Habitat for Humanity of San Antonio — COVID-19 Update

August 4, 2020

Habitat for Humanity of San Antonio — COVID-19 Update

Habitat for Humanity of San Antonio — COVID-19 Update


Revised:  August 4, 2020 

During a pandemic housing is essential! We all need a place to go that we can afford and keep our families safe. As you know many of the families we serve are San Antonio’s service industry workers. During this pandemic all of our families’ needs became greater – many lost their jobs or their work hours were reduced, many (not in Habitat homes yet) are living in substandard or overcrowded conditions and add school aged children to the mix and it turns into just trying to survive.


How we’re helping those most in need

We have always been very hands on with our families so we have been fielding questions and counseling families who were already in Habitat homes as well as those currently going through our homeownership program.  We reached out to our families to determine their needs at this time.  We assisted our families who exhibited need by helping them access the City’s Mortgage Assistance Program.  Many received either mortgage assistance, utility assistance or cash to help them through their immediate crisis.

 

We have seen 95% fewer volunteers on our build site — this significantly raises our home building costs because we are having to hire more staff and pay more overtime. To keep everyone protected we have had to spend a lot of additional funding for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for our clients, volunteers and staff.

 

We have done everything to keep homes on track so the service industry families who most desperately need homeownership can have a place to be safe.  Unfortunately due to COVID-19 we incurred additional expenses we did not have budgeted.  We cannot pass those additional expenses onto our families or their homes won’t be affordable.

 

While we have applied and received some funding to help with COVID related expenses — more has gone out than come in.  Additionally, a lot of our funders have diverted funds that we typically receive to other COVID related relief.  That’s why we need your help now more than ever!

 

Additional precautions for volunteers on the build site

Habitat for Humanity of San Antonio’s leadership team is closely monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak and the precautions governmental and health agencies are suggesting to limit the virus’ spread.  Our priority is always the health and safety of our volunteers, home buying families, partners and our staff. Habitat is taking a proactive approach to minimize potential exposure to the virus.

If you or your group is scheduled to volunteer with Habitat and you’d like to cancel — we completely understand and respect your decision.  Please let us know immediately if your group will not be coming out.

 

For the volunteers who will be on site here are some of the added precautions we will be taking:

 

  • Everyone will be required to wear a mask on site.

 

  • We will provide hand washing stations with running water and soap for the entire day. Additionally, your house leader will provide extra breaks so volunteers can keep their hands clean.

 

  • The sign in area will be more spaced out so volunteers can be socially distanced at check-in.

 

  • All houses will be treated as their own site. Houses may be capped at 15 volunteers – more information on this closer to the build.  There will be restricted movement on site – so each group will stay on their own house and not be allowed to co-mingle with other houses.

 

  • Sharing of hand tools will be limited – we will have increased hand tools available at your house.

 

  • Volunteers are strongly encouraged to bring their own work gloves. If you use Habitat work gloves there will be a bin for clean gloves and a bin to return used gloves.

 

  • As always, volunteers showing signs of illness or distress will be attended to by a staff member certified in first aid. Volunteers showing any symptoms of COVID-19 will be asked to leave and not work on site.

 

  • Volunteers who were sick with COVID-19 like symptoms in the 14 days before their scheduled day will not be allowed to come out on their scheduled day.

 

  • Digital, no-touch forehead thermometers are available if someone requests that their temperature be checked.

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