Founded in 1976 by Americans Linda and Millard Fuller, Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit international organization that is non-governmental. Its operational headquarters are located in the United States at Americus, Georgia, with its administrative headquarters in Atlanta. Habitat for Humanity has four other area offices throughout the world: Canada, Africa, the Middle East, Asia-Pacific, Central Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the Caribbean.
Habitat for Humanity Addresses the Issues of Housing
A self-termed “Christian housing ministry,” Habitat for Humanity devotes its resources and energies to constructing simple but adequate and affordable housing, as well as improving existing dwellings. This organization has helped more than four million people. The most renowned volunteers for Habitat were President Carter and his wife, Rosalynn Carter, who volunteered in Americus, Georgia. With the work of volunteers, including workers from the families who eventually occupy the homes, houses are constructed that incur no labor charges.
Despite the volunteering for construction of the houses, fundraising is a necessary part of the programs of Habitat. Funds are essential for the designation of building sites, house construction, mortgage services, support and a non-discriminatory policy of selection of families who will occupy the homes. The selection of families who can own the homes is based upon certain conditions. One of these is their needs. Two other conditions are their capability of repaying the home’s loan and their willingness to become partners in Habitat’s program.
Habitat for Humanity Betters the Lives of People
Habitat for Humanity has done much to improve the lives of people throughout the world. In Poland, for instance, Rhonda and Adam Król, who had inherited a home, saw a magazine article about Habitat for Humanity. Aware of the dire needs of people unable to afford to house in their country, the Króls wrote to this organization. Since 1992 Habitat Poland has aided more than 1,500 Polish families directly through renovation and new construction projects. Also, Habitat has assisted renters with loans to improve dwellings for multiple families and provide energy efficiency measures to lower heating costs in the long winters of Poland.
Studies conducted in various countries show a direct relationship between the quality of housing and the well-being of children. Habitat homeowners’ surveys reveal that children’s grades improve and parents are more confident that they can better meet their family’s needs. Habitat for Humanity constructs homes and bears witness to the evidence that decent and dependable homes help in the building of robust and capable communities. In a suitable home, families become more stable and confident in their abilities to succeed because they can plan for the future.