Hello. I’m Ben Eskow and I’ve been honored to be the executive director here at Warren County Habitat for Humanity since April of 2014. It’s been a great experience and I wanted to share a few thoughts with you.
You probably know that our mission guides us to build simple, decent homes for working families in Warren County. But you may not realize the depth of the affordable housing crisis here in New Jersey and in the county in particular. A United Way study has coined the term ALICE, or Asset Limited, Income Constrained and Employed. The study states that ALICE families “work hard, earn above the federal poverty level, but not enough to afford a basic household budget of housing, child care, food, transportation, and health care”.
The steep rental costs in New Jersey contribute to a high incidence of families in this category, nearly one in three families in the county. Many of these families are eligible for Habitat homes, which can significantly improve their financial stability. You can learn more about these families that are one emergency away from financial disaster at this website.
This is an exciting time at WCHFH as we strive to grow the number of families we help through increased building and repair programs, and new community revitalization partnerships. But we won’t be able to help more families without dedicated volunteers of all kinds.
If you’ve ever wanted to make a real difference in people’s lives, there is no better time than now to give your spare hours, expertise and enthusiasm to help our neighbors in need. I encourage you to look through the “Get Involved” section of our website and see if there’s a volunteer need that matches your interests and experiences, and go for it! I know you won’t regret it.
Thanks for your interest in Habitat for Humanity and for your continued support. I hope to see you soon as we tackle these tough problems together.