July offered a couple of opportunities to work again with Habitat for Humanity, photographing two Key Ceremonies. I strongly believe in the important and foundational role of a good home life for raising families. The ACE Study suggests the association between childhood trauma and an increase in social and health problems as an adult. The connection here, in my mind, is a good and affordable house offers a more stable and less stressful home environment for raising children. When the house is unaffordable, a slum, infested with various species of things, the stress level for everyone is elevated, which in turn can reduce tolerances when a balanced attitude is appropriate, leading to elevated emotional responses, and worse yet, physical abuse, mental abuse, marriage breakups, etc.
Habitat’s program offers a way for some families to break out of the cycle. Sponsorship for the program comes from several sources, including individuals, government and business. In the case of one of the events I photographed, Daniels was a major business sponsor of the program.
Affordable housing is so important and fundamental to human well-being. In Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, shelter is considered foundational. Without it, achieving the layers above in the hierarchy — Safety Needs, Social Belonging, Esteem, Self-Actualization, Self-transcendence — are more difficult to realise. I think the ACE Studies bear this out.