By Shana Adkisson
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — On the bulletin board beside Jennifer Houchins’ desk are many Post It notes with phone numbers inscribed on them.
The numbers are from individuals in the community that need the help of Cleveland County Habitat for Humanity. Houchins, executive director, wants to help each name on those Post It notes, but her agency just doesn’t have the funding.
“Right now, our funding is low. I have to remind myself that I can’t save the world, but I can certainly try one family at a time and be patient and know that it is in the works. I know we are going to get there but we really need the support of our community,” Houchins said. “The funding is definitely something we are needing. I really want people to know how many people are in need. We get calls daily from individuals that lost their homes in the fire. Until we can receive more funding, our hands are kind of tied on being able to help them rebuild.”
In an effort to educate the corporate community on what services Cleveland County Habitat for Humanity offers and how companies can help, Houchins will host a breakfast at 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday at Sooner Legends, 1200 24th Ave. SW. A second breakfast will be held at the same time and location on Thursday for members of the faith community.
“The biggest purpose is for people to realize that we have an affiliate here. We are not associated with any other affiliate. We function as if we were our own franchise,” Houchins said.
According to Houchins, there are 46 million Americans living in poverty.
“Cleveland County is 28 below the state and 15 below the nation for people living in poverty,” Houchins said.
Houchins said during the free buffet-style breakfast, she will inform churches and corporations on how they can give back to the agency.
“We will work side by side with them on what they want to do. Our corporate individuals can participate through donations, in-kind support. They can support us overall financially and they can get involved by having volunteers come out. All of those things is what is going to continue to drive Cleveland County Habitat for Humanity,” Houchins said.
Houchins adds that the faith community is very vital to the mission of CCHFH.
“They’ve already got the community in their congregation. They can help us identify families in need. And they can financially support us as well by doing their tithing,” Houchins said.
Homeowners of CCHFH also will be at both breakfast meetings, Houchins said.
“We want the community to also get to know one of our homeowners and let them know how impactful it was for them to receive a Habitat home and how it’s changed their lives. What we find is we are able to get them in a larger home than an apartment.
Moms no longer are sharing rooms or letting the kids have the rooms. They are in a safer environment and their monthly payment, I would say most of the time, is less than what they were paying for rent,” Houchins said.
To RSVP for either breakfast, call Houchins at 360-7868 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Another option for donating to CCHFH is to text the word “House” to 52000 to make a one time $10 donation that will appear on an individual’s next phone bill.