mile·stone (mīl'stōn') n. a significant event or stage in the life, progress, development, or the like of a person, nation, etc.
Habitat for Humanity of San Antonio has reached what we consider a very significant event – the construction of our 600th Habitat house in San Antonio. What began more than 30 years ago as an idea -- a vision -- by Faith Lytle and a very committed group of friends who sat around her kitchen table and dreamed of affordable homes for all families in San Antonio has grown into so much more.
It’s grown into an effort that brings together individuals from all walks of life, businesses, the faith community and many other organizations for one purpose.
Since 1976, HFHSA has continued to thrive and build simple, decent and affordable homes in partnership with families in need – families who might not otherwise know what homeownership feels like.
We could spend days talking about and countless words written about the good work of HFHSA. Yes, we are one of the top producing Habitat affiliates in the nation; we are the only housing organization in San Antonio to offer homeownership as a possibility to families at the very lowest income level, all without profit; we continue our work despite the current state of the economy because we are needed now, more than ever; and while our efforts are focused solely in San Antonio, we are part of a much larger effort with the vision of eliminating substandard housing not only here in our city, but globally.
We can’t mention the 600th house being built by HFHSA or houses to be built in the future without mentioning the families who have worked side by side with our staff and volunteers to build their own homes. These are families who came to HFHSA because they wanted to provide something better for themselves. They wanted to work hard. Many have worked far more than the 300 hours of sweat equity they are required to work. They have worked these hours in addition to their full times jobs and on top of the every day stresses of caring for their families. They did not come to us looking for a handout.
We also can’t forget the thousands of volunteers who join those hardworking families each year. These are volunteers who spend their weekends working on our construction crews. And last but certainly not least, we can’t forget the countless individuals and organizations who give of their money to build Habitat homes. Without all of these generous and hardworking people, HFHSA would not exist.
Yes, this 600th home is milestone for HFHSA, one of many more milestones we hope to reach in the future. But it’s also a milestone for our families, volunteers and donors who have helped us get to this point and make our work possible. It’s a triumph. It’s further proof that what we are doing – not just building homes, but building communities and strengthening families – is the right thing to do.
The 600th home, sponsored in part by Bartlett Cocke General Contractors, Republic National Distributing Company, Frost and Concordia Lutheran Church, is one of 50 homes that will be completed by year’s end. Other sponsors, in addition to many individual donors, currently making homes possible in this phase of construction include St. Luke Catholic Church, St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, St.Thomas Episcopal Church, the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas and Capital Group; St. Matthew Catholic Church; Holy Trinity Catholic Church; Alamo Heights United Methodist Church and Valero. Homes currently under construction, including the 600th house, will be dedicated in a ceremony on May 9.
It’s to 33 years of hardworking families, donors and volunteers that we say THANK YOU. It’s to you that we owe this milestone.
by Shelly, Habitat for Humanity of San Antonio staff