CHICAGO (November 11, 2020) – Chicagoland Habitat for Humanity is pleased to announce that Kevin Barszcz will join the Veterans Build team as the Chicagoland Veteran Engagement Specialist.
Kevin is a Chicago native and US Navy Veteran. He deployed in 2011 to the Middle East in direct support of Operation Enduring Freedom with the Navy’s 5th and 6th Fleets. Kevin is a DePaul University graduate and has spent the last 7 years focused on building a stronger veteran community in the Chicagoland area. As founder of Chicago Veterans, he has a passion for helping his brothers and sisters in arms.
“We are thrilled to welcome Kevin to the Chicagoland Habitat team," said Sarah Brachle Wagner, CEO of Chicagoland Habitat for Humanity. “Many veterans in the Chicago region are paying too much for housing or living in unsafe or unhealthy housing. Habitat for Humanity helps families build and purchase homes they can afford and we repair homes for those who qualify. We want to empower local military and veteran families who have served to achieve the strength, stability and self-reliance that stable homeownership provides. Kevin is the right person to help us.”
This Veteran Engagement Specialist position was made possible with the generous support of the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, the partnership of the Chicagoland Affiliate Support Organization, and the Habitat affiliates across Chicagoland.
Since the launch of the Veteran Build program in 2013, Habitat for Humanity International has partnered with over 4,500 veterans and their families to improve their housing. But while the VA reports that veteran households overall have higher employment rates and median incomes than non-veterans, many still face housing problems:
- Nearly 25% veterans aged 55 and older are paying more than 50% of their income for housing. Furthermore, nearly 35% of veterans in this age group report a disability which may require home modifications as they age.
- Female veterans are more likely than their male counterparts to live in poverty. Nearly 50% of veterans who are single mothers spend more than 30% of their income on housing.
Kevin is currently involved in the Chicago veteran community, and he will continue to build relationships with organizations serving veterans to ensure that veterans and their families have safe, decent and affordable housing through Habitat. He is excited to help build Habitat for Humanity's Veteran Build program in the Chicagoland area.