Mission Statement & History
Mission Statement: Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI) works in partnership with God and people everywhere, from all walks of life, to develop communities with Godís people in need by building and renovating houses so that there are decent houses in decent communities in which people can live and grow into all that God intended.
Important to this partnership is the uniting of Christians from many different denominational backgrounds along with people of other religions to work together with people in need. Habitat professes the theology of the hammer, which simply means that Christians may disagree on many religious points, but we can agree on a nail, and the use of the hammer as instruments to manifest Godís love. We can agree on the imperative of the gospel to serve others in the name of the Lord. We can agree on the idea of building houses for Godís people in need, and on doing so using biblical economics, no profit and no interest.
Habitat's goal is to completely eliminate poverty housing and homelessness. Our intention is to make substandard housing and homelessness socially, politically, morally and religiously unacceptable. We believe that this can be accomplished because through God all things are possible.
Habitat International was founded in 1976 by Millard Fuller and his wife Linda. Fuller was raised in rural Alabama and became active in church organizations and involved in various entrepreneurial ventures. He attended college and law school, starting a successful mail-order business during his law school days. Before the age of 30, he was worth over $1 million. Then his life fell apart. His marriage was decaying, his health was failing. He decided to liquidate his assets and give away all the proceeds. This was in 1968 and for the next several years he was involved in several projects which eventually led to the establishment of Habitat.
17 houses were dedicated in the first year of Habitat International's existence. In 1999, volunteers and homeowner partners completed 16,044 houses (an increase of almost 6000 over the preceding year). Thatís about as many as were built in the first 14 years combined. In September 2000, during the Jimmy Carter Work Project, the 100,000th house was built in New York City. During this same week, the 100,001st house was built in Plains, Ga. on land formerly owned by the Carter family, as a kickoff for the goal of another 100,000 homes to be built during the next 5 years. With more than 1 billion people around the globe living in substandard dwellings, there is still a way to go, but we are well on our way. There are presently l930 (this is almost 400 more than in 1998) Habitat affiliates in the United States and HFHI is also represented in 63 other countries. God has truly blessed our work.
The concept of Habitat International is simple. It is not a handout but a hand up. Houses are built with contributed materials and money with volunteer labor. Completed houses are sold and financed over 20 to 30 years interest free. The monthly house payment money paid is then used to finance the construction of more houses. Homeowners are selected based on a number of criteria such as their present living conditions and their ability to pay for the house. They must also be willing to partner with the affiliate by contributing sweat equity and a small down payment. A second note covers the value of the contributed labor and is forgiven at a percentage each year.
Locally, Habitat for Humanity of Warren County was established in 1996. It was a rather lengthy process getting the charter in place. We have been fortunate locally to have the support of some major contributors. In 1996, City Bank (now Union Planters) donated $25,000 for the construction of a house. In 1998, the Carrier Corp. contributed $35,000 for the construction of a house. Construction on both of these houses started in 1998 and they were dedicated in April of 1999. Carrier is a national Habitat partner. Carrier (United Technologies) provided funds, work force volunteers and HVAC units for thirteen (13) homes built between 1998 - 2006. Carrier supported our local Habitat work annually until the Carrier Morrison plantís closure November 2005. Bridgestone/Firestone has also supported the local Habitat affiliate with funds, materials and work force volunteers. Bridgestone/Firestone provided funds and the work force to build a home in 2006 on Smith Street. Bridgestone/Firestone has also provided landscaping materials, funds and work force volunteers on several homes. The City Of McMinnville has also provided lots used in some of the home constructions.
Due to the over 200 individual volunteers who have worked on the construction of our houses, we pretty much stay on a four month build schedule. In addition to this we receive support from approximately 20 churches and community organizations that provide food and have organized work days to help with specific tasks. We would like to involve even more groups in larger and better ways as we expand our efforts locally. We also receive donations from groups and individuals in both goods and services.
At the present time, we have a Board composed of 15 people. Board members are all dedicated people, willing to work hard and take Habitat locally to the next level. Our dream is to see Habitat involving numerous churches and civic organizations and have multiple house constructions going on simultaneously. We need not only the financial commitment of various groups, but the commitment of volunteer labor to construct these houses.
We were awarded a grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati in the amount of $27,388.00 that assisted us financially with two homes that were built in 2004 and one home in 2005. Thanks go to Dwayne Woods of First National Bank of McMinnville for his assistance with this grant application. We were also awarded a SHOP (Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program) grant (HUD Funds) to financially assist us in land acquisition as well as the infrastructure portion of our second home to be built in 2005, two homes in 2006, and our first home in 2007.
At the end of this building season (2008), we will have fifteen (15) houses under roof, homes for fifteen families.
We need your support. Together, we can MAKE A DIFFERENCE.