Habitat Museum Exhibit Advocates Affordable Housing to Tomorrows Leaders

By March 10, 2011No Comments

Los Angeles, CA – Habitat for Humanity San Fernando/Santa Clarita Valleys is hosting an exhibit at the Skirball Cultural Center. This exhibit is designed not only to inform the community of what Habitat SF/SCV does to help working families get homes, but also to advocate to the younger generation and community how important the need for affordable housing is today. Habitat will educate tomorrow’s leaders, informing them that the need for affordable housing is much greater than what one organization with limited resources could ever fulfill. Habitat SF/SVC’s mission is to inform children and the community to be aware and willing to advocate now and in the future.

In conjunction with the goal to inform youth about the need for affordable housing, the exhibit will inform all visitors of Habitat’s Youth United program. Youth United is a program designed to give youth a better understanding of their communities, sub-standard housing and lack of adequate affordable housing. Through advocacy, volunteering, and putting on Youth United events during Act! Speak! Build! Week, Youth United makes a large contribution the mission of eliminating sub-standard housing.

The Exhibit

The exhibit will feature three stations; each will demonstrate a different concept relative to sub-standard housing and the need for affordable housing.

Other information will be provided by Habitat staff, interns and volunteers, flyers, banners and a video. This information will include information on our specific affiliate including the classes offered and required of families working toward a house, a video of one of the families in their current living conditions, information on our “Enriched Neighborhood Model”, building green and much more.

The exhibit is at the Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 North Sepulveda Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90049, Tuesday, March 15 – Sunday March 20, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

For more information about this event and future events, including the Women Empowerment (WE) Build and the first annual Youth Build visit or call (818) 884-8808.

Youth United

Youth United is a Habitat for Humanity program run by youth ages 5 to 25. It brings young people together from all walks of life to play active roles in transforming their communities. They are united in a desire to give something back to their community and to learn more about affordable housing. Through Youth United, students gain a better understanding of their communities, sub-standard housing and lack of adequate affordable housing.

Members of Youth United who are over the age of 16 are offered the amazing opportunity to actually participate in the hands on experience of constructing a home that a future Habitat family will live in. Local Youth United chapters are student led organizations on high school and college campuses. They partner with the local Habitat for Humanity SF/SCV to build, fundraise, advocate and educate. Each chapter also participates in a weeklong advocacy program, Act! Speak! Build! Our Habitat for Humanity affiliate, which serves the San Fernando and Santa Clarita Valleys, has an increasing number of Youth United volunteers. They are learning leadership and teamwork skills, while gaining a greater understanding of the issue.

We are blessed with one of the largest Youth United Programs in the country. We have dozens of chapters on college and high school campuses in the areas where we serve. Through our internship programs, we also have been able to provide opportunities for students to work with habitat staff members in the creation of new programs and systems.

What is Act! Speak! Build!?

Act! Speak! Build! Week is a student-initiated week of advocacy on behalf of Habitat for Humanity and housing issues. Act! Speak! Build! Week empowers young people to educate themselves and their communities and move people to social action. Young people, ages 5 to 25, work in partnership with local affiliates to plan and host events focused on ending sub-standard housing. The week includes activities such as the Building Block Blitz, Paper House Campaign, Welcome Home Housing Simulation, Poverty Awareness Dinner, and Cookie Outreach Project among many other activities.

Habitat for Humanity SF/SCV’s Unique Model

Habitat for Humanity SF/SCV provides homes in a Habitat Enriched Neighborhood model, which requires families to build their homes together in groups of 10 or more. To break the cycle of poverty, Habitat believes that housing must include a neighborhood culture that encourages self-sufficiency. This model offers families a “hand up, not a handout.” Each family invests 500 hours of sweat equity into their interest-free home and participates in educational programs including classes in money management, tutoring, ESL courses, and Fire Department Emergency Response Certification. Free health and dental screenings are also provided for families, along with nutrition education.

Habitat Enrichment programs have been found to have a positive impact on the lives of our families judging from outcome studies of residents in the first 2 phases of this planned 61 home community. In the city of Pacoima, where the first Enriched Neighborhood is located, only 18 percent of high school students reach graduation and only 6 percent of adults have a college degree. In the Habitat Pacoima community, 100 percent of students graduate with 92 percent of Habitat kids are attending or graduated from college or a trade school. And in spite of the current economic climate, Habitat homeowners have a 0 percent default and foreclosure rate.

About Habitat for Humanity San Fernando/Santa Clarita Valleys

Habitat for Humanity San Fernando/Santa Clarita Valleys is an affiliate of an international charitable organization. Serving North Los Angeles City and County, this Habitat affiliate builds low-income housing and provides life skills to families that enable them to become self-sufficient, productive members of the community. This affiliate has created a unique “Enriched Neighborhood” development model, which it is using, in a 61 home community ongoing construction in Pacoima, CA.

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