New policies could help Valley groups, couple says.
HOWLAND -- A township couple has returned from an international Habitat for Humanity celebration inspired to build more homes for those in need here in Trumbull and Mahoning counties.
Bob and Jennifer Titus spent Sept. 11-16 in Indianapolis for the 25th anniversary celebration of the international group. They represented Trumbull and Mahoning counties at the event.
Despite the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks that halted U.S. air travel, representatives from 79 countries attended the event, many arriving late after finding alternate modes of transportation from the various parts of the country where planes had been grounded.
The Titus couple are on the board of trustees for the Trumbull County Habitat for Humanity and also volunteer to build homes with the Mahoning County group. They drove to the event, returning this week.
Besides attending seminars at the event, the couple heard speeches from former President Jimmy Carter and Jack Kemp, former secretary of the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development. They also heard from Habitat for Humanity International founders Millard and Linda Fuller.
"It was worth going because it gives you a new perspective so you can refocus," Bob Titus said.
Funding: He said the seminar opened up new government and private funding sources that could help the local affiliates build more homes. Further, he said he would encourage the affiliates to hire paid executive officers to help them run more efficiently.
One woman, he said, had used new funding sources to change from a group that built one to two houses a year, to one that built 28 last year.
Habitat for Humanity affiliates have built 115,000 across the globe since it was founded in 1976. Of those homes, 1,271 are in Ohio; 749 are in Pennsylvania.