Habitat for Humanity started with an idea from a farmer, Clarence Jordan in Americus, Georgia, and was founded by him and Millard and Linda Fuller. The idea was to build adequate shelter for those in need by working with volunteers. The houses would be built at no profit and the owners would have no interest loans for the house provided by Habitat for Humanity’s funds. The idea grew and grew with more supporters supporting the initiative and in 1976, Habitat for Humanity International was founded.
Habitat now works with over 1,400 communities in the United States and in nearly 70 countries. The organization has helped over 6.8 million people to achieve strength and stability by providing safe, decent, and affordable shelter to them. It is located in all 50 states in America as well as D.C., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. There are locations across the world as well helping Asia, Europe, The Middle East, Africa, and Latin America and the Caribbean.
The Importance of The Organization
A majority of Americans have a hard time finding affordable housing. More than half say that they make sacrifices in other areas in order to afford payments or rent, including living in unsafe neighborhoods, and cutting down on health care and other necessities. Habitat is working to reduce people’s needs to do this by remodeling old homes, helping with loans, building homes, and advocating for better laws.
Not having a stable place to live can create extreme stress on a family. The well being of millions of children is compromised when parents need to make sacrifices in order to provide a roof over their family’s heads. The constant budgeting, cutting back on food and transportation, as well as increasing debt by foregoing bill payments in order to pay others.
Habitat works to reduce the stress that these families feel by providing stability and affordable housing and loan payments. They also give information and financial education so people can feel empowered and become successful homeowners.
Of course, a main benefit is getting the opportunity to provide someone less fortunate the chance at having a stable living situation and easing some of their burdens. However volunteers also benefit in other ways by helping liking increasing their chances of getting a new job by having habitat for humanity on their resume. In addition volunteering is shown to reduce nights spent in the hospital by 38%. Also, building houses and doing repairs help you learn new trades and crafts and learn from other volunteers.
Interested in Volunteering? Click here to see how you can help Habitat for Humanity both locally and globally.