KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Habitat for Humanity of KC is sharing it’s pride, happy to step up and help even more people with their homes.

The organization’s Pride Build helps those in the LGBTQ community be able to improve their homes. This October, the organization has selected 14 homeowners who will benefit from a little extra help in repairing their homes.

“Pride build is an initiative that habitat KC started about four years ago, as a way to be intentional about addressing some of the issues that the LGBTQ community here in Kansas City can face regarding affordable homeownership, and also affordable home repairs,” Kellen Jenkins, the organization’s marketing and communications manager, said.

A fresh coat of paint is just one of the improvements Habitat for Humanity of Kansas City is making to Dvonta Richard’s home.

Richard, who is an openly gay navy veteran, struggles with PTSD. He considers his home his safe haven. 

“He said, home is where the heart is. And it really is that for him, you know, he takes a lot of pride in his home. So to receive this assistance and get a little help, so he can continue to maintain a place that is warm and welcoming, and brings people in, he’s really, really excited about that,” Jenkins said.

The “pride build” initiative wants to help Richard and other homeowners maintain their homes.

“There’s an application process. So, every participant in this program, they have to meet certain qualifications and certain guidelines. We usually send that application out earlier in the year around April or May, with the understanding that those repairs won’t begin until October. But that allows us plenty of time to find the community members that can really use our help, and then finding volunteers that can come out and assist in those repairs,” Jenkins said.

Habitat for Humanity of KC says access to housing for LGBTQ members is not always easy and can come with hardships

Justice Horn, a community activist, says there are no state ordinances that protect LGBTQ members from housing discrimination in Missouri.

“It is very, you know, common for folks to be discriminated against for home loans, and buyer ship and even renter ship, and even just be turned away, and they have no protections from that. So, it’s definitely an issue and you know, when we want to support when people, you know, have to go through those hurdles, and finally make it to homeownership,” Horn said.

With inflation impacting the costs of home repairs and maintenance, the organization says this initiative helps take the burden off, for an often-marginalized community.

“And for homeowners who are already struggling to make those repairs, those repairs are just becoming more and more unaffordable, or these homeowners may not have the physical ability to make those repairs needed. And so to get that assistance, you know, it means a lot to them,” Jenkins said.

Habitat for Humanity has more information about its Pride Build initiative online at HabitatKC.org/Pride-Build.

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