As a growing volunteer organization, the Habitat's international headquarters nests from where it was born, in Georgia. Striving to commit to its mission and vision, the Habitat groups working in over 100 countries is foreseeing to build housing for one million people in 2005 and to staunchly promote the activities of local, independent affiliate chapters, who initiate and manage all construction, mortgages, and homeowner selection (Wikipedia Website).
Habitat for Humanity's history, as its official website reckons, grew from a concept and developed into fruition in Koinonia Farm, a small, interracial, Christian farming community founded in 1942 outside of Americus, Georgia by farmer and biblical scholar Clarence Jordan. The Fullers first visited Koinonia in 1965, having recently left a successful business in Montgomery, Alabama and all the trappings of an affluent lifestyle to begin a new life of Christian service. At Koinonia, Jordan and Fuller developed the concept of "partnership housing" - where those in need of adequate shelter would work side by side with volunteers to build simple, decent houses.
In 1968, Koinonia laid out 42 half-acre house sites with four acres reserved as a community park and recreational area. The capital used 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.
Applying for the Fund for Humanity concept in developing countries, the Fuller family moved to Mbandaka, Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo) in 1973. 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.
In September 1976, Millard and Linda called together a group of supporters to discuss the future of their dream. Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI) 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.
Most significant in their history was when former US President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn took their first Habitat work trip in 1984, the Jimmy Carter Work Project, to New York City. Their personal involvement in Habitat's ministry brought the organization national prominence and sparked interest in people in knowing Habitat's work across the nation. Since then, HFHI experienced a dramatic increase in the number of new affiliates around the country and around the world.
What They Do Best, They Do It Together
Purely with no profit and no interest, the houses would be built by volunteer members themselves as a labor of love. Building these houses is financed by their revolving subsidy, which they call Fund for Humanity. This money came from the new homeowners' house payments, donations and no-interest loans provided by supporters and money earned by fund-raising activities. Their earned income would be added up again for Fund for Humanity and would be used to build more houses in the future.
Through volunteer labor and tax-deductible donations of money and materials, Habitat builds and rehabilitates simple, decent houses with the help of the homeowner (partner) families. Habitat carries out