Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis is best known for building houses, but we do much more than construction. From day one, we help our partner families develop a full set of tools to craft a better future. No, we’re not talking about hammers or drills; we’re talking about tools for the life challenges we all face. We help our partner families navigate through comprehensive education and skill-building programs. Some courses are mandatory while others are optional and depend on the interest of the individual or family. At the end of the day, our homebuyers gain much more than a home of their own, they are empowered for success.
Here are just a few of the programs we offer:
This mandatory 6-8 week course for all new Habitat Saint Louis homebuyers, is lead by our staff and/or partner financial institutions and helps families prepare for one of the most important purchases of their lives – their first home. We cover everything from the basics of banking, saving, budgeting, credit, and of course, understanding the mortgage they are about to enter. Our goal is not only to provide decent affordable homes for our partner families but also to prepare them for long-term success.
This required course helps our first-time homebuyers learn the ins and outs of homeowner’s insurance, what kinds of events and occurrences warrant insurance claims, filing appropriate claims, and more.
Also geared toward the first-time homebuyers who Habitat Saint Louis serves, this course helps our new homeowners learn to keep their homes in top condition. Sure, our families definitely gained some construction skills working on our build site so they may be prepared to build a house, but this course helps prepare them for owning one! Homeowners learn basic upkeep, from cosmetic to light repairs to making sure everything looks beautiful and runs efficiently for the many years ahead.
A 6-week program designed to teach our families how to eat healthier on a budget. Parents and children learn about nutrition as they cook meals together with the guidance of a professional chef and nutritionist. Older children also learn how to prepare simple, healthy meals and snacks so they are able to provide for themselves when necessary. At the end of each session, families take home a full bag of groceries, courtesy of St. Louis Area Food Bank.
This optional program is designed to help participants build confidence and professional decorum. Participants also work on self-presentation, interviewing skills, resume building, and more to help them rise to their full potential.
A course designed to encourage and prepare young minds for college entry. Open to current high schoolers and high school graduates of Habitat families. The tailored college-prep program assists the young adults of participating families with preparation for SAT/ACT testing, essay writing, resume and portfolio development, obtaining letters of recommendation, and more. During this program, students also visit local college campuses and college fairs and have the opportunity to interact with recruiters and complete entry applications.
Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis partners with The Urban League to help our new homebuyer families feel welcome and become positive, active members of their new communities.
One of our more lighthearted and optional courses, ‘Design on a Budget,’ teaches new homeowners to do just that. This fun course helps families turn their houses into homes. Participants discover creative ways to incorporate a sense of personal style without doing much damage to their wallets.