The mission of the Family Support Committee is to lend support to our partner families beyond what our staff can provide. Partner families should have someone who can provide them with strong support through the process of working to get their home,
help them navigate homeownership, someone with whom they can rely on for advice and help, and someone they bond with who will keep them accountable in the Habitat program. We believe that establishing this committee will create a better experience for the
partner family throughout the homeownership program and smooth their transition into their new home.
A strong Family Support Committee helps bridge the “we/they” divide that sometimes exists with Habitat staff and also empowers families by building on their strengths and walking alongside them as they become homeowners. The committee
provides resources, guidance and education and builds a relationship with each family. The Family Support committee has a unique responsibility that requires patience, knowledge, wisdom and a belief that all people are God’s children.
The Family Support Committee
The Family Support Committee
The Family Support Committee will be made up of volunteers, advocates, trainers, and staff members. The role of the Family Support Committee will be to oversee the program and provide support to the advocates. They will schedule the advocate’s training,
pair up advocates and partner families, find new advocates, are a resource for the advocates, and maintain the goals of the program.
- Embrace the Habitat for Humanity mission
- Meet once a month
- Work with staff to make pairs
- Answer questions that the advocates may have
The role of our Advocates will be to be a support to the partner family and a source of accountability. They will be paired with a partner family by the committee and will meet the family at the time the family signs the Habitat for Humanity of Evansville
Partner Family Agreement paperwork with the Volunteer Workforce Manager. During the sweat equity process the advocate will contact the partner family every other week: one phone call per month and one in-person visit a month. The in-person visit can be on
site or a separate meeting in which the partner family will receive sweat equity hours. The advocate will support the partner family through the closing process, be present at the dedication, and support the partner family for one year after they move in.
During that year the advocate will aim to call the partner family once a month. After that year is up, active participation by the advocate should stop, but the partner family will be encouraged to seek out their advocate should they have problems in which
they need support.
Advocates must be current homeowners, owned a home in the past five years, or have significant understanding of the responsibilities of homeownership. This will help provide partner families, many of whom have never owned a home before, with a helpful
resource on homeownership topics. For example, after the partner family moves in, if maintenance problems arise they will not have a landlord to call. In this instance a homeowner can help the partner family find resources to help them fix their problem.
Advocates may come from the sponsor of a build, Habitat donors, Board of Director Members, qualified current habitat homeowners, or members of the community such as church members.
Time Commitment: Roughly a minimum of three hours a month during partner family sweat equity: 1 hour monthly meeting with Family Support Committee, one phone call and one face to face visit a month averaging around two hours total. One year of contact
after closing, just phone calls once a month. Advocate may need to put more time into family depending on family’s needs.
The role of the trainers will be to provide training and guidance to the Advocates. Trainers will write and administer an official training program for Advocates. Each Advocate should be trained, or attend training, at least once a year. Trainers may
also be Advocates, but are not required to take on this role.
The Training Program
Each of our Advocates will need to be trained once a year in order to be paired with partner families. Without guidelines and training, a family partner not closely tied to Habitat for Humanity goals might misconstrue the role and do things for the
family rather than work with the family. The training program will cover topics such as: how to deal with sensitive issues, the importance of confidentiality, how to find the right boundaries, and maintaining the goals and mission of Habitat. The program will
be run by a member of the Habitat staff and a volunteer who is experienced in working with these training topics.
Volunteer Workforce Manager
(812) 423-5623 ext 33