NRI Mission Statement:
Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative affiliates serve more families by responding to community aspirations with an expanded array of products, services and partnerships, empowering residents to revive their neighborhoods and enhance the quality of life.
Vision of NRI: Neighborhoods across the country are revitalized into vibrant, safe and inviting places to live for current and future residents. This will happen through the hard work of engaged citizens, partnerships with civic and business groups and a renewed community spirit.
So what exactly is NRI?
Building a house for a family is noble work. Revitalizing a neighborhood is transformational work. NRI supports the efforts of Habitat affiliates to transform entire communities, house by house, block by block, neighborhood by neighborhood. Habitat affiliates are not the architects of revitalization. Instead, they tailor their work to the aspirations and dreams of residents who take on leadership roles in their community’s renewal. NRI also relies on partners such as churches, businesses, civic groups and neighborhood associations. By ceding the leadership role to residents and of engaging partners, Habitat ensures that the work will continue after the ministry moves to another neighborhood. “We understand that community members should not only be partners of revitalization — they should be champions of revitalization,” said Eve Wachhaus, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of the Greater Harrisburg Area in Harrisburg PA. “We don’t think we know what is right on a street where someone else works and prays and lives and plays.”
The Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative helps fulfill Habitat’s mission.
“Seeking to put God’s love into action, Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities and hope.” For more than 35 years, Habitat has excelled at the home and hope aspects of this mission. Through NRI, the ministry is now focusing on the community part. When Habitat founder Clarence Jordan was creating partnership housing, the precursor to Habitat for Humanity, he talked about building a neighborhood, not just building houses. Today, NRI takes it lead from affiliates inspired by the idea that the best way to serve God and end poverty housing is by extending a hand up to entire communities. In just three years, NRI also has enabled Habitat to serve more families in the United States than ever before. While new home construction continues to play a vital role in Habitat’s work, so do critical home repair, rehabs and weatherization. Since residents drive revitalization, the work of NRI also can entail building playgrounds or ball fields, forming neighborhood watches, offering financial literacy programs, or constructing community centers or community gardens. Together, residents, local partners and Habitat for Humanity can change the face of neighborhoods and the lives of the families who live there — forever.