Now, more than ever, communities across the country are realizing the physical and emotional importance of home.
“As we spend this time apart from friends, loved ones and family, Peoples’ Self-Help Housing is posing the question, ‘What does home mean to you?’ and asking community members in Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties to respond through the virtual event ‘Building Together — What Home Means to Me,’ ” said John Fowler, president and CEO of the nonprofit affordable housing organization, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.
“Homes are the foundation for everything else we do in life. It’s where we gather our families, where we start our education. Everything we do in life begins at home and takes us out into the world.”
Beginning Saturday and ending May 2, PSHH invites you to “create a house” using materials you already have at home. When complete, take a photo of your project, write a few words describing what home means to you and send to firstname.lastname@example.org for inclusion in the organization’s digital gallery.
Entries will be shared on Peoples’ Self-Help Housing’s social media and website at pshhc.org/buildingtogether. Participants can also share their creations on their own social media pages using #WhatHomeMeansToMe and #PSHHBuildingTogether.
Fifty of the best submissions will be included in a bound book in honor of the organization’s 50th anniversary.
“People can also get involved by honoring a house in the gallery by making a gift in support of a PSHH resident currently facing a medical, food or utility emergency,” said Mr. Fowler.
Founded in 1970, PSHH serves low-income working households, seniors, veterans, those living with disabilities and the formerly homeless. It also provides homeownership opportunities through a self-help “sweat equity” program that has seen more than 1,200 homes successfully completed. It also manages nearly 2,000 rental units in the three counties.
A number of residents have gotten a jump start on the “What Home Means to Me” project and entered their submissions, which accompany this story.
“It has been powerful and moving to see their different interpretations of home. We hope this virtual event will bring our community together and help showcase the significance of a home — not just today, but every day,” said Mr. Fowler.