New Story supporters,
The fall is bringing two personal changes I’m excited to share with you: I’m getting married in October and moving to New York in November — life comes at you fast! Demi and I are grateful for your support as we move into a new season together. Doing life with Demi is making me a better leader, and living in New York will help our team build relationships that move our mission forward. Next time you pass through New York, let me know — I’d love to connect.
I’m thankful for your generosity through all seasons.
Even in uncertain economic conditions, you continue to give to families in need of shelter. Thanks to your support, we currently have 642 homes under construction. Every home will give a family a steady foundation during uncertain times.
One of my favorite parts of the past quarter is seeing how donors create life change and experience a change in themselves when they help end global homelessness. This often happens when supporters join us in the field to visit the homes they funded.
I think of Elizabeth, an agent with eXp Realty, who visited Ocuituco, Mexico, and said, “I’ve always heard and believed money doesn’t buy happiness, but the past few days, I saw with my own eyes and truly felt what that really means in a way never experienced before.”
A few days in the field can make you forever grateful for the gift of home.
Elizabeth went on to say, “Tell me something and I’ll remember it, but show me and I’ll be impacted.” I’m proud to show you with this report the impact you make possible. You’ll see innovative partnerships, life change, and more ways to help end global homelessness.
Thank you for another quarter of impact,
This quarter, 197 families moved into new homes, and 642 more homes are under construction.
In partnership with award-winning architect firm, Skolnick, we recently broke ground on a 300-home community for families in San Vicente, El Salvador. Families in this community are currently squatting in temporary shelters near a flood zone with a high risk for landslides.
Donors like you are helping us build a sustainable community that features passive ventilation to cool every home, bioswales to collect and filter rainwater, and a recreation area that encourages an active lifestyle. Families will also be within walking distance from the city, giving them greater access to economic opportunities such as schools and jobs.
“This is our home.”
Our local partners are nearing completion of the 131-home community in Nuevo Cuscatlán 2, El Salvador. Some families have already moved into their homes — like Nancy’s family.
Nancy and her husband, Mauricio, have rented a room in an unsanitary house ever since their daughter was born 12 years ago. Mauricio shared how their family lived in fear since they struggled to pay rent and nearly experienced eviction.
“We now pay half of what we paid for rent, and this is OUR home,” Mauricio told us with tears in his eyes and a smile on his face.
Nancy has already taken ownership of their new home by decorating it with butterflies and a fresh coat of paint. We asked her why butterflies. “They remind me of how a worm transforms into a butterfly. I have a phrase for that,” Nancy says as she shows us a tattoo of hers. It reads, “life is always changing.”
Meet Sandra Prieto, our newest member of the executive team
After consulting with New Story for the past year, Sandra Prieto is now joining our executive team full-time to help us provide adequate housing for 1 million people by 2030.
Sandra is an international development and financial inclusion expert, bringing 27 years of experience across 32 countries. Her work in market-driven affordable housing programs has impacted more than 8 million people. She’s joining the team as the managing director of New Story NEXT, our impact team focused on accelerating the development of sustainable and scalable paths to homeownership for vulnerable households.
“Joining forces with other executive members will allow me to continue influencing the strategy to achieve our audacious goals. We’ll be able to lean on each other’s experience and expertise to move the mission forward. I believe individual talents aren’t enough on their own to achieve big goals. It takes an orchestra of individual superpowers working together.”
Learn more about Sandra and our market-driven strategy by reading the full article here.
Making an Impact from Mexico City
We now have seven full-time team members working from our Mexico City office. Often in the field, these team members are building relationships with the families you’re supporting. They also provide construction oversight and nurture local relationships that help us build with empathy and efficiency. And beyond moving our mission forward, they’re a fun group who help the rest of our team (try to) learn Spanish.
Meet one of the team members — Andrea Figueroa, New Story’s donor experience manager
Andrea, in one tweet, what do you do at New Story?
I curate memorable, transformative experiences in the field for donors, our team, and the people we serve.
What do you hope people experience when they join you on a trip to the field?
I hope people experience how a safe home can transform the world for someone. And I hope they feel empowered to contribute to build a world without homelessness.
You also raise bees for fun and a side hustle. What’s a fun fact about bees that may help us next time we play trivia?
I have so many fun facts, but here are three. Bees have five eyes. There are more than 450 registered species of stingless bees around the world. And in Central America, there are stingless bees that are carnivorous and transform rotten meat into honey.
Reducing the environmental impact of roofs with MIT
Dreams of Concrete is a collaboration between MIT, New Story, Echalé, and other nonprofits to reduce the materials used in roof construction.
The roof makes up around 22% of construction costs for an affordable home in Mexico. Our partnership with MIT is using computational design methods and 3D printing to reduce the environmental impact of a roof by 50%.
The solution uses the least amount of concrete and steel while maintaining a resistant and durable product. As the technology scales, the cost of construction will decrease, giving more families access to affordable housing.
See a simplified explanation of the technology with this 49-second short video.
Fund a home for a family without one
Did you know a $10,000 donation completely funds a home? Really — our technology, experience, and local partners have helped us reduce the cost of construction to $10,000 per home. And when you fund a home, you’re not only changing one person’s life — you’re changing a family of lives for generations to come. Fund a home, leave a legacy.
Join an upcoming event
Vision Trip December 8-11
Vision Trips are the best way to see how safe homes transform lives. You’ll join our team in El Salvador to visit communities of homes donors are making possible. You’ll also get a behind-the-scenes look at our solutions — all while enjoying great food and growing your network.
Julie, our senior philanthropy officer, shares her experience going on a vision trip to El Salvador here.
Email [email protected] if you’d like to learn more about joining a vision trip.