By Kerrigan Peoples
Habitat Young Professionals is an initiative started by Habitat for Humanity, a global nonprofit that works in all 50 states and 75 countries, to include the country’s most sought after demographic: Millennials.
“Young professionals are very energetic and they’re out in the community a lot,” says Jordan Hunt, President of Habitat Young Professionals.
Before Habitat Young Professionals, Habitat for Humanity had little support from the younger generation. The recent push nationally for the newest young professionals entering the workforce made it the perfect time to grow Habitat Young Professionals into the community.
“Habitat wanted more millennials and young professionals involved in its cause,” says Hunt.
The involvement of young professionals—Habitat Young Professionals Columbus is in its third year now with over 50 members—also aids the nonprofit in getting big companies involved with their journey. Corporate and business involvement helps the Mid-Ohio branch specifically. Led by CEO Ian Thomas, the Central Ohio branch of Habitat for Humanity has done over 500 home repairs and house buildings.
But it’s the work these young professionals are doing on behalf of the Habitat Young Professionals and their companies that truly makes the difference in providing affordable, adequate, and safe and secure housing to benefit families and, especially, their children in the the central Ohio community.
“Kids that don’t have a safe stable environment have more trouble growing up,” says Hunt.
According to Dr. Megan T. Sandel, an associate professor of pediatrics at the Boston University Schools of Medicine and Public Health, as well as a nationally recognized expert on housing and child health and development, housing is the foundation of proper growth and development for children, not just the individual guardian or parent.
“We have to get out of the mindset that stable housing is an individual-level intervention,” says Dr. Sandel on the Habitat for Humanity website. “A stable home is a community-level intervention. We all benefit.”
For those interested in getting involved, Habitat Young Professionals has at least two building opportunities every month, the second Thursday and an occasional Saturday. The build events are getting a lot more traction lately, at six to seven professionals at each event.
“You can build a home that changes people’s lives,” says Hunt. “You get to meet people and learn homeowner experience.”
In fact, April is a very busy month for Habitat Young Professionals. From co-hosting an event with IGS to their Hoops for Habitat basketball tournament, young professionals are getting out in the community this spring.
“It’s a great way to learn about Habitat and have fun,” says Hunt. “Anyone, especially basketball players, are welcome to participate.”
Hoops for Habitat is a three-on-three basketball tournament, and all money raised is going towards building homes. This event will be hosted by Bishop Watterson High School on April 27. Anyone can enter as a team of three or as an individual.
Though Habitat Young Professionals was created to be another outlet to get Habitat for Humanity’s mission across, these young professionals are helping out the community in more ways than was ever imagined.
“At Habitat, the volunteer experience is pretty extraordinary,” says Hunt. “It’s a very tangible feeling of getting to see the good that you did for your community.”
For more information about Habitat Young Professionals and how to get involved, email firstname.lastname@example.org.