During this year’s Miner’s Day festivities, Habitat for Humanity received an award for their invaluable representation and support of social equity in Park City. Th e esteemed nonprofit has, without a doubt, helped our entire community as they tirelessly work towards building, educating and creating sustainable avenues for our growing community.

This past year, one of the organization’s highlights was their ability save over 600 tons of waste from local landfills. This is a notable story to tell as Habitat for Humanity is forging a difference by making our world a healthier place.

The nonprofit’s distinguished areas worthy of spotlight include Th e Habitat for Humanity Restore and the creation of affordable housing opportunities, alongside vast educational opportunities. Currently, one of their areas of focus is raising awareness about the housing crisis in Summit County. As we know, the high cost of homes is restricting hard-working people from the opportunity to become full members of our community. Th is includes a workforce that is essential to the function of a healthy community: teachers, doctors, nurses, maintenance workers, firefighters, bus drivers, hospitality, shopkeepers and more. These costs also force more than 13,300 members of the workforce to commute to the area each day, because only 5% of homes in Park City are priced affordably.

The company’s website explains, “Imagine your child’s dedicated teacher, an innovator in education who works 10 hours each day. She drives 1.5 hours to and from work and is priced out of housing locally, even with her$60,000 annual salary.” As a result, she is applying for teaching positions closer to where she can afford to live. Th is is becoming the detrimental trend in our community, and before long, we will not have the people necessary to sustain our thriving community.

According to the Federal Government’s Gini Coefficient, Summit County ranks first in Utah for income inequality. To tackle this issue, Habitat for Humanity has extended its programs and services to meet this challenge and an increase in affordable units is expected over the next five years. Th e Habitat’s program gives priority to seniors, veterans, people with disabilities, and now with the addition of the newest “She Means Business” initiative, women in the community who experience poverty at disproportionate levels. Habitat for Humanity also provides free financial literacy, home buyer education and serves as a point of reference for anyone with questions.