Legacy and momentum. When I reflect on what Anawim Housing means to me, those are the words that come to mind. Our Legacy is strong - established by countless hardworking staff and board members, led by one woman who paved the way to serve individuals and families in need of a home. Simple in concept. A home. It can be defined as four walls with a roof, but at its core, a home is a place to lay our heads after a long day, it is a table where a family comes together to eat and share stories. Home is Everything.
Our momentum is powerful. Anawim Housing's goals are ambitious and it is critical that we succeed. Families depend on us. Neighborhoods thrive because of us. Communities are better when people have a place to call home. A place they can afford. A place that is safe, that provides access to good schools and steady jobs. A place that brings security.
Coming home. It is something that perhaps many of us take for granted but I challenge us to find anyone to whom those words do not conjure powerful emotion. Whether it is the thought of coming home today after a long day of work or the memory of coming home after school as a child. Coming home is a ritual that unfortunately many do not have the joy of knowing.
At Anawim Housing, we have been serving our Mission for over 30 years and yet our biggest challenges are ahead of us. More people need more homes. According to a Report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, Polk County is short more than 8,000 affordable housing units for residents who earn less than 60 percent of the area's median income. Extremely low-income families cannot afford to live in 60 percent of central Iowa rent units. On any given day, 2,500 Iowans are experiencing homelessness.
What does all of this mean? It means that we have to keep doing what we are doing. And continue to do it well. It means that we must constantly look for and respond to opportunities to create more homes and serve more families while meeting our demanding performance criteria. It means we have to raise more money so we can develop and manage more units so that we can serve even more families. It means, Home is Everything. And to many, Anawim Housing is Home.
Russ Frazier, President