Arkansas Interfaith Power and Light has named us a Certified Cool Congregation for our work building and renovating energy-efficient homes for low-wealth families. We are the first nonprofit to receive this certification and one of only two certified "Cool Congregations" in Arkansas.
Although we're not technically a congregation, multiple congregations and people in the pews help build our homes through mission teams. They also donate to our organization. Our founders from decades ago were active members of a Presbyterian congregation concerned about environmental justice. Faith-based principles guide our work.
Scharmel Roussel, the Executive Director of Arkansas Interfaith Power & Light (center) presents the Cool Congregations Certificate to Kelly Fleming, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity of Central Arkansas (right), and Roger Marlin, Board President of Habitat for Humanity of Central Arkansas (left).
Our board and staff (28 total) worked with dozens of mission team volunteers from multiple congregations and the community to build Energy Star rated houses for low-income (primarily minority) residents in low-wealth neighborhoods. Apostles Build is a program provided by multiple United Methodist congregations to support Habitat.
As stated on the first page of our website, “Our vision is a world where everyone has a decent place to live.” Also on the first page of our website is our belief that “We build strength, stability, and self-reliance through shelter.”
Helping low-wealth residents achieve a better standard of living is one way to “love our neighbors.” Individuals and mission teams from churches of all denominations gather to support Habitat through hands-on construction or support efforts. Habitat serves low-wealth residents. We look for ways to help our neighbors climb the ladder of sustainability.
Habitat for Humanity homes that meet and exceed Energy Star standards serve as an example for the community and can inspire others to make energy efficiency improvements to lower energy consumption, lower utility bills, and reduce carbon footprints. Additionally, the homeowners will realize utility bill savings, share their experiences with others, continue to practice conservation, spread the word, and magnify the message of energy efficiency impacts.