What is Habitat for Humanity Chicago (Habitat Chicago)? What do you do?
Habitat for Humanity Chicago is a nonprofit working locally to build a Chicago where every resident has a decent place to live. We take a geographically-focused approach to development concentrating investments into defined neighborhoods for maximum impact. Our services include affordable homeownership, homebuyer readiness, home care workshops, block improvements, and community action support. We currently work in two South Side neighborhoods: West Pullman and Greater Grand Crossing.
Why does Habitat Chicago's work matter?
1 in 10 people currently face critical housing needs in Chicago - an urgent challenge as research shows housing is at the core of healthy, vibrant families and communities. Affordable, stable, decent housing improves school performance, decreases crime, and enhances the mental and physical health of children and adults. Learn more here
Does Habitat Chicago only build new homes?
No. Habitat Chicago offers and supports an array of services designed to improve quality of life for residents of our focus neighborhoods. These include block beautification and pride projects, community action facilitation and support, homebuyer readiness training, homeowner support services, home care training, and more. To learn more, visit our programs and services page
Are Habitat Chicago homes given away?
No! Habitat Chicago homeowners purchase their homes with an affordable mortgage, invest at least 250 volunteer hours on the construction site building their and their neighbors’ homes, and enroll in homeownership preparation courses. To learn more, visit our affordable homeownership page
Chicago is so big! Why do you only focus in certain neighborhoods?
While many local Habitat organizations do “scattered site” building, which places families in homes wherever there is availability, this approach does not work well for Chicago. Because neighborhood environments in our city are drivers of health, we need to make sure we are doing everything we can to set residents up for success. We work at a community level, but in concentrated areas to maximize the effect of the investments we make. We don't just want individuals to survive; we want neighborhoods to thrive. This concept is one that takes a long-term commitment and multi-year investments, and that means we have to let some opportunities go that fall outside our focus neighborhoods. Learn more about our neighborhood impact.
Who gets the homes we're helping to fund?
To be eligible for Habitat Chicago homeownership, families must meet three criteria:
1) Have a need for affordable housing because your current housing is unsafe, overcrowded, or too much of your family income (over 30%) goes toward rent.
2) Willing to partner in our program by completing 250-350 volunteer hours and attending free homebuyer education classes.
3) Have the ability to buy your home with an affordable mortgage.
Read the Habitat stories of our current homebuyers here
Why does Habitat need people to fundraise and/or donate?
Habitat Chicago is a grass-roots organization that is responsible for raising all of our own funds. Many people believe that all of our materials are donated and that we receive our funding through Habitat for Humanity International and the government. This isn’t the case. The vast majority of our funding comes from the generosity of individuals and organizations within our local Chicago community. Therefore, we ask individuals and organizations to join fully in our efforts by becoming volunteers, as well as financial supporters, of our mission.
Where else does Habitat for Humanity operate? What are Habitat for Humanity affiliates?
Habitat for Humanity operates worldwide in over 70 countries. Habitat for Humanity's work is accomplished at the community level by local affiliates: independent, locally run, non-profit organizations. There are nearly 1,400 affiliates in the United States alone. Habitat for Humanity Chicago is the only affiliate serving the city of Chicago.
How can I volunteer with Habitat Chicago?
There are a number of ways you can get involved with Habitat Chicago. Volunteers can work on our build site, in our ReStore (our discounted home improvement store that raises funds for Habitat Chicago), in our office or on special projects and committees. There are many opportunities for both individuals and groups. For a comprehensive list of volunteer opportunities, please visit our Volunteer page
There is no construction experience needed to volunteer on our build site, as we provide a variety of jobs perfect for every level of skill. Our staff provides on-site training and all-day guidance, as well as all of the tools and materials needed to complete the tasks at hand.
How much do I have to raise? What happens if I do not meet my goal?
In order to ensure there is enough space for a group, we ask all volunteer groups to commit to fundraising or donating to cover the cost of tools and materials for your build day.
For standard group builds, there is a requested $250 per person goal. This number is subject to change.
Individual volunteers are not required to fundraise or donate, but we encourage and appreciate a $25 donation.
A small fee per online donation goes to payment processing (4%, which donors are given the opportunity to cover); the rest goes directly to home construction for female-led households, covering things like cement work, lumber, insulation, finishes, landscaping, tools, and other construction costs.
How do I edit and manage my personal fundraising page? What are the resources available to me?
Visit our Fundraising Resources page
to learn the ins and outs of using https://my.habitatchicago.org
, as well as other resources available to you such as best practices and group fundraising ideas.
What should I do if a check is written out to me personally?
If a check has been written out to you personally, you may endorse the back of the check and mail it in with a completed donation form
to Habitat for Humanity Chicago
at:1100 W Cermak, Ste. 404Chicago, IL 60608
Can I mail in a cash donation?
It is not a good idea to send a cash donation in the mail. You may drop off the cash at our office during business hours 9 AM - 4 PM, Monday - Friday:
Habitat for Humanity Chicago
1100 W Cermak, Ste. 404
Chicago, IL 60608
Can I enter a check online?
You can enter a check as a pledge online. You can do this from the fundraising section of your fundraiser dashboard when you are logged in by entering an offline donation.
After entering online, send or deliver the check to the Habitat for Humanity Chicago office as soon as possible. Once Habitat for Humanity Chicago receives the check, we will process it and change the donation status from pending to received. You should see the amount credited to your fundraising progress within 10 business days.
Checks should be made out to Habitat for Humanity Chicago and mailed to:
Habitat for Humanity Chicago
1100 W Cermak, Ste. 404
Chicago, IL 60608
Please include a note that says My Habitat Chicago and the name of the fundraiser to whom the donation should be credited.
How quickly can I expect an online (credit card) donation posted to my page?
Any donation made online should post immediately. If your donation does not post within 5 minutes, please contact us.
A donor is requesting a Tax ID number. What is that and how do I get it?
A Tax ID number identifies Habitat for Humanity Chicago as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. Many donors will request this number to validate their donation as tax-deductible. The Habitat for Humanity Chicago Tax ID number is 46-0494889.
Where can I find a list of the people who have donated to my page?
Log in to https://my.habitatchicago.org/Account/LogOn. Then, navigate to your Fundraiser Dashboard at https://my.habitatchicago.org/Dashboard. In the bottom center of your dashboard, you will see "Recent Donations." Click "View All" to see all of the donors who have supported you.
Why am I receiving emails telling me that I've received a donation? Or why am I NOT receiving these emails?
You are receiving these emails so you can stay up to date on your fundraising progress and to be able to thank your donors in a timely manner. The default setting in your account preferences is to receive all emails, but you can modify your notifications as you wish. Please log in to your headquarters at https://my.habitatchicago.org/Dashboard and edit your account preferences.
If you are not receiving these email updates by default, check your junk folder and be sure to mark email@example.com as a known sender. If they are not in your junk, you might have disabled notifications on a previous fundraising campaign. Log in to your headquarters and edit your account preferences.