Somewhere around the world, or in the United States, or just down the street, a family struggles to get by. Squalor abounds, bills don't get paid, homework is ignored. Health deteriorates—and so does hope. A shroud of poverty envelopes everyone living in substandard housing. It is estimated that more than 5 million families in the United States alone live in unimaginable conditions.
According to a report prepared for Congress in 2003 by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), 5.1 million American households face "worst-case housing needs." These families:
- are renters receiving no government assistance;
- make less than 50 percent of the area median income;
- pay more than 50 percent of their income for rent and utilities and/or live in housing with severe physical deficiencies;
- include some 3.6 million children, 1.6 million elderly adults and 1.3 million disabled adults.
It doesn't have to be this way. Our friends at Habitat for Humanity knew that when they began their ministry nearly 30 years ago. Habitat has worked with more than 300,000 families to provide shelter for almost a million people. And that underscores the relationship between Thrivent Financial and Habitat.
Thrivent Builds is an effort to dramatically increase the number of homes Habitat builds in a year—beyond the homes Habitat already builds. The goal is to build hundreds of homes per year with Habitat, from the inner cities of America to neighborhoods around the world.