Dear Friends of Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity:
With each passing day, we all find ourselves trying to adapt to the measures required to combat the spread of COVID-19. In countries and cultures all around the world, “stay at home” is the message of the moment. “Shelter in place.”
It’s the right thing to do, and if we are all able to flatten the curve, we know that we will have, together, saved countless lives. But all of us at Habitat for Humanity also know that there are far too many families for whom this isn’t as straightforward as it sounds. The uncertainty so many of us feel today, these families have felt for a lifetime — if not generations.
That is why Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity is adapting to meet the needs of the families we serve at a time where it may be more essential than ever before.
Our priority is always the health and safety of our staff, volunteers, partners and the people we serve. Milwaukee Habitat is taking a proactive approach to minimize potential exposure to the virus in the following ways:
All three of our Milwaukee County ReStore locations will remain closed. We anticipate reopening no sooner than April 13th. Our staff is diligently working to adapt our operations so that we may safely acquire and provide the merchandise our community needs to maintain properties at a low cost.
Because of this uncertainty, we are suspending donation pick-ups (including the scheduling of future pickups) until we’re able to safely reopen to the public. Questions about cancellations can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit milwaukeerestore.org or subscribe to our newsletter for the latest updates on when and how we will resume sales and donations. We sincerely apologize for this inconvenience through these uncertain times.
Individual/Team Building Volunteers:
In order to protect our communities, Milwaukee Habitat work sites and ReStores will be closed to volunteers through April 30th, 2020. This policy will be reviewed on an ongoing basis. Group volunteer opportunities will be suspended through June 30th.
New Home Construction & Critical Home Repair:
Our focus over the next two weeks will be adapting our construction process to ensure the 18 families who are currently building brand new Habitat homes move in this spring. Though adapting to this pandemic will be challenging, we know access to safe, affordable shelter is more urgent than ever before.
We are continuing to serve existing homeowners in need throughout Milwaukee’s northwest side through our Critical Home Repair program. Our staff is working with a limited pool of subcontractors committed to the safety of the families we serve and the staff they employ to complete projects currently in progress. Interested homeowners can still begin the application process (see below), but please note that projects in progress receive priority during this time of limited resources.
Families interested in affordable home ownership and affordable home repair can still download applications from our website. Interested individuals do not need to attend a homeowner orientation to apply, as orientations are suspended through June 30th. Find out how to apply for home ownership and home repair.
Milwaukee Habitat is asking staff to refrain from attending non-essential business events or gatherings. We have increased telecommuting options and are increasing office sanitation procedures.
Please visit the following sites for an overview of the virus, up-to-date information on the status of the outbreak, and health resources should you become concerned about your own condition or that of a loved one.
We are, of course, closely watching the news, local public health agencies, and the public-school response and will modify our response as appropriate. If it’s within your capacity and you’d like to financially support Habitat through this difficult time, you can make a donation here.
Brian Sonderman, Executive Director
Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity