August 16, 2016 BestCompaniesAZ

Habitat for Humanity: The Innovative Power of Vision

By Lee Vikre | @LeeVikre

A strong mission can drive innovation. Habitat for Humanity of Central Arizona, who was recently honored as one of Arizona’s Most Admired Companies by AZ Business Magazine, is a good example of this.

No organization in the state of Arizona has played a more important role in raising awareness of the need of affordable, quality homes as Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona. In the last 30 years Habitat not only constructed more than 1,100 homes, but recently rolled out new services for home owners including emergency home repair, home renovation and total home reconstruction.

Habitat’s vision: A world where everyone has a decent place to live. When most people think of Habitat, they think of home building, but Habitat has also created an innovative program for neighborhood revitalization.

For families to succeed, sometimes the dynamics of their neighborhood have to change. Neighborhood revitalization is a holistic approach that expands Habitat’s traditional partnership with new homeowners and volunteers to include neighbors and local organizations for a far greater impact.

While new home construction continues to play a vital role, a bigger toolbox that includes repairs and other services allows Habitat to serve more families. Neighborhood revitalization starts at the grassroots level — with people in the community determining the goals for their neighborhood. “Affordable housing issues are not limited to those needing a new home, but also in neighborhoods with existing homes,” Habitat’s Chief Program Officer, Lisa Weide stated. “Habitat has expanded its service to include home repair and neighborhood revitalization.”

One example of a Neighborhood Revitalization project was a playground built in partnership with equipment manufacturer Kaboom, in just six hours. This playground serves a neighborhood in Avondale and even offers a place for the HOA to meet.

Most recently, Habitat has begun an initiative involving multiple partnerships. The overall purpose is establishing a scalable project that can serve as a model for realizing many more sustainable and healthy neighborhoods for marginalized residents – while respecting the earth. The initial scope of this initiative includes the Victory Acres neighborhood in Tempe, Arizona.

Habitat for Humanity of Central Arizona has innovatively developed new programs to address the challenge of poverty and affordable housing. Whether in the nonprofit or for-profit world, a clear, simple and lofty vision is powerful.

If you would like to partner with Habitat, which offers employers team building opportunities while enhancing your employer brand by showcasing your company’s community service involvement, please contact them at 602.583.2417 or email them through their contact form.
About the Author
Lee Vikre – Hiring Jedi
A workplace culture maven, writer, and speaker, Lee Vikre has helped numerous companies develop “best company” cultures, gaining recognition at the local and national level. Lee has been called the Jedi Master of hiring because of her exceptional recruiting abilities and friendships with people who love Star Wars. Her favorite activities involve matching people with their dream jobs at award-winning best companies. Lee coaches CEOs but still hasn’t been able to train her three dogs not to bark during conference calls.