Habitat for Humanity and Lowe’s kicked off their third annual Habitat for Humanity International Women Build Week (March 8-15) by emphasizing the global need for women’s access to safe and affordable housing. This year, the partnership launched 300 Women Build projects across the United States, Canada and India, an increase despite the need for strict on-site COVID-19 protocols and fewer participants able to volunteer. Habitat for Humanity Williamson-Maury was proud to be one of the 300 projects, raising the walls on March 13 for the future home of Yvonne Anderson and her four children.
The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted women, from job loss to evictions and foreclosures. According to The National Women’s Law Center, 80 percent of U.S. jobs lost during the COVID-19 pandemic were held by women. As a result, substantially more women-led households have been forced to choose between rent and other essential bills, such as utilities or health care.
“Lowe’s and Habitat have witnessed the resiliency and transformative impact of women, from serving at the frontline in the fight against the pandemic to showing up on a daily basis as essential workers, and we are committed to helping women and mothers secure safe, affordable housing,” said Janice Dupré, Lowe’s executive vice president, human resources. “In a year full of uncertainty and precautions, we are proud to have broadened the program to support more families than ever and are grateful for our partners for making it possible.”
Single-mother Yvonne is an essential worker whose commitment to preparing meals at a local nursing home never wavered during the pandemic. “My family did get COVID-19 and that was the only time I wasn’t able to work,” explains Anderson. “Once we were healthy again and out of quarantine, I was so happy to get back to work. I knew the residents were counting on me.”
Cooking feeds Yvonne’s soul, and she cannot wait to have her own kitchen with the space to make meals for her family. She was so excited to start on her home on Saturday, working alongside veteran Women Build volunteers and members from Harpeth Presbyterian Church. She quickly mastered the nail gun and went to work securing the walls of her new home. She calls the Habitat Homeownership program “life-changing.”
Lowe’s and Habitat’s partnership began in 2003. To date, the program has brought together more than 143,000 women volunteers who have built or repaired nearly 6,000 houses. Lowe’s has committed more than $78 million to support the global housing nonprofit’s efforts, including the Women Build program, International Women Build Week, and Habitat’s Neighborhood Revitalization program. Lowe’s support of Habitat has helped more than 18,000 Habitat partner families improve their living conditions.
To learn more or join the conversation, visit www.habitat.org/womenbuild or follow #BuildHer and #WomenBuild on social media to share and view stories from around the world.
For more information about Habitat for Humanity Williamson-Maury’s homeownership program, volunteering, or sponsorship opportunities or to make a donation to help fund Yvonne’s home, please visit www.hfhwm.org.