|History of Habitat for Humanity|
Habitat for Humanity International was founded in 1976 by Millard and Linda Fuller. Today, Habitat for Humanity is a true world leader in addressing the issues of poverty housing.
Habitat for Humanity dedicated its 200,000th house in 2005. It is now the home of the Kouassi-Harper family of Knoxville, Tennessee, USA
In 2010, Habitat celebrated its 400,000th Habitat House.
"One thing I really believe about Habitat is that even though we're building with hammers and nails, we're not just building a house," said Ana Valentin-Jackson, a habitat homeowner and staffer who helped build houses with the Carters and other volunteers in Washington, D.C. "We're building opportunities for families just like mine."
Habitat for Humanity marks a major milestone as it dedicates its 500,000th house in Maai Mahiu, Kenya, and begins construction on its 500,001st house in Paterson, N.J. Volunteers and homeowners are joining Habitat for Humanity Kenya and Paterson Habitat for Humanity in celebrating the milestones as part of events held worldwide to mark World Habitat Day 2011.
“It is a testament to the power of what God can do when people come together to build homes, communities and hope,” said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International. “I am so grateful to all of the volunteers, donors and advocates who share our vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live.”
Humble Beginnings at Koinonia Farm
The concept that grew into Habitat for Humanity International was born at Koinonia Farm, a small, interracial, Christian community outside of Americus, Georgia. Koinonia Farm was founded in 1942 by farmer and biblical scholar Clarence Jordan.
The Fund for Humanity
The houses would be built at no profit and interest would not be charged on the loans. Building costs would be financed by a revolving fund called "The Fund for Humanity." The fund's money would come from the new homeowners' house payments, no-interest loans provided by supporters and money earned by fund-raising activities. The monies in the Fund for Humanity would be used to build more houses.
Inception of Habitat for Humanity
In 1968, Koinonia laid out 42 half-acre house sites with four acres reserved as a community park and recreational area. Capital was donated from around the country to start the work. Homes were built and sold to families in need at no profit and no interest. The basic model of Habitat for Humanity was begun.
In 1973, the Fullers decided to apply the Fund for Humanity concept in developing countries. The Fuller family moved to Mbandaka, Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo.) The Fullers' goal was to offer affordable yet adequate shelter to 2,000 people. After three years of hard work to launch a successful house building program, the Fullers returned to the United States.
Expansion into Habitat for Humanity International
In September 1976, Millard and Linda called together a group of supporters to discuss the future of their dream. Habitat for Humanity International as an organization was born at this meeting. The eight years that followed, vividly described in Millard Fuller's book, "Love in the Mortar Joints," proved that the vision of a housing ministry was workable. Faith, hard work and direction set HFHI on its successful course.
In 1984, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn took their first Habitat work trip, the Jimmy Carter Work Project, to New York City. Their personal involvement in Habitat's ministry brought the organization national visibility and sparked interest in Habitat's work across the nation. HFHI experienced a dramatic increase in the number of new affiliates around the country.
Through the work of Habitat, thousands of low-income families have found new hope in the form of affordable housing. Churches, community groups and others have joined together to successfully tackle a significant social problem - decent housing for all. October 3, 2011 Habitat for Humanity dedicated, in Maai Mahiu, Kenya its
and raise the walls on its 500,001st home in Paterson, New Jersey.
Copyright © 2013. Habitat For Humanity.
The Habitat for Humanity International web site contains more information on Habitat's history,
mission, volunteer opportunities and contact information for other Habitat affiliates around the world.