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Habitat for the Homeless: Poverty

Habitat for Humanity is a wonderful program that seeks to alleviate poverty by helping families with low income acquire a place they can call home. The service’s website data indicates that six out of ten children in the North Omaha metro area live in abject poverty (“Building a Better Community,” 2021). This problem has been fueled by the emergence of COVID-19, which has paralyzed the global economy. The skyrocketing house price has made affording one very difficult for persons with unstable finances in the community. Intuitively, it has affected people’s health, and many families are unable to meet their daily needs, such as food, among other necessities.

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Habitat for Humanity has the potential to lower the cost of constructing a home through the use of volunteer labor. As a result, they sell houses at a low cost, enabling these families to move to new homes at an affordable price (Delmelle et al., 2017). I have been working with Habitat for Humanity as a volunteer for the last six months. One of the reasons that made me volunteer for the service was that it helped me gain knowledge of woodworking. The service has great people, and getting out and giving back to the community was a good idea. Taking pride in accomplishments feels right, especially when you think of the help offered.

As a child, I grew up in a family where my parents were constructors. My father was a house constructor while my mother specialized in plumbing. Constructing a house is hard work, but numerous visits to construction sites helped me gain adequate house construction skills. My father would ask for my help, which I willingly offered. Through apprenticeship, I learned more about house construction. Working with Habitat for Humanity has therefore served as a great opportunity to sharpen my construction skills, among others. Building a house where you know you have helped the community is a rewarding task.

However, it is worth noting that participating in Habitat for Humanity may not be the optimal solution to solving the homeless issue. Several factors such as increased unemployment rates, mental issues, and increased divorce rates might see many people rendered homeless. Again, economic uncertainties which have been witnessed following COVID-19 may raise prices for resources used in construction sites, among other areas. This being the case, Habitat for Humanity may reach a point where it cannot afford the cost of building materials for houses. Therefore, there is a need for government intervention through subsidies. The government should subsidize the cost of purchasing homes by liaising with the private sector. Indeed, this will offer a sustainable solution to the issue since it will cushion the dollar crisis and fluctuation.

Weaving together the renaissance era political philosophies and contemporary illustrations, Balthazar explains how Niccolò Machiavelli explained the political life in solving issues. Balthazar uses Niccolò Machiavelli’s article, “The Prince,” where he considers political battles not through the morality lens but as a board game with established rules. Balthazar acknowledges that politics is a game of deception, crime, and treachery. Accordingly, a ruler who established a kingdom and is criticized for his ruling deeds, such as violence, should be voted out when the result is beneficial (Balthazar, 2013). View of Balthazar in “The Capitol Hill Playbook: A Machiavellian Guide for New Washington Staffers,” argues that people who run for political office should be good communicators.

Balthazar argues that the government is bestowed to elicit services to the community through elected members rather than volunteers. Balthazar posits that people who run for political offices represent their communities (Balthazar, 2013). By doing so, they are fully trusted by the people who elect them to deliver services. As a result, people should not volunteer to work while they have representatives in public offices. Capitol hill is used as a house where rules and laws are made. However, those who run for political offices have taken it as a play, as reflected in “The Capitol Hill Playbook,” where people play a dirty game to win elections. Still, they do not deliver promises in their manifestos. The statements made by Balthazar seem to directly contradict acts of volunteerism since communities are fully represented.

Ultimately, Habitat for Homeless provides a wonderful service to the community by helping people who cannot afford houses. It is an excellent way of serving the community, but Balthazar criticizes the service. Balthazar believes in Niccolo Machiavelli’s political stand, where people are elected to represent a state and lobby for services. If volunteers offer all services, it will make no sense to elect people to top political offices. Members of Capitol hill have the authority to lobby for services, and as such, the provision of housing is essential. Housing is one of the necessities and a value of the American dream. Every American wants to live in a decent house and get a quality education and integrity. Therefore, Habitat for the Homeless comes to fulfill American values by ensuring that Americans can afford houses at a low price.

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References

Balthazar, N. (2013). The Capitol Hill playbook: A Machiavellian guide for New Washington staffers. Sky Horse Publishing.

Building A Better Community. (2021). Habitat for Humanity of Omaha. Web.

Delmelle, E. C., Morrell, E., Bengle, T., Howarth, J., & Sorensen, J. (2017). The effectiveness of habitat for humanity as a neighborhood stabilization program: The case of Charlotte, North Carolina. Community Development, 48(4), 527-545. Web.

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