Habitat Partner Families are amazing, hard-working people and one way you can support our mission is to become a mentor to those families. Our family services department works hard to ensure that each partner family receives the support they need to fully understand and achieve homeownership in partnership with Habitat for Humanity.
Family mentors are vitally important to the success of our homeowners and it's also extremely rewarding. Magna Bahm leads our family services department and she has the following information and advice for anyone interested in volunteering as a family mentor.
Family Mentors support the families by empowering them through the homeownership process, respecting the values and individuality of each family member. Each volunteer mentor attends a training session and we offer continuing Partnership Committee meetings and mentor training sessions. Responsibilities begin when you are assigned a family and continue until 6 months after the family moves into their home. Mentors may choose to discontinue their involvement after their family term is complete or renew by requesting to be assigned to a new family. Either way, the relationships you foster will be extremely rewarding and likely last forever.
Mentor Responsibilities include:
- Building a rapport with your family
- Serving as a liaison between the family and Habitat to ensure the family understands requirements of becoming a Habitat homeowner such as: sweat equity; homeownership workship attendance; house plans and options; down payment requirements; payment procedures and legal documents of sale
- Involving the family in "building community" with their prospective neighbors and other Habitat families
- Assist in media interviews
- Mediate in times of conflict
- Make at least 2 visits per month and report to Partnership Committe to share family's sweat equity, accomplishments, joys, questions and concerns
How to Be a Great Mentor:
- Enjoy yourself but don't be over eager and don't smother the partner family.
- Remember this is all about DOING WITH not DOING FOR
- Take extra time in the beginning, a newly approved family has many things thrown at them at once. Be available.
- Seek to develop a friendship. It's hard not to.
- Be upfront, honest and compassionate, and most of all humble.
- Be supportive during the homeownership process.
After the family has moved into their home, assist with maintenance questions, keep the Partnership Committee informed of their progress and continue the friendship.
If you think you have what it takes to be a great mentor to our amazing partner families, we want to hear from you.
Please visit our website or call us at 310-323-4663.
Read ALL the ways you can make a difference with Habitat:
Tip #1: Go Shopping Tip #2: Have a Yard Sale Tip #3: Write a Check Tip #4: Donate a Vehicle Tip #5: Donate Building Materials Tip #6: A Brush with Kindness Tip #7: Donate to our Home Store Tip #8: Sell on eBay Tip#9: Creative Fundraising Tip #10: Corporate Community Relations
Labels: 21 ways in 21 days, habitat greater los angeles, partner families, volunteer