For many, having a safe place to call home is simply a fact of life, like moving around easily or thinking clearly.
However, others are less fortunate and have spent a portion of or, in some cases, all of their lives without a safe and stable home.
You might not think this is important if you’ve always had a home to go to, but at Habitat Dekalb, we understand how difficult life can be without a secure place to live.
Here are just a few of the ways that a safe home can influence your life and the reasons why our work is so vitally important.
Having A Safe Home Builds Self-Esteem
Being without a safe and comfortable place to live can seriously affect your self-esteem. If a person is left without somewhere safe and secure to live, they can become less confident. For young people, this can seriously harm their development and color every part of their future lives. A lack of home can also seriously impact almost every aspect of your mental health, leaving you feeling desperate and scared. Mental health is as important as physical health, and issues can lead to serious complications, both immediately and later in your life.
Living Without A Home Can Be Isolating
If you’re going through the experience of being without a safe home alone, then it can be incredibly isolating. It can sometimes feel like no one else understands you and will be able to help. That’s why our team at Habitat Dekalb uses their extensive experience to give back to the community and show everyone without a safe home that there is someone out there who understands and can help get them back on their feet.
Homelessness Can Affect Your Physical Health Too
It’s not just your mental health that a lack of a safe home can impact; you may also find that your physical health deteriorates. For example, if you have to sleep outside, you won’t be able to get warm at night or get the sleep you need to rejuvenate and face another day. If you’re moving around a lot, you’ll find yourself having to lift many belongings, which could hurt your back and joints. Getting the healthcare support you need might also be hard, particularly as registering for insurance or a healthcare program can be tough without a fixed address.
Homelessness Puts You At Risk
Living out on the streets or in insecure housing like hostels and shelters puts you at risk of meeting dangerous people such as drug dealers, thieves, and criminal gang members. Whilst not everyone in this situation is a bad person, many criminals prey on the homeless, as they see how vulnerable they are and exploit this. Also, being in a desperate situation can make you feel like you have no choice, making it easier for you to fall into criminality and other unhealthy behavior patterns.
An Address Is Needed To Register For Support
Without a valid address, you’ll struggle to be able to get the welfare benefits you might need to survive, get a job to break the cycle of poverty, or even be able to vote. You’ll find yourself left without basic documents, such as a driving license and passport, which could affect every aspect of your life. This means that you’ll feel isolated and struggle to do basic things like prove your identity and get the help you need.
Homelessness Can Test Your Faith
No matter what church or religion you were raised under, having faith is important if you’re going to make it through the trying periods in your life. That’s why our mission is: Putting God’s love into action by bringing people together, building homes, and hope. We help to show that faith will prevail and that God is looking out for every one of us. Being homeless can test your faith, but these trials are sent to try us, which is why we must all work hard to overcome these challenges.
Communities Thrive When Everyone Has A Safe Home
Communities are the lifeblood of our society, without which we would be individuals looking out for ourselves. However, when there’s a high proportion of individuals and families in a community without a safe place to live, the community can disintegrate, and its spirit weakens. That’s why our work is so valuable to both the individuals we support and the communities we work in. We provide safe housing and the chance for community members to give back and help others.
Being Without A Safe Home Can Break Up Your Family
Families without a secure home can find themselves having to split up to survive, meaning that they could be left without their loved ones. This is particularly true of families with dependents, such as young children, elderly relatives, and even pets. Often, there are resources to help these individuals, but not their entire families, which is why they end up being split up. We understand that families need to stay together where possible. We help as many families as possible to stay together and enjoy all the benefits that homeownership has to offer.
A lack of a safe home is an unfortunate reality for thousands of people and families across the United States and worldwide.
The volunteers and vital supporters at Habitat Dekalb work to help people across Dekalb County get back into a safe home and adjust to this by providing financial education and support.
Our work is vital to the lives of many families in your neighborhood and beyond, so find out how you can help today!
“Home should be a source of happiness and hope. Home should offer a safe and stable environment. Home should help, not hinder, a person’s ability to thrive.”
— Shaun Donovan, former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development