COVID-19 shut everything down, displacing many from work to finances to their own homes.  

But for Honolulu Habitat for Humanity, it was an opportunity to restructure their business to make sure families still get their homes.

Habitat for Humanity has one mission: to bring people together to build homes, communities and hope.

So, when the pandemic hit and businesses shut down, a family’s dream of owning their own home could have easily dwindled.  

Habitat for Humanity, however, didn’t allow that to happen.  

“But we didn’t stop building because we were in the middle of constructing two homes and because we were an essential business, we decided to keep working,” says Jim Murphy, Executive Director of Honolulu Habitat for Humanity.

“We weren’t able to do it with volunteers, but we had a number of contractors and some of our staff that we kept up building sites to keep going because the families were this close to being homeowners.”

Roughly 70% of the work is done by volunteers.  

So when they couldn’t help as much, contractors and staff stepped up. And interestingly, productivity increased.

“It’s given us the opportunity to sort of restructure our construction program,” says Murphy. 

“And so, what we have done is we broke up our projects into 4 phases.  So, it’s sort of staging the volunteer components of the house which means we would have competing sites.”

The first of 8 homes planned to be built this year was just dedicated in July, 2 months faster than expected.

Why?  Because of the Aloha of others.

“There was sort of an outpouring of support from the community whether it was just individuals or contractors or folks who wanted to come and help at that time,” says Murphy.

“It’s a nice aspect of the work that we do, were not just building a house in the community.  We are bringing the community together to build the house.”

The next home will be dedicated to its new family in the next couple of weeks.

If you want to help another family, either through volunteering your time or monetary donation, visit their website, honoluluhabitat.org.