A large part of my job as the Management and Development Fellow is fundraising. Davidson Housing Coalition (DHC) has its two main fundraisers during the winter, before Christmas and for the Super Bowl. While planning for these fundraisers I noticed a trend. When in doubt about the name for a fundraiser, incorporate “Hope and Housing” into the title. For instance, Campaign for Hope and Housing and Holidays for Hope and Housing. This got me thinking, what do we as an organization really mean when we say “hope and housing?”
The housing part is pretty obvious. DHC has almost 60 affordable apartments targeted at lower income families and helps other families achieve their dream of home ownership, by educating them and walking them through the home buying process.
But, hope can be an abstract idea and can take various forms in different situations. In the nitty gritty day-to-day of a nonprofit, sometimes there can seemingly be little hope. The craziness, business, lack of money, juggling act, and stressfulness can take a toll. I think that anyone in the nonprofit field would admit that it is all too easy to get caught up in the daily grind. This can obscure the good work that goes on in these organizations and can sometimes make us downright cynical. Finding hope here can be tough. It can be easy to focus on the negative. It is during these times that I realize that hope is what we try to give clients and is just as important as the tangible things we provide, such as an apartment or a home repair.
Many of our clients hope for a better, brighter future in which they have stability and are self-sufficient. Safe housing, secure jobs, and financial counseling all provide the hope of achieving a better future. For instance, when single parents finally find an affordable but also safe and clean apartment for their family. Or, when a person that has worked for years on rehabilitating her credit score and stuck to a strict budget purchases her first home. Or, when a client lands the job that he has been wishing and working for since becoming unemployed. In turn, these circumstances give me hope and are what makes my job so fulfilling. After much consideration, I would say that we are in the business of “hope and housing.”
Stay tuned to hear more about our upcoming fundraiser, Holidays for Hope and Housing!