CFC Cause of the Week: Housing and Shelter

The Combined Federal Campaign is the official workplace giving campaign of the federal government, allowing federal employees and retirees to pledge monetary support and volunteer time to approved charities. This year’s campaign runs from Sept. 21 to Jan. 15 under the theme of “Show Some Love: Be the Face of Change.” Federal workers can contribute to any of the thousands of participating charities by visiting the online pledge portal at

Housing and shelter

For most of us, home is more than four walls and a roof – it’s a place of our own, where we feel safe – but so many people around the globe have to find a way to live without the comfort of a place to call home. Battling the elements, searching for food and going days – sometimes weeks – without a shower or adequate hygiene contributes to many preventable diseases and injuries.

One of the reasons for homelessness around the world is unexpected displacement due to conflict or disasters such as tornadoes and hurricanes. Affected individuals, families and communities are typically left with little to no resources.

For families who do have some resources, one in six pay half or more of their household income on rent or mortgage, and often must choose between reliable shelter or nutritious food, transportation or child care costs, or health-care needs, said a development associate and grant writer at the greater Dayton affiliate of a national non-profit that brings people together to build homes, communities and hope.

In Ohio, the fair market rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $818, she said. The need for affordable housing is apparent in the numbers alone.

“In order to afford this level of rent and utilities, without paying more than 30% of income on housing, the tenant would need to make $15.73 per hour,” she added. “However, the minimum wage in Ohio is set at $8.55 per hour, meaning the average worker would need to work 74 hours per week at a minimum-wage job to afford a two-bedroom rental home, or hold 1.8 full-time jobs, working 40 hours per week, in order to afford this rent.

“Safe and affordable housing for the area’s hard-working neighbors in need can free up funds to provide nutritious food and health-care expenses, and stable housing may increase a child’s opportunities for educational growth.”

There are many CFC charities helping people who find themselves homeless right here in our own community and around the world. These charities provide immediate relief in the form of a clean bed, hot meal or shower.

Money raised for housing and shelter charities can be spent, sometimes in conjunction with volunteer labor, to construct safe and affordable housing. In addition, funds can also be used to repair homes for existing homeowners in need of critical repairs, such as a new roof, water heater, furnace or modifications such as a wheelchair ramp or grab bars.

How to help

It’s easy to make an immediate impact through supporting CFC and housing/shelter-related charities. Volunteer opportunities can be found and CFC contributions made by visiting Details about this week’s causes are available at

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