Nailing It Down — There’s no place like home!

Home is the place you long for when you’re away. Home is where you spend most of your time. Home is the place where you feel safest. Home is where you can just be yourself.

Whatever home means for you, it’s clear that Home Matters to nearly all of us.

Recently I (Dave) had the privilege to help launch a new national movement called “Home Matters” to members of Congress, in Washington, D.C. This new campaign is about what NeighborWorks organizations do nationwide to help provide safe and affordable housing opportunities. The brand and messaging were developed and sponsored by our membership organization, National NeighborWorks Association, specifically to focus our national leaders on the reality of just how important home is.

Yes, we here at NeighborWorks of Grays Harbor usually concentrate on the more external issues of housing, but it was good to be reminded of why home ownership, budgeting to save your home, home maintenance, etc., are so important to the people in the home as well as to the community.

That clarity helps us focus how what we’re doing, and can do, for people truly affects their lives.

We want to make the connection for Congress that stable and safe housing affects many other important aspects of American life including:

• Individual Success: Home recharges adults and children alike for the day ahead.

• Education: Children in stable homes learn and achieve more in school.

• Health: Healthy habits take root more easily in stable, affordable homes.

• Public Safety: Stable homes make communities safer.

• A Strong Economy: Homes that are affordable are crucial to a vibrant job-generating economy.

While I was in D.C., I was able to meet with the staffers for Senators Murray and Cantwell and Representatives Kilmer, McDermott, Smith and DelBene.

I wanted them to know more than just what we have done in the past year and how important the housing budget was to continuing the highly efficient work that all 243 NeighborWorks organizations are doing in every state. I wanted them to remember what home is to them and how it affected their lives when they were young and now as they begin to slash budgets that will likely remove the very housing opportunities that make America strong. Home matters.

Home Matters is a movement uniting Americans around Home as more than the place where lives and families thrive and as the bedrock for a stronger nation.

Home Matters reminds us that Home is where we are nourished, protected, supported, sleep soundly, and are encouraged to dream. It is the platform that enables us to thrive.

Home Matters rallies Americans around the power of Home and that our families and communities may prosper.

To be part of the national launch of this campaign to shed light back on what really matters was exciting. It was inspiring to see and hear the reports of NeighborWorks organizations across the country converging and then sharing the news about Home Matters to their members of Congress. It generated vibrant and varied interest.

We plan to keep you up-to-date on this movement and how what we do here at NeighborWorks of Grays Harbor fits together with Home Matters.


To learn more about this movement in the meantime, visit Share your insights, tell your colleagues and friends about the movement, and connect to it through Facebook and Twitter.

We think it’s time for the crucial role that Home plays to be more broadly understood!

Dave Murnen and Pat Beaty are construction specialists at NeighborWorks of Grays Harbor County, where Murnen is the executive director. This is a non-profit organization committed to creating safe and affordable housing opportunities for all residents of Grays Harbor County.

Do you have questions about home repair, renting, remodeling or becoming a homeowner? Call us at 533-7828, write us or visit us at 710 E. Market St. in Aberdeen.