COVID-19 impacts daily work of Habitat for Humanity of Pine Belt

Updated: Jul. 16, 2020 at 9:39 PM CDT
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - COVID-19 has had a big impact on the daily operations of Habitat for Humanity.

Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit housing organization that builds and improves homes in partnership with individuals and families in need of an affordable place to live.

“Habitat International has sent down a directive that we are to stand down on our build sites,” said Akwete Muhammad, fundraising director for the Habitat for Humanity of the Pine Belt. “That has really hampered our ability as an affiliate to go out there and start one of our new partner families homes.”

Fundraising has also been tough for the organization.

“So many of our partners locally have been severely impacted by COVID-19,” Muhammad said. “We’re doing what we can in the community to support them. For instance, we’ve been doing a virtual restaurant tour. We feature each restaurant and tell people and try to drive business to our local eateries because we want to have those businesses to come back to once the pandemic is over.”

Not everything has been bad. Through this time, the nonprofit was able to re-brand from Hattiesburg Habitat for Humanity to Habitat for Humanity of the Pine Belt to better represent its partners in the area.

“We just wanted our work to reflect the people and the communities that we serve and have been serving since 1990,” Muhammad said. “Corona has served us well. We were able to go through that re-branding phase.”

Habitat for Humanity of the Pine Belt serves in Jones, Marion, Forrest and Lamar counties.

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