Choosing an organization to volunteer your time with can be overwhelming due to the number of available choices. To help make your decision easier, choose to help out locally and narrow your search by causes that you are interested in. In doing so, it will improve the likelihood of a repeatable, rewarding experience for both you and the organization chosen!

When we were deciding where our time would be helpful we had a few ideas of what we wanted to do:

Work to help the growing housing crisis

Work locally

Work in a construction related industry

Work outside

That criteria helped us find the Habitat for Humanity Northeast Portland chapter. Working with Habitat for Humanity Northeast Portland on the Helensview build has been rewarding and fun! Helensview is a 21 home site in the Cully neighborhood of Northeast Portland which will be filled with 21 hardworking, low-income families when complete.

What is Habitat for Humanity? Habitat builds and repairs homes with local, hardworking families struggling to make ends meet. Since 1981, over 350 families have had their homes built in the Portland area by Habitat. Last year Portland experienced the second highest average rent increase in the nation, rising 7% over the previous year. As home prices rise, moving up the “housing continuum” becomes harder for everyone, from first-time buyers to individuals leaving transitional housing or homelessness. After a thorough application process, new home buyers purchase their home with an affordable mortgage set to roughly 30% of their monthly income, allowing a reasonable budget for the rest of life’s expenses. These future homeowners also help build their home, putting in at least 300 hours of volunteer time which also helps them learn about maintaining their first home.

Bottom line: Volunteering your time is a great way to stay active in your community! To donate, volunteer or learn more about the Habitat for Humanity work we’re involved with, please check out habitatportlandmetro.org..