DC Habitat Plans First-Ever Rainbow Build

In May 2014, Habitat for Humanity of Washington, D.C. (DC Habitat) teamed up with the LGBTQ community of DC for our first-ever Rainbow Build event. The purpose of this event is to celebrate DC’s diversity by bringing groups together to build a Habitat home, while raising awareness on the issue of affordable housing in the District. Through Rainbow Build, we’re creating a unified alliance between the LGBTQ organizations of DC, in order to work together to build a more affordable city. We’ll be holding several build days in May specifically for LGBTQ volunteers, a kick-off happy hour event, and an online fundraising campaign.

Several other Habitat affiliates, such as Habitat PortlandAustin Habitat, and Habitat Tucson have held successful Rainbow/Pride Builds in the past, and we’re excited to bring this concept to the District.

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How can I get involved in Rainbow Build?

There are several ways to get involved with this year’s Rainbow Build event:

Volunteer:

We have volunteer opportunities for Rainbow Build participants from May 15-17th. LGBTQ individuals will work together to build on one of our Habitat sites in Northeast DC. No construction experience is necessary! To learn more about volunteering with us, check out our volunteer information page. We also work with corporations and larger organizations for group team build days.

Fundraise:

We’ll be holding an online fundraising campaign on Crowdrise throughout the month of May. If we meet our fundraising goal, we will dedicate one of our homes as a Rainbow Build home.

We’re partnering with the DC Center to hold a Rainbow Build Happy Hour on Tuesday, June 10th. Buy tickets here— all proceeds will go to Rainbow Build!

Partner with us:

Become a sponsor for Rainbow Build! We’re looking for organizations, corporations, and individuals to partner with us. You’ll receive media benefits and the opportunity for your employees, group, or friends to participate in a team build day– and you’ll be supporting a great cause.

How do LGBTQ issues relate to affordable housing?

The relationship between affordable housing and LGBT rights is complicated; at their core, both are social and societal issues of basic human rights. The statistics show that these issues are deeply interrelated. Up to 40% of homeless youths identify as LGBT, despite only 10% of the general population being LGBT. One in every three lesbian, gay and bisexual youths has been thrown out of the house by his or her parents. Issues with housing discrimination for LGBTQ individuals makes access to affordable housing even more difficult, and this leads to negative implications for LGBTQ individuals, such as victimization and mental health problems.

There have been movements in recent legislation to protect against housing discrimination. In 2012, The D.C. Office of Human Rights unveiled a campaign designed to reduce housing discrimination against LGBT Washingtonians and groups, and the Department of Housing & Urban Development finalized a non-discriminatory rule for LGBT people in federally funded and federally regulated housing programs.

By increasing the availability of affordable housing in the District, we can alleviate the issue of poverty housing and homelessness, and increase the accessibility of housing for everyone in DC—including the LGBTQ population. Recent studies rank the District as both the “least affordable city in America” and also the city with the highest percentage of LGBTQ individuals- it’s arguable that these issues are more relevant here than anywhere else in the United States.

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Our Partners

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The DC Center is a community center for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) folks in Washington, DC. The Center’s mission is to celebrate, strengthen, and support community among the LGBT residents and organizations of Metropolitan Washington, DC.

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Capital Pride, located in Washington, DC, is the non-profit organization dedicated to serving the needs of the LGBTA community and its partners through educational events, entertainment, community outreach, and celebrations of diversity, including the annual Capital Pride Parade and the Pennsylvania Avenue Festival.

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Stonewall Kickball is an LGBTQ & Ally community-based, non-profit sports league that strives to raise funds for local non-profit organizations. Our league values each player for who they are and what they bring to the league’s community.

Annie's Ace Hardware

Annie’s Ace Hardware is a locally owned and operated hardware store in the heart of Washington, DC. Annie’s is a community-focused home improvement store located near Petworth, Park View and Columbia Heights.

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Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs about 113,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services.

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If you’re interested in volunteering, partnering with us for next year’s event, media inquiries, or just learning more about Rainbow Build, contact brittany@dchabitat.org.