During recent months we have been fully thrown into the awareness that a safe place to call home is critical to everyone. World Housing, to date, has focused its efforts on building communities of homes in countries where the need is immense, and the cost of building is low. This enables World Housing to build more homes, leveraging the impact of every dollar we raise.
However, the pandemic has broadly exposed North America’s housing predicament. Edicts to #stayhome have no effect for those without homes, and physical distancing is especially challenging for those that are living in shelters. Further, the hidden ‘at risk to become homeless’ get closer to the edge and at risk of losing their housing when jobs become precarious in uncertain economic times.
As both Canada and the United States see through this current experience, we are profoundly touched, and see that an adequate supply of safe and affordable housing is not just someone else’s issue. Our community’s health and wellbeing at large is dependent on closing this housing gap, and it is an important part of planning and preparedness in advance of the next pandemic.
New World Housing ‘Local Impact Fund’ launches this Fall.
We are currently working on our North American funding strategy, an exciting addition to the work being done in the developing world. We are not planning to allocate the funds we raise to local and international projects based on a formula or percentage (ie. 50% local; 50% international). The ratio of funding directed locally in comparison to internationally will vary since the cost of housing a person/family in North America has a very broad range (depending on where the housing project is located). In the developing world it is a relatively tight cost range, where we can fund an entire home for between $5,000 – $10,000 in the countries we are working in currently. In North America, a ‘home’ or providing housing for a family can range in $100,000 increments or more with many more variables.
According to the recent report from CANADIAN ALLIANCE TO END HOMELESSNESS, two complementary sets of actions are needed to end homelessness. World Housing supports this strategic approach and particularly these key initiatives being adopted by CAEH.
We find these same strategies show up consistently as some of the key actions being adopted around the world, in varying forms but with the same intentions to solve the ‘churn’ of homelessness and to get at the root of the problem.
- Reduce the inflow into the homeless service system
- Accelerate the outflow in the form of permanent housing move-ins from the homeless system through the following strategies that rapidly expand the stock of permanent supportive housing options:
- Pursue opportunities to acquire and redeploy existing properties (e.g. motel and hotel, student rooming houses and potentially surplus office properties) as permanent supportive housing.
- Augment with expanded funding to construct permanent supportive housing and to fund necessary support services
- Expand construction of housing for Urban Indigenous Peoples delivered by Indigenous Peoples.
- Strengthen homeless prevention.
World Housing’s intent is to raise funds for ‘housing’ projects in the areas of North America where our donors are working and living. We are actively looking for housing projects that are in alignment with our vision and goals of long-term sustainable homes that transform the lives of the people who receive them. We also look for the following parameters (at a very high level):
- 100% of World Housing donor funds will go to housing and not administrative costs
- funding supports building housing, not emergency short-term shelter
- housing projects we support are based on a holistic approach — provides the necessary support resources for families and youth to allow them to change their story for the future (ie. health, career training, schooling, etc.)
Organizations receiving funds from World Housing must use 100% of all funds for construction costs associated with housing solutions that build long-term sustainable communities. Grants may range from $100,000 to $1,000,000 or more, depending on the scope of the specific project.
World Housing continues in its commitment to raise the critical funds to provide safe homes to families around the world, and our re-purposed 2020 vision has expanded to fund safe and sustainable housing locally here at home. World Housing will also continue to fund homes in the developing world through our ‘Global Impact Housing Fund’ allocating funds to both global & local projects each year.
World Housing communities in Cambodia and Mexico (110 homes) will be gifted to families as soon as they are completed in 2020 and 2021. Covid19 has slowed progress in Mexico, but Cambodia is on track with the Girls to Grannies community slated for completion in November 2020.
World Housing Homes in Cambodia shown above.
Community building in Mexico – standard construction of homes in Zacatepec shown above. 3D homes being built in Tabasco shown below.
Allocation of funds must resonate with our World Housing donors.
Critical to our ability to generate funds is the connection between our Ambassador community and the projects we support. With both global and local initiatives, World Housing now attempts to satisfy the needs of our North American donors and their corporate philanthropic objectives.
We found the increasing need during COVID-19 pandemic to support the plight of homeless in our North American centres (our own backyard). We are now actively looking for fundraising projects that we can work with collaboratively and support the local community associated with the project. If you would like to put an idea forward for action, please email [email protected].
To that end, we are excited to make this announcement to all our donor community on this new initiative. We appreciate any feedback, and your support as we start to raise the awareness and the funds needed for all we are trying to accomplish. We are looking to launch some new fundraising programs in the Fall and will keep you abreast of the news. Or follow us on social to stay up to date with all the latest World Housing news. Together with our donor community and our building partners, we will ensure that more families have the security of a safe home long into the future.