SAN ANGELO, Texas — San Angelo’s Habitat for Humanity homeowners and building projects are being affected by the Coronavirus outbreak.

“Things changed dramatically for us,” said Pam Hammer, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity in San Angelo.

When the novel Coronavirus struck the Concho Valley, Habitat for Humanity had to put their home building projects on hold.

“Trustees from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice build our homes for us. They went into lockdown so we have not been able to build at all,” explained Hammer.

The two homes currently being built should have been completed by the end of May. Now the organization is looking at hiring contractors to complete the builds. Hammer said the homes are expected to be finished by the end of June.

“Building was not in our budget. We’re having to look at what that would do to us. Now our budget looks way different,” added Hammer.

The organization decided to keep their “ReStore” open with social distancing guidelines in place. Currently, the store is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and the last Saturday of every month from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. However, the sales have dropped over the last few weeks.

“Our restore is 27% down from last year. That’s a significant loss for us. If that’s it for us, imagine what it’s like for a store twice our size and with several in a market,” said Hammer, “Some of the Habitats have been impacted more heavily. We’re one of the smallest ones. Several of them across the country shut their stores completely.”

The organization had to postpone or cancel their Spring fundraisers. According to Hammer, the San Angelo Gives online fundraiser couldn’t have come at a better time. Habitat for Humanity collected more than $20,000.

“San Angelo Gives was a beautiful thing to happen when it did. We’re very grateful and thankful for the monies that were donated to us,” continued Hammer.

However, Hammer said the pandemic hasn’t just affected the organization. Several families who are buying Habitat for Humanity homes have been furloughed from their jobs.

“We have several families who have been furloughed. If they have issues, we work with them to postpone their payment for a little while but they will have to pay it back of course,” added Hammer.

Despite everything going on, Hammer said she remains optimistic.

“I have faith that it will come back and we will finish our homes to move our families in. It may look a little different in the future but I’m excited about what the future holds for us,” continued Hammer.



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