Everyone experiences some type of stress at home – the dishes are dirty, the kids are fighting, the lawn still hasn’t mowed itself (and unfortunately probably never will). The previous examples are small stressors and in most cases can be fixed relatively quickly and easily. However, the conditions of some homes can equal big time stress and after dealing with work, bills, and anything else the outside world can throw at us, having to deal with big issues at home is daunting and can be seriously damaging to our health.
Home conditions that I’m talking about are issues we’ve discussed in previous blog entries: poor insulation, limited or non-existing water and sewage access, or excessively high utility bills. Coming home to a house that requires repairs or multiple trips to a well so you can bathe does not reduce stress. It causes worry about your family, it exhausts you on top of an already busy day, it can even be embarrassing which may have a strong affect on your social life. Unfortunately, these big issues can’t be fixed in a single night. For low-income families, it may take years to get to a place to perform crucial home repairs. However, for many people that time never really comes, due to low wages or high utility bills, the best they can achieve is just scraping by.
For years doctors and scientists have talked about the effects of prolonged stress on humans. Research shows that stress can cause any number of conditions including anxiety, depression, anger, heart disease, sleep problems, weight gain, and memory impairments. Families that are under constant stress are more likely to fight among themselves and students in such households, on average, perform worse in school.
Fahe and our members provide many services including homeowner education, weatherization for homes, payment assistance, and low interest mortgage loans to name a few. These programs can help families out of difficult situations which in turn will reduce stress concerning housing issues. If you know someone in need of assistance, share this post, if you want to help us make a difference, then please visit our giving page.